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Repair broken or bent cannabis stem? The 4 best ways!

Repair Broken Or Bent Cannabis Stem?

Don't despair fellow cannabis growers!

Even if your plant's stem is bent or broken, it is not necessarily game over.

In this post, we will guide you to become a semi-professional CannaMedic, and explain how you can heal your marijuana plants!

We will teach you how to repair bent stems and branches, and fix broken stems! The most common problems.

taking care of cannabis plants

How to fix broken stem cannabis plants

Well, the best way is not to fix it, but to prevent it from breaking. Your cannabis plant produces a high yield best in a low-stress environment and it's up to you to create that.

You are most likely here because of an emergency, so we will answer that first and then go into preemptive matters.

We all have had that great advise from Captain Hindsight, and know how annoying that is.

Are the cannabis stems bent? Is there a tear or slice in the stem? Did the branch splinter off completely, we hope not!

We ask these questions because the first thing you need to do is to make an assessment of the damage and decide which methods will work best for the repair.

fix broken stems

Then it is time to gather some materials that will be going to help you.

Your best friends are going to be duct tape or scotch tape (depending on what you have lying around) and something which provides support. A small piece of wood would work just fine, something like popsicle sticks, or a skewer.

These are all common products in most households, so you don't have to go out and buy it all.

The First Problem – A Bent or Folded Stem

The solution: repair with tape and wood

tape broken stems

A bent stem can be problematic and has to be repaired to prevent further damage and not slow the development of new branches.

We would advise stepping in fast as the plant will initiate to heal itself too, but it's better to assist as the energy spent on healing is energy not spent on growing and will result in a lower yield.

The bent stem can also slow down growth, for other reasons like;

  • Not getting enough water through the stems
  • Scarring on the plant
  • Being bent low and not receiving enough light

So get your gear together and become a CannaMedic, we do advise you to handle it with care.

cure broken stems

A bent stem needs to be coaxed back into its “normal” shape. 

Do this gently.

Once you have it back into shape, put a support structure in place along the stem to make a solid repair. Now use the tape to wrap around and secure it.

broken stem techniques

Make sure that the tape is wound tightly enough to hold it in place but not so tight that it strangles the cannabis plant.

Check on it at least twice a day to make sure that the wrap is holding and that the tape has not slipped – check more often if you are worried about the patient.

The Second Problem; Partially Broken Stems.

The solution: repair with tape and wood

how to fix broken stems

A partially broken stem (or branch) is a more serious matter for your cannabis plant, as this is an open wound. You need to act quickly. 

Luckily, the technique for repairing these is almost the same as with bent stems. Creating extra support for the broken area.

You may want to add a splint in the soil which can reinforce the stem so that there is less tension on the wound.

There is a reason for the snap in the first place. Have all of your equipment ready to go, once you start you will want to do this quickly.

First, support the broken stem and then place support as close as you can to the breaking point. You can use zip ties or basic garden metal strips to clamp them tightly.

Now you can repair the branch with tape and the support, creating a cast, not too loose but not too tight either.

If it is hard to place the casting, you can also try hanging the branch by a piece of rope. You need to elevate the pull so that the wound is closed, wrapped tight, and can rest.

cannabis patient

The Third Problem; A Full Break

The solution: repair with tape and wood

The heartbreaking full break. What can be done? Is your plant going to die? Well, we are going to try to make sure that doesn’t happen.

tape broken cannabis stems

A full break can be repaired.

You just need to build upon the techniques you used earlier with a little more work. The difference here is that you need to make sure that the two separate sides of the crack are fully pressed together.

Assure stable support for the break,

Tape it together firmly, but with caution!

You do not do more damage to the plant than is already done. If the break happens low on the plant and if it is a small stem, it might be better to let it go and accept your losses with that.

Repairing a detached stem is not always guaranteed to work, but if it does you may just save your cannabis.

Another Method than duct tape, is there really? 

broken stem tool kit

Yes, there is a method to repair your broken and bent cannabis stems without tape, or is it not.

You can use glue or another adhesive to fix a break in your stems. However, we are not very fond of this method.

It is quick and can be effective, but the glue can introduce chemicals to your grow. And, are the ingredients natural?

Remember what your plant absorbs, becomes part of the end product.

Your buds will contain some amount of the chemicals in the adhesive. When you smoke it (or however you ingest your weed), you will take those chemicals into your body.

This is why we do not recommend this.

As with the other methods, you have to put the two pieces of the break together.

You will have to support and clam it ideally. And what would be a good product to help you clam... I can think of one; tape!

Put the glue carefully around the outside of the stem or branch, where the break is.

Do not get it between the two sides of the joint. Otherwise, you can block the xylem and phloem. These transport the plant's nutrients and water just like our arteries transport our blood.

It Worked! Now, What Do I Do?

cannabis doctor

Congrats, mission accomplished!

It feels really good to know that you helped your cannabis plant back to health, doesn’t it?

Now you just need to take the tape supports off the plant as these can become restrictive for further growth.

Make sure the plant is fully healed, around 2 to 4 weeks before you do this. Proceed with caution, you do not want to cause new problems and have to fix your plant again. 

What Makes A Branch Break, and how to protect against it?

cut plant down

There are endless ways in which a plant can get a broken or bent stem. It's obvious that your young plants are still very fragile, the branches are new and thin. So be extra careful in that stage.

A bend or break can also happen when you just brush against it. When they mature they grow stronger but you should always handle them with care.

Outdoor growers know this all too well as they have to deal with the forces of nature, animals, and maybe even some playful kids who are not very aware of their surroundings.

goal

A ball equals broken stems.

It's easy to think of something that can act as a barrier and protect your cannabis plant. Creating a support structure will give them extra stability and keep them up, this will show when the flowering plants start to buckle and the branches are pointing downwards instead of upwards to the beloved sun.

Common problems for Indoor growers are the space, and or accessibility of the grow area. This can cause repetitive friction and can result in a bent stem or broken branch. It's worth buying a growing net, these have a nice grid you can use to direct the weed plant to another side and out of your way.

Make it so that you can set it at different levels so you can adjust it if needed.

The net can also help to develop your growing techniques as you can use the net to guide the plant in a certain direction or to support branches that are growing harder creating more tops and more yield!

A Note On The Techniques

Some cannabis growers advise not to use supports for fixing broken stems and full breaks. They only recommend it for bent or folded stems. This is something you can decide for yourself.

The size of your plants and the break will give you the best indication of how to repair broken stems.

I have found that providing assistance, and using a splint helps the plant and mitigates the stress.

Stress is the main contributor to a lower final yield. And honestly, in my humble opinion, the world is held together with duct tape and tie wraps anyways ;)

rope around the world

We hope that you won't need to fix broken parts or repair bent stems. But in case you need to do that, that blog has provided you with all the information you need to do so.

We will close with what we stated earlier, "prevention is better than to cure" a phrase from the Dutch Philosophermus Erasmus.

By taking proper care of your marijuana plants, your plant will be at ease and won't need to take a sick day to repair broken stems so it can produce copious amounts of weed freely!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can A Cannabis Plant Recover From A Broken Stem?

Yes, your cannabis plants can fix themselves to a certain degree. The problem might be that due to the direction of the break it will heal with a branch pointed down on your soil, because of gravity.

Can You Re-Attach A Snapped Main Stem?

It is possible to reattach the main stem if it breaks.

This technique is grafting the plant back onto the bottom of its stem. It is a more advanced technique and will not always work. But, if you are willing to try, it is the same technique as a full break.

How Long Does It Take For A Broken Stem To Heal?

Each plant is different, a plant will usually recover somewhere between two to four weeks. Of course, depending on what sort of damage it is. And you will need to make sure that your pant is well cared for and that you are checking in often. 

Can you save a seedling?

You can save a seedling if you act very quickly. The method for saving a seedling is the same as the method for a full break. You will need the same equipment and the same process.

The only difference is that you will need to be even more careful and gentle when handling the seedling. An older plant can handle stress and damage better than a seedling. Because of this, you want to minimize the shock and ensure low stress.

Can You Grow Roots From A Cannabis Stem?

Yes, you can use a root gel or hormones. In that case, follow the directions on the specific product you are using. If you want to try to grow roots without using gels or hormones, use the following procedure:

  • Prepare an opaque container with unchlorinated water.
  • Immediately place your cutting in the water. Trim its lower leaves so they are not sitting in water.
  • Place your cutting on a windowsill, not in direct sunlight.
  • For best results keep the temperature at 23-25°C (73.4 – 77°F). Roots should form in about 8-10 days. They should be ready for transplant in about 2 to 3 weeks. The roots should then be at least 3-5 cm (1.18 – 1.96 inches) long.
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