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How to Scrog Cannabis Plants: A Comprehensive Guide

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Added 01 May 2023

As cannabis growers, we’re always looking for ways to increase yields. Many techniques help you achieve decent yields, but if you’re looking for something that exceeds expectations, then Scrogging may be the technique for you. 

Scrog, short for "Screen of Green," is a method that involves growing your plants through a screen or netting. In this article, we will guide you through the process of Scrogging cannabis plants, discuss the advantages and disadvantages, and also provide the strains that perform very well with ScrOG. So, let’s get started…

What is ScrOG?

What is ScrOG?

ScrOG is a training technique that utilizes a screen or net to create an even canopy of buds. Cannabis plants naturally grow upwards like a Christmas tree. While some may be okay with this, it leads to one big cola. However, if you train it to develop multiple colas, you’ll enjoy a bigger yield. 

The technique involves weaving and tucking branches under the screen, allowing each plant to receive equal light. You can achieve this by using a net, frame, or screen, both indoors and outdoors. Some growers use ropes to build their own nets. The result is a bigger harvest with bigger buds and uniform growth.

How to Scrog Cannabis Plants?

How to Scrog Cannabis Plants?

Now that you have a basic understanding of a ScrOG, let’s move on to how to ScrOG your cannabis plants at home. 

Here are the steps to follow to Scrog your cannabis plants:

1. Choose the Right Strain

Choosing the right strain is crucial for scrogging. You want to select a strain that responds well to the technique and has a natural tendency to grow bushy. Both Indica and Sativa varieties can be good for scrogging as long as you train them well. 

There are so many seeds available nowadays that it can be confusing to choose the best ones compatible with ScrOG. Later in this article, we’ll also tell you the best cannabis strains for ScrOG. 

2. Prepare Your Grow Space

Before you begin Scrogging, prepare your grow space. 

  • Set up your net

If you prefer, you can build a sturdy ScrOG net after measuring the grow tent to get a good fit. First, make a square frame with wood or PVC pipes. You can choose any material as long as it’s durable. Then, measure and attach the legs to your frame for support. Naturally, the frame can’t float, so you’d have to measure the distance between the floor and the frame like you’d construct a table. Make sure you use the same material for the legs and the frame. 

A lot depends on your chosen ScrOG net, as it’s vital to scrogging. Purchasing nets is a good idea as they aren’t too expensive. This isn’t the time to cut corners and look for cheap nets. You don’t want the net collapsing mid-grow, do you? Instead, go for strong trellis nets that are durable and strong enough to support the plants. 

In addition, ensure that the net is appropriately sized for the number of plants you want to grow and the size of your grow room. It’s better to go for slightly larger nets as you can reduce the size accordingly, but you can’t do the same with a shorter one. 

  • Choose containers

The container size will depend on how many plants you're growing and the strain type. For example, you can use smaller pots for autoflowers, whereas photoperiod plants will love slightly bigger pots. 

Smaller containers work well if you're short on space or if you have plants with a shorter vegetative period. Remember, you’re training the plants to grow horizontally, so allow enough space for them to grow well. 

To make up for the possible lack of airflow, go for fabric pots or any material that allows good ventilation to the roots. 

  • Place the plants

The positioning of the plants is very important when scrogging. First, place the plants at least 2 feet apart to allow good airflow and prevent mold growth. To do this, you'll want to space your plants about 1-2 feet apart from each other. If you're using a tomato cage for support when growing outdoors, ensure the plants are positioned right under the net.

Also, the plants must be placed directly under the grow lights to make sure they get enough energy, but they should be at a safe distance to prevent heat stress. 

  • Place the net

Whether you’re using a net or a frame, now is the time to place it on top of the plants. Remember to leave some gap of at least 1-1.5 feet between the tip of the plants and the net so there’s enough space for the tops to grow. You can place the net when the plants are still in their seedling stage. 

3. Start Training Your Plants Early

Now that your setup is ready, wait for the plants to grow and transition into the vegetative stage. Once the plants develop at least 3-4 nodes, you can start training them. The earlier you start, the better the results will be. 

First, you can start by Topping or FIMming the plants. Topping involves cutting off the tip of the main stem to encourage the growth of two new colas, resulting in a bushier plant. FIMming is the same, except you can remove the tip with your hands, leading to multiple tops. 

4. Start weaving the branches

First, wait until the plants grow tall enough to fit through the screen. Next, choose the healthiest and strongest branches that will become the main colas of your plants. Then, start tucking your chosen branches under the net to create a flat, even canopy. Be gentle while handling the branches as they are tender, and you don’t want to break them. 

Starting from one side of the net, weave each branch through the holes of the net until it reaches the other side. Try to allocate one branch to every square. Gently spread out the branches and repeat this process for all the selected branches. Secure the branches to the net using zip ties or soft garden wire. Don’t use sharp strings or anything that can cut into the plants. 

5. Start pruning/defoliating

Removing the lower parts of the plants that won't receive adequate light is important when trimming excess growth. This includes leaves, branches, and buds below the canopy that aren’t getting enough light. Doing so will also improve air circulation and prevent mold and mildew from developing.

However, don’t over-trim, as you will stress the plants and reduce yield. As a rule, try not to remove more than 20-30% of the plant's foliage at once. You can also spread the trimming over several sessions to avoid stressing the plant too much.

You can trim the plants regularly throughout their life cycle to keep the canopy even and promote healthy growth. You can also use pruning techniques such as Topping and FIMing to encourage lateral growth and increase the number of colas. As your plants grow, continue weaving the branches through the net to fill the canopy. This will encourage lateral growth and create more buds.

6. Switch to the flowering phase

Next, switch from the 18/6 to 12/12 cycle to encourage the plants to begin their transition to the flowering stage. You can do this after six weeks, depending on the strain type and your preference. If you’re growing autoflowers, you don’t need to do anything, as they will shift into the flowering phase automatically. 

7. Maintenance

Keep an eye on your plants as they grow. Adjust the screen or net as needed to keep the canopy even. Make sure your plants are getting enough light and nutrients. Be careful not to overfeed them, which can lead to nutrient burn. Also, remove the lower branches if they don’t get enough light, so the plant can focus on the upper branches where the buds will be the largest. 

Can you ScrOG Autoflowers?

Can you ScrOG Autoflowers?

Many growers hesitate to ScrOG autoflowers because the plants need more time during their vegetative stage to fit the ScrOG net. In addition, autoflowering cannabis plants are different from photoperiod plants in that they start flowering based on age rather than the light cycle. Typically, autoflowers begin flowering within 4-5 weeks after germination, so it can be challenging to ScrOG them. 

Since scrogging involves using a screen or net to train the plant to grow horizontally, this can be a challenge with autoflower plants, as they don't have as much time to develop branches. In addition, one of the key factors to consider is the type of autoflower strain you’re growing. 

There are two main types of autoflowers: regular and super. Regular autos typically have a shorter vegetative period. As a result, they will start flowering earlier, so if you want to Scrog them, you'll need to start training them as soon as possible, ideally when the second pair of fan leaves emerge.

On the other hand, Super autos have a longer vegetative period and can spend more time in the Scrog before flowering. This can result in higher yields as more of the plant is exposed to light. However, even with super autos, it's important to pay attention to the plant's growth and stop training once the early buds appear, as you don't want to stress the plant too much and negatively impact the final product.

In conclusion, you can train autoflowers if you have sufficient experience in properly training the plants. You just have to ensure that the net fills out with one bud per square and train and maintain the plants. 

Best Cannabis Strains to ScrOG

Best Cannabis Strains to ScrOG

There are many cannabis strains perfect for a ScrOG setup. However, finding and experimenting with them can take up a lot of time. At WeedSeeds, we have curated the best weed seeds you can use to get massive yields with ScrOG. 

1. Green Crack 

Green Crack, a Sativa-dominant strain with high THC levels at almost 25%, is a great strain for ScrOG. With a yield of up to 500-600 grams per square meter and a flowering time of 8-9 weeks, this strain is easy to cultivate and produces numerous similarly-sized buds across the top of the screen. In addition, Green Crack's fruity citrus and mango flavors may provide significant relief from depression, pain, and stress.

2. Cherry AK 

Cherry AK is another Sativa-leaning strain well-suited for Screen of Green training. She can withstand bending, thanks to her strong branches. She also tends to produce multiple heavy colas and delivers incredible yields within just 7-8 weeks. 

3. Blue Dream 

Blue Dream is a popular California native that leans towards the Sativa side, with a genetic ratio of 70/30. It is well-suited for the Screen of Green (ScrOG) growing method, where you can redirect its branches to promote more horizontal growth. The THC levels are very high at 21%, but this strain is special because of its taste reminiscent of berries. It uplifts your mood and induces creativity, making it simply perfect for recreational users. Additionally, medical patients often seek this strain for its potential pain-relieving and anti-depressive properties.

4. Fruity Pebbles 

Fruity Pebbles is an Indica-dominant hybrid that is popular among indoor growers worldwide. It is considered one of the best strains for ScrOG, thanks to her tendency to stretch after the vegetative stage. Therefore, it’s best to ScrOG her, especially to reduce vertical growth and also encourage multiple bud sites. She only needs 8-9 weeks to flower, and you’ll be rewarded with blazing orange buds filling the net. 

Summary: How to Scrog Cannabis Plants: A Comprehensive Guide

In conclusion, ScrOG is a great technique to increase yields. Simply put, it’s a method to train cannabis plants where you use a screen or net to control the plant's growth. To set up a ScrOG, a screen is placed about 1 to 1.5 feet above the plants, and the plants are trained to grow horizontally. As the plant grows, the branches are tucked and trained to grow through the holes in the screen, creating a canopy of buds. This helps to distribute light evenly and increase bud production. The ScrOG technique requires careful attention to pruning and training, but it can significantly increase yield and maximize space in an indoor grow room.


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