How To Scrog Marijuana Plants: A Simplified Guide

Every day, cannabis cultivators are looking to add new cultivation techniques to improve the productivity of their backyard farms. The essence is to make as much dough as you can from the limited space available. Here, we introduce you to yet another trending practice to maximize your weed bud production.

Scrogging weed plants has been in practice for a while, although few weed farmers seem to use it. The technique allows your weed plants to form a symmetrical canopy, exposing more of the bud sites to the light source at the same time. The ultimate result is more weed buds per production cycle from fewer cannabis plants.

Overall, scrogging cannabis offers you a larger yield from fewer resources than usual. But there’s still the question of how to ScrOG cannabis plants. Hang tight for more from us on the ScrOG method!

Close up photograph of a cannabis bud with a ScrOG setup in the background.
Scrogging allows for better exposure of the cannabis flower buds to light. 
Source: Cannafornia pexels

What is Scrogging?

The term ‘ScrOG’ is derived from ‘screen of green,’ which indicates the primary objective of the ScrOG method. The average plant–cannabis or not–will grow taller than wide, provided no external factors affect its growth. But in growing weed plants, ‘tall’ is not as desirable as ‘wide.’ The taller plants produce fewer buds compared with the wider ones, thus offering lesser value for their growth.

The flower buds need direct light penetration to develop into mature buds, which the cannabis grower eventually sells. If the plant keeps growing taller, more buds are kept away from light exposure, resulting in less productivity.

Well, that’s why we have scrogging. The ScrOG method allows you to weave the weed leaves into a net or mesh screen as they grow. This promotes a wider spread, allowing more flower buds to access direct sunlight. Scrogging involves placing a screen some distance above the soil and guiding your plants along the mesh screen once they reach that height.

However, scrogging is not restricted to the typically tall weed species. Indica strains such as Godfather OG strains are short and bushy plants, so scrogging is one way to get the best results out of them too. The improved aeration within the leafy bush encourages better bud yield as it is with taller species. Next are more of the benefits of using the ScrOG method.

Advantages of Scrogging

Of course, raising the profit margins is an obvious benefit of scrogging. But that’s not the only benefit of scrogging cannabis plants.

Here are some more!

  • Maximal light exposure: It’s not only flower buds that need light for development. The leaves and shoots are sites of photosynthesis, and the more light they receive, the faster the growth of your weed plants.
  • Aeration: Scrogging your cannabis plants allows for a better flow of air in the garden and around the growing plants. With more air in circulation, the plants do better, and there’s a reduced risk of mold, among other plant diseases.
  • More from less: As we said earlier, scrogging allows for more yield from a single trained marijuana plant compared with the yield from several untrained plants. With reduced competition for space and nutrients, the trained plants grow faster and produce more buds than regular untrained cannabis.
Young marijuana seedling, a few days after germination.
Ensure that your weed plants are up to the required height (20 – 40cm) before you start scrogging.
Source: Jeremie Aubut unsplash

When to Start Scrogging Marijuana Plants

Considering the many benefits of scrogging, it is tempting to start scrogging cannabis plants as soon as they start their vegetative stage. However, scrogging should occur at a specific time so that the plants grow as they should without complications.

Experts suggest that the ScrOG screen be put in place some 20cm (8 inches) above the soil. Once the vertical growth for single plants is about 5cm (2 inches) above the screen, you can start ‘tucking’ them under the net and away from the starting square.

The ‘tucking’ process is the foundation of your ScrOG method, so you must be careful of which direction you will be tucking the leaves. You should continue tucking the leaves as they grow over the following three weeks, which is typically their vegetative stage.

After about three weeks of tucking and weaving, the leaf growth slows down. Then, you will start to see buds, and the plants will have entered the flowering stage.

Certain complications could come with scrogging too early. The plants might just grow right through the ScrOG net instead of forming the typical grow tent. That will result in only the average yield since only a few buds will benefit from the light distribution.

The bottom line–scrogging is a timely practice. Ensuring your cannabis plants mature before scrogging them is the only way to get the best out of them.

Other Considerations Before Scrogging Weed Plants

Before delving into your ScrOG technique, there are a few more factors to consider apart from the age and height of your weed plants. While scrogging requires little expertise, you still have to ensure your gardening setup supports it for maximal productivity.

Here are some points to take care of before ScrOG training.

Pot sizes

Depending on the kind of growth system you run, the pot sizes for your cannabis plants play a huge role in their development. Balancing the number of single plants with the size of the pots is essential to prevent diseases reduce competition for nutrients and enhance light penetration. Some experts believe an 11-liter pot is enough grow space for four medium-sized plants, although fabric pots are better for adequate aeration of the soil and roots.

Appropriate strains

Just like you might have suspected, not all weed strains are compatible with scrogging. The sativa-dominant hybrids tend to be tall and stretchy, making it easier to weave them through the ScrOG screen. So, you can buy Growers Choice sativa strains like Green Crack Feminized seeds or Fruity Pebbles feminized seeds, if you prefer indica strains, for better horizontal growth.

You should also ensure that whichever strains you combine in your weed farm are of similar height. That way, the scrogging process is easier to carry out for you.

ScrOG screen features

The screen for ScrOG techniques is easy to build, and you only need to consider the following while building.

  • Size: Your ScrOG screen should be large enough to accommodate the canopy for all your weed plants. It is a case of more is best, as an undersized screen could limit the plants’ growths in the vegetative period. So feel free to build an oversized ScrOG screen if you are unsure of the garden dimensions.
  • Material: Hemp cord and string materials are the top choices for ScrOG screens. Cannabis branches almost stick to them and are easy to dispose of after the production cycle.
  • Frame: The screen should be rectangular, and the frame could be made out of timber or PVC pipes. Attach four legs to the corners and ensure they are of even length. Thereafter, screw in eye hooks on top of the frames for attachment of the string.

Scrogging Marijuana Outdoors

A frame might not be needed for the outdoor ScrOG method, as you only need to ensure that the screen covers all the plants. You can drive T-posts into the ground or use wooden pegs to form a rectangle around the weed plant section.

Then, you lay the screen on the stakes and slide it down to the desired level, around 20cm for most strains. As soon as the leaf growth exceeds the screen level, you can start to tuck and weave the plant branches through the screen.

Outdoors ScrOG technique with string mesh screen and steel frames.
Zoom in to see the cannabis plant branches weaving through the string mesh screen.
Source: Cannafornia pexels

Scrogging Marijuana Indoors

Like in outdoor ScrOG, your indoor setup has to cover the area of the cannabis plants. If you use a room, you can install a ScrOG screen that nearly covers the entirety of the indoor grows.

Also, you don’t have to stick to wooden frames here. A PVC pipe frame might do the trick while you attach and adjust the screen material to the required level.

How to Place Marijuana Branches in a ScrOG

Once they are at the required height (20 – 40cm), you can start to ScrOG weed plants. But scrogging goes a little beyond tucking weaving. Here are key operations you must perform to get the best out of your ScOG method.

Topping

Because you want a more spread-out growth on the ScrOG screen, it is advisable to top your cannabis plants before you start scrogging. Topping simply entails clipping the plant tip at the uppermost node (where the topmost pair of lateral branches intersects with the main stem).

Weaving

Here comes the scrogging proper. It is important to remember that, unlike vines, cannabis branches are not used to crawling. So you must be gentle while tucking them under the screen. If a branch feels forced in a specific direction, don’t keep tucking it there to avoid breakages.

Also, try to spread the branches as widely as possible to encourage a uniform canopy and prevent overshadowing and crowding. This is better achieved when you start scrogging from the corners, working your way patiently to the middle of the ScrOG screen.

Pruning

Pruning is yet another step to ensure the desired canopy of leaves develops from your ScrOG technique. Here, you remove the branches from below the point where you topped, leaving that one pair of branches to form the ScrOG canopy.

Pruning allows the marijuana plant to free up resources for the canopy leaves, accelerating leaf and bud growth for maximum yield.

Maintenance

Throughout the ScrOG process, you must ensure your plants have adequate water and nutrients to minimize stress and its effects. You should wet the plants following every weaving session and when the top 4cm of the soil is entirely dry.

You can check the development three days post-scrogging to revise the weaving and tucking. That way, you can judge better which direction each branch should take and the location of the bud sites, thus guiding the ScrOG technique more effectively.

Conclusion

Scrogging, like other plant culture practices, is a simple yet effective method, requiring little expertise but more in the way of following instructions. With scrogging, you can get increased bud formation and rewards for limited plant inputs.

Getting the best out of your ScrOG process involves a host of factors which have been discussed above. Growing suitable hybrid cannabis strains like Blue Dream that are more stretchy and likely to crawl reduces the risks of breakages during the ScrOG process. You should also choose high-quality cannabis seeds, as they make for healthy plants and heavier yields.

You can get autoflowering seeds for ScrOG-compatible strains on Growers Choice online stores. Our wide range of sativa-dominant seed varieties, including the Pineapple Haze Feminized seeds, are just the right fit to give you larger yields from your scrogging.

FAQs

1. What is Scrogging (Screen of Green)?

Scrogging is the practice of training (attaching) marijuana plants to a screen, allowing them to form a canopy of green leaves (Screen of Green) and access more light for increased bud production.

2. Why is the Cannabis ScrOG Method recommended?

The cannabis ScrOG method is recommended because it allows farmers to grow fewer trained cannabis plants and produce more buds than several untrained plants.

3. What equipment do you need to ScrOG cannabis plants?

You only need a ScrOG frame (PVC or wooden), screen material (preferably string), and scissors for topping and pruning the cannabis plants during scrogging.

4. What are the best cannabis plants to use in a ScrOG setup?

Various experts agree that the stretchy sativa-dominant strains like Green Crack are best suited for scrogging. Bushy indica strains such as Fruity Pebbles are also a good choice for your ScrOG technique.

5. Does ScrOG mean more work in the Grow room?

While scrogging is not tedious, it certainly requires patience and more time in the grow room. You have to execute each step in the ScrOG method carefully to avoid complications.

6. How tall should cannabis plants be before they are scrogged?

Scrogging early is detrimental to the growth of cannabis plants, so you should let them be between 20cm and 40cm, depending on the strain, before you start scrogging.

7. What are topping and pruning, and why are they necessary for scrogging cannabis?

Topping refers to clipping the topmost part of the plant at the first node to encourage lateral growth of the canopy. Pruning entails the removal of the branches below the top point, allowing the remaining pair of branches to get more resources and develop even faster.

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