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Hollow Stems

I have a question about hollow stems. After harvesting is having a hollow tube running through your stem a good thing or bad?  I’ve seen people say It is a calcium deficiency, but there is no signs throughout the cycle, any thoughts?


10 responses to “Hollow Stems”

  1. jmystro Avatar

    Hollow stems are mainly a result of genetics and a lack of air movement. Plants with hollow stems tend to be more vigorous because it takes them less energy to grow tall. They tend to have more elongated spacing between nodes and thinner cell walls because of it. It’s a fairly common trait because breeders tend to choose those super vigorous plants. How can you as a grower thicken the hollow stems up? Several things contribute to stem thickness. I can not stress air movement enough. I put my plants through severe resistance training to bulk their stems up. When I grow a plant that I’m going to flower, the first thing I’m thinking of is building a strong base to hold weight. Building a strong base to hold big buds is crucial when using certain mainline/pruning/training techniques. You do not want a strong wind constantly blowing on your plants without a break but you do want strong winds directly hitting them from an oscillating fan. After transplanting clones I give them about 3-4 days without any wind as they acclimate to the lower humidity air because I use a clone dome. After that they are catching a beat down until about half way through flowering. They should be strong by now and no need to knock those forming buds around stinkin’ up the room. Good air movement is still crucial at this point but I’m not blowing air directly on them anymore. I keep fans for circulating air around the room and I keep a dedicated fan blowing air in the space above the canopy to just below the light with box fans.

    Many have claimed they think certain mineral deficiencies are the cause of hollow stems. This is kinda true but not completely. Not all plants want the same mineral ratios and the faster growing varieties tend to want more food. How you feed your plant and the minerals available will contribute to stem thickness. Your plant can have plenty of food but not enough air movement and the stems will be more hollow. Thick stems require proper food and air movement to build cellulose. Calcium is certainly one element that plays a part in stem growth. Boron is another element blamed for hollow stems because of it’s link to calcium. Boron is super important and plays a huge role. Boron is a trace element that helps make the macro elements carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium and magnesium available to your plants. When a grower bends their stems or crushes the whole thing like me, it’s to get more energy directed to that part of the plant causing the cell walls to thicken. Nothing is going on in that empty void inside the stem. Water and minerals are moved up the plant from the roots through cellular osmosis. Basically molecules are transferred from cell to cell. I hope this little info helps.

    1. GirlGrowsDank Avatar

      Jmystro…you are such a wealth of awesome information! Thank you for your contributions which are so concise and easy to follow.
      I too have an outdoor plant with hollow stems. I’m at the mercy of mother nature so adding a fan is a no go. I do use recharge and Armour Si but I’m wondering if it would be beneficial to use soluable kelp as a folier? Not sure if using this would be overkill. 🤔

      1. Birminghamtaro Avatar

        Damn how did I miss this one? That explains what happened to the plant I lolipopped. I thought I’d try something curing mid veg called pulping where you pinch a section between the nodes to loosen it up but not cause it to lose structural integrity.

        It shot straight up after that!
        You can see the light bruising left behind. mind the burns >.>

        1. Birminghamtaro Avatar

          during mid veg not curing ugh.

      2. jmystro Avatar

        I’d be careful foliar feeding hormones as kelp is full of em. Not much you can do outdoor but hope for strong winds.

  2. Solfarming Avatar

    That helps a lot!!!!!
    I’ve asked this question to a few shows and this one by far has been the most thorough answer.
    Thanks for sharing

    1. jmystro Avatar

      You’re welcome Solfarming. Glad to help. 😉

  3. MichiganMatt Avatar

    Mystro- Where do we as growers source our boron from? For instance is it typically found in certain bottles like silica or calmag are, or are they accompanied in say the base nutrients we bottled guys use?

  4. jmystro Avatar

    Hey Matt. Boron is certainly in every bottled/powder nutrient line’s base with the other essential trace elements. One of the best natural sources of boron can be found in kelp which is found in many supplements like Recharge for one. 😉

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