How To Get Maximum Yields From Cannabis Plants

Created by
Added 05 October 2021

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Every cannabis cultivator has a dream of extracting maximum yields from his plants. With time, patience, and practice, you can get more than you probably ever imagined. However, it can get frustrating at first. The only thing you can do is learn and experiment. 

In this article, we will show you how it’s easy to get the best yields from your marijuana plants. 

Before we begin, note that you will need to pick strains with fantastic genetics. If you choose strains with less capacity, it won’t work. So instead, search for high-yielding or XXL strains in seed banks of your choice. 

Another vital point to note is that you can’t expect huge yields as a beginner. However, these tips will help you understand what you need to do as you grow more. 

The Basics

Before you begin trying to get good yields, make sure that you get the basics right. Good results will follow soon if you follow just a few rules:

  • Temperature — Many growers install powerful lights without keeping the temperature in mind. Maintain the temperature between 18°C to 28°C or 64°F to 82°F as much as possible. If not, increase the ventilation. 
  • Ventilation — Even if you have the most powerful lights, they won’t mean anything if there’s no airflow or ventilation in the room. Thus, develop a system where the humid air can flow out or install small fans.
  • Humidity — It’s crucial to maintain the appropriate levels of humidity in the room. Too much moisture will invite pests, whereas too little will kill the plants. Maintain more than 60% during the vegetative stage, but it’s okay to go below 30% when the plants start flowering. 
  • pH — It’s good to maintain the pH between 5.5 to 6.3 for cannabis plants. Most problems start with pH. pH problems also resemble nutrient deficiencies, which is why you should check the pH levels before correcting any problem. 

Now that you got the basics, let’s move on to the next steps. 


Light is one of the most important factors to grow any plant. For plants, light is food, so you might as well make sure they are eating well. 

A good rule of thumb is to maintain at least 50 – 75W of light per square foot. Plants in the vegetative stage will need less light than those in the flowering phase. This means that if the plants use 35W during the vegetative stage, they will need 70W during flowering. 

A quick way to calculate this: Imagine your grow room measures 5’ x 5’. Thus, 5x5 = 25’x50W = 1250W. Any light that is generating 1250 – 1300W should work for you. 

Remember that light also generates heat, so don’t go over this threshold. You risk burning the grow room or bleaching your plants that invariably destroy them. Most LED lights provide 25W – 30W per square feet while HID lights offer 55W – 65W. CFLs are much lower. You can talk to your manufacturer to get more details and adjust the light accordingly. 

If the light intensity is lower than 75W, you can add more fixtures or upgrade to a better setup. The extra light will not only give you more yields, but the potency also increases proportionately. 

Previously, HID lights were the best for cannabis plants; however, they draw too much power. Moreover, LEDs seem to have taken over every other technology in this department. You will save energy and also get more yields if you pick just the right light. 

Last but not the least, allocate at least 1 square foot per plant to ensure that the plants can grow to their full potential. 


Expert growers take care of the basics first and then start training to get good yields. Let’s take a look at the methods you can use to achieve this. 

How to “Top” your plants to get maximum yields?

Topping is an easy method to get more yields. As soon as the seedling grows more than 3-4 inches, simply pinch off the top of the plant or cut it using a clean pair of scissors or blade. This will force the main cola to divide into two or more parts, which means that you’ll get more colas rather than one main cola. 

Simply put, Topping is a method that somewhat reduces the main cola’s dominance to allow the smaller colas to develop faster and become sturdy as well. As the main cola soaks up all the light, the smaller colas diminish or produce popcorn buds with less light. Combined with LST, Topping will distribute equal light to all colas. 

Some growers will cut a little more than just the tip. This method is known as FIMming, where you pinch the tip in uneven ways. FIMing usually gives you more colas than Topping because of the way you pinch the top. 

How to LST your plants to get maximum yields?


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LST or Low-Stress Training is one of the most common methods to train marijuana plants. It involves bending the colas gently to the sides of the container to allow equal light distribution. So, you can first Top or FIM the plants to develop more colas. Then, as the colas continue to grow, cut off the tips again to get more colas. 

Growers usually Top at least 3-4 times to get desired results. Do not overdo it, or you’ll end up with way too many colas and fewer yields. Combine Topping and LST for best results. 

As the name implies, LST induces little stress and is a proven way to producing massive yields. So, how do you LST? Well, as soon as you see a few colas developing, gently pull it to the sides of the container using a string and tie it. In a few days, the tops will try to get back up. Then, repeat the same process and keep going around the sides until you’re satisfied. 


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Once the plant fills up the entire pot, you can sit back and relax. Remember to train your plants only during the vegetative phase. The plants can chill and focus on developing beautiful buds during the flowering phase. Do not disturb them!


Whether you’re growing your plants organically or inorganically, nutrients are vital. Like light, nutrients are food for plants. However, do not overfeed them unless you want to stress the plants. 

More often than not, plants with minimal nutrients perform better than those with extra nutrients. It’s best to begin with less than the manufacturer’s recommendation to ensure that you’re not overdoing it. Then, increase the amount gradually as the plant adjusts to the feeding. 

Apart from the regular nutrients you use throughout the vegetative and flowering phase, you can also use boosters to fatten the buds. Most boosters are either organic or inorganic or a combination of both. 

If you don’t want to invest in boosters, you can take the natural route and use sugar instead! Simply mix in a tablespoon of sugar per liter of water and watch your buds develop more resin. Many growers use blackstrap molasses because of the additional nutrients, but regular sugar will work just fine. 

One way to maximize yields is to completely stop using nutrients at least 2-3 weeks before harvest. Then, as the plant moves into the flowering stage, many growers increase the nutrients, but only during the initial stages. 

Inexperienced growers mistake the yellowing of leaves for nutrient deficiencies and amp up the feeding. Do not make this mistake! As the plant starts flowering, it’s natural for the nitrogen levels to go down, and some of the lower leaves will begin to turn yellow. Just let the plant be and do its thing. 

Many growers also flush the plant to remove the nutrients just when the plant is two weeks away from harvest. Flushing involves feeding the plant with extra plain water to remove all the nutrients that may have built up over time. This method may increase the yields slightly as the plant gets enough time to use all the previously unused nutrients. 

Harvest at the right time

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Sometimes, you make the mistake of harvesting earlier than necessary. Either you’re too impatient or simply don’t realize that it’s the wrong time. No matter the reason, you’ll be reducing your yields by at least 20-25% even if you harvest the buds 1-2 weeks sooner. 

Firstly, the seed manufacturer will give you an approximate idea to harvest the plant. If you do not have that information, wait until at least 50% of the pistils (white hair on the buds) begin to turn amber. Many growers use magnifying glasses or jewelry loupes to check the trichomes, but if you don't have them, keep an eye on the pistils to get an approximate idea. 

Harvesting too early will not only reduce the yield but also changes the effects. For instance, harvesting when many pistils are still white will produce more cerebral or psychoactive effects. But, on the other hand, you can’t wait too long either. Harvesting when more than 80% of the pistils have turned amber will mean that you have an exacerbated body high, which is similar to Indicas. 


None of the tips and tricks will work if you go for cheaper seeds with weak genetics. Fortunately, the seeds we get today are much more advanced than yesteryear seeds, with a great potential to produce high yields and potency. 

Too many beginners invest in cheap seeds because they don’t want to lose money. While that may be okay initially, you’re only going to lose money in the long run. As soon as you’re confident that you can grow some kickass cannabis, invest in high-quality marijuana seeds to get the results you’re expecting. 

In the end, be patient and try not to get frustrated with bad results. With practice, you will get there, so keep growing and improve your skills.


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Lol who wrote this . Was it a newbie guiding newbies . Some decent info but how can you get pistols and Trichomes mixed up ??
My guess is the author has never actually grown cannabis or done any real research from horticultural sources.