How To Trellis Cannabis in the Pursuit of Better Yields

Trellising is an effective technique for providing light to all bud sites while also providing structure to your plants and creating a more even canopy. We'll explore the importance of proper trellising and walk you through a basic step-by-step guide to implementing this technique in your flower room.
May 7, 2020

Many Cannabis genetics naturally grow tall with one large bud on top and a smaller cola on the end of each branch. This growing method is successful outdoors because the sun moves across the sky throughout the day, allowing each branch (and bud) to receive light. However, when growing indoors, and to a lesser extent in greenhouses, this does not happen because the lights are stationary above the plants, never fully lighting the sides. Additionally, when growing indoors, it is important to keep the plant canopy as even as possible due to diminishing light intensity as the flowers get further from the light source (see: Inverse Square Law). This is not a problem for sun-grown cannabis as the sun is so far away that a few extra feet doesn’t make as much of a difference. For growing indoors, however, trellising is an effective technique for providing light to all bud sites. 

Furthermore, trellising creates an even plant canopy by gently bending the stalks and providing structure to grow them sideways instead of vertically. The main purpose of trellising is to mimic the even footprint of available light outdoors by bringing all of the branch’s top nodes to nearly the same distance from the light source. By doing so, some growers have seen increased yields of up to 30%.

Trellising happens in the Flower Room; once a plant has been trellised it will be difficult to move. Start prepping your plants for trellising in Veg by pruning them, shaping the plant so it is easy to spread out on a screen. Once the plants have been moved to Flower, follow the steps below to effectively trellis your cannabis plants. 

1. When plants move into Flower, install trellising above them.

Use extruded or molded plastic netting, nylon string, or anything similar to create a solid structure to support the plant. Avoid thin string/wiring (such as fishing line, etc…) as it may cut into the plant tissue. The idea here is to create a grid of holes to weave branches and buds through in the next step. Ideally, you’ll want to have a single bud site per 6″x6″ hole in the grid. Chain link fencing is a great, reusable way to accomplish this, but it can cost up to 75 times as much as plastic options.

how to trellis

2. Weave the branches of the plant through the trellis netting.

The branches should have been grown to be long and lanky so that they can be bent onto the trellis. The branches should bend when pinched with your fingers. Don’t worry; this pinching won’t hurt the plant. While it is capable of healing itself, still be sure not to snap the branch. Once bent, it will be possible to weave the branches as needed.  As the plant continues to grow up towards the light, bend and weave it down into the trellis netting to fill any gaps.

Learn More: Licensed MEP Engineering | Surna Cultivation Technologies

commercial trellising

 

3. Position the branches so there is a single bud site in each hole of the trellis netting.

The trellis will create a grid with holes that are typically 6”x6”. Once the plant has been bent onto the trellis, buds will form in the plant canopy over the top of it. Keep an eye on these developing bud sites and remove any extra buds that appear. Remember, the goal is a single bud per hole. Removing extra buds will help the remaining ones to grow larger.

chain link trellising

 

4. If desired, create a side canopy (use vertical trellising on each side) and repeat steps 1-3 for each side.

When creating a side canopy, be sure to include vertical lighting to provide light to the bud sites on the side of the plant.

side trellis

Trellising a cannabis plant can have a large impact on the final amount of product produced. Maximizing the use of available light and ensuring all buds are on an even level will result in large, evenly sized buds across the entire plant canopy. Maximizing the its resources allows the plant to produce at its maximum capacity.

Are you planning/expanding a commercial grow?

Contact us for comprehensive controlled environment agriculture climate solutions.

Contact Us

Ready to get started or learn more about how we can help your facility succeed? Fill out the form and a company representative will be in touch.

Area of Support*

Share:

Featured Articles

LED Horticultural Lighting Guide for Professional Growers

Horticultural LEDs offer an energy conserving option for professional growers who are looking for an efficient and powerful lighting solution for their indoor farms. So what kinds of grow lighting options are available, and what aspects differ between LEDs?

Increasing Grow Room Efficiency with Mobile Grow Racks

Increase your yield without adding square footage and grow more efficiently by streamlining your operation with mobile grow racks. But don't forget to take your HVAC system into account.

4 Ways to Trick Your Cannabis Plants into Making Bigger Buds: Good and Bad Stress

Not all stress is bad. In fact, some types of stress can push cannabis plants to work harder to produce bigger buds. It’s important to understand your limits, however, and to know how to protect your crop from unhealthy stress.

MEP Retrofitting for Controlled Environment Agriculture

Whether you're upgrading your equipment, replacing a failing system, or preparing a building for cultivation, an MEP retrofit is no small task. You will need the help of experienced engineers and HVAC technology that will best serve your plants. Before embarking on your retrofitting journey, take these considerations into account so that you may choose the best design team for your project.

(WEBINAR) CEA Facility Design From A to Z

Learn from CEA planning and design experts on how you can pre-plan your indoor farm to avoid costly mistakes, choose the right internal systems for your facility, and work efficiently and effectively with architects and MEP professionals.

Cannabis Facility Architectural Design

The architectural design of your cannabis cultivation facility will lay the foundation of the rest of your operation. That's why getting it right is so important. Let's look at what proper cannabis facility architectural design involves and why Surna is an excellent choice for growers looking to work with experienced architects and engineers.
Sign up to receive blogs and other news

Footer

© 2022 Surna. All rights reserved.
Surna
Scroll to Top