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There are many different ways to grow marijuana, many methods, styles, and strategies which people follow. One thing which you may have to consider if you are growing weed indoors is space.
Yeah, if you are using a closet or grow tent, you will have a limited amount of space, especially vertically. This can become an issue, which is why we want to talk about how to make cannabis plants bushy.
A quick answer here would be that you need to move the grow lights closer to the plants so they don’t stretch as much. You can also add lighting along the sides and floor of your grow room. Increasing the amount of reflective materials on the walls and the floor of the grow room will help too.
There are a couple other tactics you can use here, including bending and tying down the branches and stalks to restrict upward growth.
- 1 How To Make Cannabis Plants Bushy Instead Of Growing Tall
- 2 Why Do I Want A Bushy Cannabis Plant?
- 3 Naturally Short & Bushy Cannabis Strains
- 4 Autoflower Weed Plants Naturally Grow Bushy
- 5 Conclusion
How To Make Cannabis Plants Bushy Instead Of Growing Tall
Of course, the whole point of creating a wide and bushy weed plant, rather than a tall and skinny weed plant, is so you don’t run out of vertical space, plus it can help with lighting too, which then results in higher yields of marijuana buds, not to mention better potency too.
Let’s talk about 5 different methods to make your weed plant grow wide and bushy instead of tall.
1. Move The Grow Lights Closer To The Plants
One simple thing which you can do in an attempt to keep your weed plants short and bushy is to move the grow lights as close as possible to the top of the weed plants as you can, without burning them that is.
Now, LED lights are not ideal for this, or really cannot be used at all for this, as LED lights usually need to be kept at least 18 inches away from the plants, so this will cause stretching, and if you move them too close, you may burn the weed plants.
HID grow lights can be kept pretty close to the plants, but fluorescent can be kept the closest and barely need any clearance between the bulb and the plant at all.
However, fluorescent lights do not produce great yields, so there is a tradeoff to think about here (here is some helpful information on lighting).
2. Get Side Grow Lights & Under-Plant Lights
All plants including cannabis plants grow towards the strongest light source. Therefore, you can get yourself some grow lights and outfit them along the bottom of the plants.
You can put some lights around the rim of the bucket you are growing the cannabis plant in. You can also get some floor mounted grow lights too. Moreover, a few strings of grow lights placed around the plants at various heights will help a lot with this too.
If you want to keep your plant as short and bushy as possible, you want the majority of the light to be coming from the sides, a lot of light to come from the bottom, and some light to grow come from the top.
Of course, the plant cannot just grow downwards or sideways, so you do need a light up top. However, if you have the majority of the light output at the sides, the bottom, and some from a top angle, your weed plant should get pretty bushy and not grow too tall.
3. Increase Reflective Material Coverage The Grow Room
Another thing you can to help create a much bushier cannabis plant is to add more reflective materials along the sides of the grow room, as well as along the floor.
This is the same principle as putting grow lights on the sides and bottom of the grow room. The reflective materials will increase the light intensity focused on the weed plants from the sides and the bottom, thus encouraging the plant to get wider and stay fairly short.
4. Use A Special Net To Restrict Growth
Yet another method you can try in order to create a bushy weed plant with a wide canopy, one that is fairly short, is to restrict its vertical growth using netting.
Here you can use some kind of fishing net, or a net that has openings of 1.5 x 1.5 inch (a little smaller or larger will do).
This way, when your cannabis plant hits the net, the net will stop it from getting much taller, at least for the moment, and will cause the pot plant to grow outwards more.
Now, the weed plant will eventually grow through the netting and continue on its upward ascent, but it’s definitely a good start.
You can always try adding a second layer of netting a foot above the first one, which will then have the same effect a bit higher up.
5. Tie Branches & Stalks Down To Encourage Lateral Growth
The other common practice used to keep weed plants short and make them bushier is to gently tie the main stalk downwards, and also tie branches sideways and downwards.
Here you are physically manipulating the plant to become wider and bushier. This can be a bit tricky, as pot plants are a bit fragile, so you don’t want to bend them too much at once, or tie them too tight either.
Bending a little at once, and then tying them down more and more day by day, is the way to go. A little bit at a time is what we mean.
Why Do I Want A Bushy Cannabis Plant?
You might be wondering why you would ever want to grow a bushy and wide weed plant instead of a taller one.
Well, there are a couple of good reasons why you might want to do this, so let’s go over them right now.
1. Spatial Constraints
Probably the main reason why anybody would want to grow a bushy and wide weed plant, as opposed to a tall one, is simply due to spatial constraints.
Chances are that the room or closet you are using to grow your marijuana is not infinitely tall. If you are working with a small space, anywhere under 6 or 7 feet really, you might run into problems, especially when you are growing certain strains.
Depending on your lighting and how healthy the cannabis plant is, it could easily grow to 7 or 8 feet in height, and you do also need to consider the grow lights hanging from the ceiling, and the clearance needed between the lights and the ceiling, and the clearance needed between the pot plants and the lights.
As you can see, you can quickly run out of vertical space, which can then cause some big problem. You might end up with the crown bug at the top of the plant, and the other leaves near the top, growing too close or even right into the grow lights.
This will then lead to overheating, light burn, and the results will not be good. Growing a bushier weed plant, as opposed to a tall one, will ensure that you do not run out of vertical space and you won’t risk having your pot plants grow into the grow lights, which is obviously not ideal in the least.
2. More Efficient Use Of Grow Lights
Another reason growing a bushy pot plant instead of a tall one can be beneficial is because you will make more efficient use of your grow lights. Light intensity, usually measured in lumens, dissipates over distance.
Therefore, if you have short and bushy plants with a wide canopy, with the grow lights close to said canopy, a lot more of your plant and the buds will be exposed to strong light.
However, if you have a really tall plant, that light has to travel down the entirety of the plant to reach everything, and therefore the further down it gets, the less intense the light will be which the plant receives.
At the end of the day, a short and bushy plant should result in a higher yield.
3. It helps Prevent Stalk Stretching
The other reason why it is a good idea to try and keep cannabis plants fairly short and bushier is because it will prevent the stalk or main stem from stretching upwards too much.
Using any or all of the above methods which we talked about, to keep the plant short and make it bushy, will all help to prevent the stalk from stretching.
You do not want the stalk of your cannabis plant to stretch too much because when it gets too tall, it will have problems standing upright and supporting the weight of the leaves and buds.
In other words, it will tip over, plus this also causes issues with heat differences from the top to the bottom of the grow room, and it can create problems in regards to your plants getting the proper amount of nutrients (we have reviewed our favorite 10 nutrients, you can check them out here).
Naturally Short & Bushy Cannabis Strains
One thing to keep in mind here is that cannabis Indica strains usually do not grow quite as tall as cannabis Sativa strains, sometime up to 1 foot shorter or more, and they are also bushier (more on the different strains here).
Here we have a few different cannabis strains you can try growing, weed strains which tend to be fairly bushy and shorter than others.
- Amnesia Haze (Autoflower)
- Bergman’s Gold Leaf (Autoflower)
- Blackberry Kush
- Blueberry (Autoflower)
- Bubble Gum
- Bubble Gum (Autoflower)
- Cheese (Autoflower)
- Girl Scout Cookies Extreme (Autoflower)
- Gorilla Glue (Autoflower)
- Grand Daddy Purple
- Jack Herer (Autoflower)
- Lowryder (Autoflower)
- Mango Kush
- Master Kush
- Northern Lights (Autoflower)
- OG Kush (Autoflower)
- Orange Bud
- Pure Indica
- Purple Kush
- Strawberry Kush
- Super Skunk (Autoflower)
- White Widow (Autoflower)
Autoflower Weed Plants Naturally Grow Bushy
On a quick side note, a good option to go with if you want bushy and fairly short pot plants is to go with any kind of autoflowering strain.
These tend to be much easier to grow than normal full cycle weed plants, they do not require as much effort, they take about half the time to get from seedling to harvest, and they don’t grow nearly as tall.
There you have it fellow stoners and stonerettes, everything you need to know about growing a bushy weed plant instead of a tall one. If you are working with a limited amount of space, want to make efficient use of your lights, and end up with bigger and better yields, you definitely want to take some steps.
Making a cannabis plant bushy and wide is really not that hard, but it might take a bit of practice, some trial and error, and it cost you a few bucks more than you had planned on spending. However, in our opinion, the results are well worth the effort.