Cannabis Plant Training Mistakes — What NOT To Do

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Cannabis Plant Training Mistakes — What NOT To Do

Mistakes made when training cannabis plants can have devastating effects on the health of your crop and the size/quality of your yields. Read on to learn what mistakes to avoid when training your weed plants.

Training is one of the best ways to boost the productivity of your cannabis plants. Unfortunately, these techniques can be difficult for beginner growers to perform successfully. In this article, we’ll highlight some common training mistakes to avoid.


ScrOG, or screen of green, is a training method that can produce some really impressive harvests. It involves weaving stems through a mesh screen to create an even canopy of colas, which can really push your plants to maximise yield. That said, it's a labour-intensive method that can be difficult to master, even for experienced growers.

We generally do not recommend ScrOG for beginner growers. If you’re planning on trying this method, make sure you have a few harvests under your belt. A solid understanding of how cannabis grows is essential to understanding how your plants will react to being grown under a screen.

When performing ScrOG, the first thing you’ll want to get right is the position of your screen, which should sit about 40–50cm (15–20 inches) above your pots. The corners of the screen should be attached to the sides of your grow tent/room. A screen that hasn’t been properly secured can fall on your plants and ruin an entire harvest.

Arguably one of the biggest mistakes growers make with ScrOG is thinking that once they’ve installed their screen, they can just leave their plants to do as they please. This couldn’t be further from the truth; you’ll need to start training your plants as soon as possible using topping, LST, and pruning. You’ll want to tend to them constantly and keep them under the screen until two weeks into flowering (minimum), at which point you can start guiding them through the mesh.

The end result should be an even, green canopy with big, thick colas, not just a bunch of plants growing through a screen.

Scrog Mistake


Mainlining (also known as manifolding) is a technique that focuses on maximising your plant’s energy. By trimming it down to only a handful of branches that grow from a single node, it will develop big, dense, evenly shaped colas. In many ways, it’s like an extreme form of topping.

There are a few key things you need to get right in order to mainline properly without damaging your plants.

First and foremost, you’ll want to set up your hub (or manifold) at the right time in your plant’s vegetative phase. Ideally, we recommend using young plants that have developed 5–6 nodes. Start by topping the plant back to its 3rd node and removing any foliage beneath this node. Your plant will then automatically start putting energy into growth at this node.

Unfortunately, a lot of beginner growers make the mistake of mainlining their plants too early, which can add a lot of time onto their grow or even result in the death of a plant.

Another mistake we often see growers make is going too hard on the LST. When bending and manipulating young plants, it’s vital you’re extra careful to not break your main stem or branches—this will only slow down your plant’s recovery. If your plants are extra fragile, try splitting your LST into various sessions to avoid causing plants any damage.

Like ScrOG, mainlining is a pretty intense technique. Hence, we don’t recommend it for beginner growers. Wait until you have at least one or two harvests under your belt before you try this technique to avoid feeling overwhelmed and getting it wrong.

Main lining technique


Defoliation is helpful when growing cannabis as it allows you to maximise space and light, both of which are vital for your plant’s development. It involves cutting away any unnecessary foliage, allowing light to penetrate the parts of your plant that will actually grow bud. And while it might seem pretty simple to experienced growers, properly defoliating a plant can be difficult for beginners.

One mistake we see rookie growers make is not knowing what foliage to remove. Ideally, you’ll only ever want to prune away fan leaves (the big leaves that grow straight out of a stem and branch, usually around the nodes). These leaves take up a lot of space and often take light away from bud sites. Never prune away sugar leaves or growth tips, as this can inflict a lot of stress and affect both the quality and size of your yields.

Another mistake we often see from beginner growers is defoliating too early. Remember, defoliating involves removing unnecessary foliage. Seedlings or very young plants do not have unnecessary foliage yet, and don’t need to be pruned. Plants that are sick or slow-growing also shouldn’t be pruned, as removing foliage will likely do more harm than good.

One final mistake we commonly see growers make is not defoliating at all. Remember, your plants have access to a limited amount of energy (nutrients, water, and light). By defoliating, you’re cutting down on the number of points your plant has to divide that limited amount of energy between. If you never defoliate or train your plant, it essentially has less energy to send to its main bud sites because you’re forcing it to keep foliage it doesn't need.

Defoliation Mistakes

Training cannabis plants isn't rocket science, but it does take some finesse, and experience, to make it worth your while. Now that you're familiar with some of the common mistakes to avoid, you can proceed with greater confidence and know-how than before!