Looking to Grow Gorilla Glue #4? These 7 Tips Can Help

The Gorilla Glue #4 strain is a balanced (but very potent) hybrid with slightly sativa-leaning effects. Also called Original Glue, it is a cross between Chocolate Diesel, Sour Dubb, and Chem’s Sister. This strain gets its name from its extremely sticky buds. Indeed, if you master the flowering period, resin levels will be so high you’ll be almost sure to jam up even the best pair of trimming scissors.

Quick Notes About Growing Gorilla Glue #4

  • Authentic GG4 seeds (and clones) are hard to come by. Consider yourself lucky if you’ve managed to get your hands on some.
  • This is a hardy, robust strain. Manage your grow well, and you’ll enjoy excellent yields (up to 4 oz per plant) both indoors and outdoors.
  • Since GG4 has such a high THC content (up to 30% in some phenotypes), trichome maturation and perfecting harvest time at the end of the flowering period is key.
  • GG4 is a terpene-rich strain, meaning the curing process is also key so you don’t end up with a harsh, chlorophyll-filled smoke.
  • Gorilla Glue #4 is hugely responsive to end-of-cycle photoperiods. Cutting off all light to the plants at least 24 hours before harvest can increase THC yield by up to 10%.

How to Grow Gorilla Glue #4 Strain: 7 Key Tips

1 – Use An Inert Soil. GG4 has a robust cannabinoid and terpene profile. As such, it is a particularly ‘hungry’ plant, and especially favors soil that is high in nitrogen. Using a high-quality inert organic soil (like Promix HP) will allow you to customize and monitor your soil nutrient levels at each stage of the grow.

2 – Make SURE Your Young Veg Plants Have a Healthy Rootball. This is actually probably the most important tip of all for anyone learning how to grow Gorilla Glue #4. Since GG4 develops such a complex terpenoid and cannabinoid profile during flowering, it is absolutely essential to develop a robust, symmetrical rootball in the early veg stage. This will give the plant the capacity it needs in order to suck up large volumes of nitrogen and other nutrients. If you fail to establish a strong rootball early on, you’ll have a hard time getting this strain to flower – and you’ll get nowhere near the plant’s potential in terms of resin and THC production. In our experience, organic seedling booster from Homegrown Cannabis Co. is by far the best nutrient blend for GG4 as far as helping establish a beautiful root network early on. They unfortunately don’t sell the seedling booster separately, but it does come as a part of their Powerup fertilizer kits (about $40), which you can use through every stage of your grow. (If you use the link above or below click on the “Nutrients” tab on the top of the page, and it will take you to the different Powerup fertilizer kits they offer).

How to Achieve the Legendary THC Yield of Gorilla Glue #4

Gorilla Glue #4 has a richly complex terpenoid and cannabinoid profile, but it is one of the most sensitive strains we’ve ever grown in terms of the need to establish a healthy rootball during early veg. The best success we’ve had is using Homegrown Cannabis Co’s Organic Seedling Booster, which helps establish a rootball that’s robust enough to suck up the volumes of nutrients GG4 needs in order to achieve the strain’s legendary THC production.

3 – Don’t Be Afraid to Watt Up. When it comes to growing Gorilla Glue #4, pretty much everything you do will be in an effort to maximize THC production and yield. It is next to impossible to “out-watt” GG4, so be sure to turn your LEDs on full power, from the early veg stage all the way through your 12-on/12-off flowering period.

4 – Master Your Selective Pruning Approach. Selective pruning is a crucial step for bud production in any cannabis strain, but it is especially important for Gorilla Glue #4. The process involves snipping off select branches of the plant so light energy focuses on future bud sites rather than things like shade (fan) leaves. You’ll of course want to keep the largest outer layer of fan leaves, as this is where the majority of photosynthesis occurs, but pruning away all other leaves on the inside of the plants will hugely increase the amount of light energy that makes it to bud sites. Make sure you don’t start pruning too early though, as Gorilla Glue #4 is prone to stress during the early veg stage. Wait until about 4-6 weeks into the grow to start selectively pruning. 

5 – Use Simple Low-Stress Training (LST) Techniques. In addition to topping, trimming, and selectively pruning, incorporating low-stress training techniques is crucial if you want to enjoy any sort of a decent yield with Gorilla Glue #4. Training promotes the lateral growth of branches (rather than vertical), and results in a broad horizontal canopy. There are a number of ways to employ LST, but the easiest way is to gently bend your main branches and tie them down to stakes in the soil or to the side of your pot. This encourages even maturation of the canopy, and discourages unwanted upward growth. LST (as well as other techniques like SCROG) maximize light exposure to flowering sites, which is key in order to achieve the legendary THC yields of Gorilla Glue #4.

6 – Nail the Pre-Harvest Light’s Out Period. Lots of growers cut off all light for 2 or 3 days prior to harvest. In our experience with Gorilla Glue #4, however, a better technique is to keep the plants on a 12/12 schedule, but when the 12-on period, decrease LED intensity by roughly half. This can be done either by decreasing wattage output in your system, or simply by adjusting the light angle or moving the plants farther away from the lights. This technique basically informs the plants that, hey, it’s almost winter, so here’s your last chance at nutrient uptake and resin production.

7 – Cure to Perfection. As you’re probably well aware, perfecting the post-harvest curing process is an art form in and of itself. After you’ve dried the branches and bucked and trimmed your buds, you’ll need to cure the nugs in glass jars for at least 72 hours. The best curing technique we’ve found is to fill mason jars loosely all the way to the top, then seal the lid. Keep them in the jars for 72 hours, making sure to “burp” the jars twice a day for about 10 minutes (simply open the lid and let air in for about 10 minutes). After the 72-hour period, open the jars; if you smell a rich, gorgeous aroma of dank bud, you’re probably good. If you get any hint of ammonia, your buds were probably a little too wet when you put them in the jars to cure. When this happens, take the nugs out of the jar, let them dry in open air for 2-3 more days, and repeat the curing process again before putting them away for long term storage.

Additional Information on Growing Gorilla Glue #4

Only Use Feminized Seeds (Avoid Herms)

A breeder known as Josey Wales created the Gorilla Glue #4 strain. It has won several awards, including recognition at various Cannabis Cups in 2014. However, there is one slight issue: GG4 was created from a hermaphroditic plant. Male and female flowers grow in such plants.

Allowing male plants to grow in your cannabis garden is a recipe for disaster. Their pollen sacs will spread and ruin your crop. One of the keys to preventing ‘hermie’ plants is to ensure they don’t become stressed.

This means keeping pests and intruders at bay and ensuring your GG4 plants grow in the right conditions. We outline how to do all of this below. Pay special attention to your plants about four weeks into the growth cycle. From this point, you can begin to determine the gender of your plants.

Analyze the area between the nodes of your Gorilla Glue #4 plants. It is from there that pre-flowers appear. In female plants, you should spot bracts that produce stigma. In males, you will see pollen sacs, which are small round balls. If you see plants with sacs, remove them from your garden immediately.

Keep a Close Eye on Temp & Humidity

During the vegetative stage, the ideal room temperature for GG plants is approximately 80 degrees Fahrenheit. By the start of the flowering stage, you can lower it to around 75 degrees. Keep it to this level during the daytime. The temperature should drop by approximately 10 degrees Fahrenheit at night. Do not allow it to fall any further lest you stress the plants.


Regarding humidity, your Gorilla Glue #4 seedlings need a relative humidity (RH) level of approximately 60%. Begin decreasing it gradually throughout the vegetative stage. When your plants are ready to transition to the blooming phase, the RH should be no higher than 45%. You can continue to reduce it, so it is around 30-35% by harvest time.

It is worth investing in a humidity sensor to measure the RH in the air. You may also want to purchase a humidifier or dehumidifier to increase or decrease RH as necessary. If you find that the grow room temperature is too hot, purchase fans to help cool things down. There are special heaters available if you need to increase the temperature.

Gorilla Glue #4 LOVES Nitrogen

First and foremost, GG4 is a thirsty plant, so make sure you water your crop regularly. Check the soil before watering, however, to ensure you don’t overdo it. Regarding nutrients, Gorilla Glue #4 will thrive with moderate feeding. If you use high-quality organic soil, you can get away without adding much else. Provide a boost to the soil by including amendments such as compost tea, bat guano, and worm castings.

Keep the nitrogen level high during the vegetative stage. This process will ensure that your plants produce healthy foliage. It is also a good idea to add potassium while your crop is still vegging. Supplements such as Voodoo Juice may come in handy in the first couple of weeks.

Once your GG4 plants are in the blooming phase, you can reduce nitrogen intake slightly. Increase potassium and phosphorus feeding. Don’t neglect secondary nutrients such as magnesium, sulfur, and calcium. Adding them will help fatten the buds.

Quickly Address Nutrient Deficiencies

When adding nutrients, dilute them and begin with a relatively small amount. Check for nutrient excess or deficiency. In both cases, the symptoms can vary according to the nutrient. For instance, symptoms of nitrogen deficiency can include:

  • Yellowing of mature leaves, particularly near the bottom of the plant
  • Fewer bud sites with the plants flowering early
  • Brown spots or discoloration on leaves

With phosphorus deficiency, signs might include:

  • Purple leaf stems
  • Copper, black, or purple spots on leaves
  • The leaves could turn a dark bronze or metallic color

With potassium deficiency, symptoms include:

  • Burnt leaf tips
  • The leaves begin to curl up
  • Brown spots

You don’t necessarily need to know every sign of nutrient excess or deficiency. However, if you see unusual spots, yellowing leaves, or curled up leaves, you may have a problem. The sooner you spot the issue, the better the chance of fixing it.

Pest-Proof Your Crop

Aside from monitoring possible nutrient issues, you also need to check your Gorilla Glue #4 plants for pests. One of the worst infestations you can have involves aphids. These pale insects usually hide beneath leaves and are often difficult to spot. Even more concerning is how quickly they reproduce. If left untreated, an aphid infestation can destroy your crop in an alarmingly short period.

GG4 is relatively resistant to pests. However, you should still check your plants with a magnifying glass regularly. If you see an infestation, it is tempting to purchase chemical pesticides. Rather than ruining your crop, try one of these natural remedies:

  • A combination of four cups of water and five tablespoons of dish soap. This mixture does a great job of handling spider mites and aphids.
  • Neem oil. This is a natural fungicide and insecticide. It fares well against mites, aphids, and other insects with soft bodies.
  • Beer! Place some beer in a saucer. It attracts and kills slugs and snails.
  • Garlic’s pungent smell keeps insects away.
  • Pyrethrum spray. It is another natural insecticide. On this occasion, it comes from dried chrysanthemum flowers. Mix it with dish soap and water to deal with flying insects.

Put Your Lights into Overdrive

It is tempting to expose your Gorilla Glue #4 plants to intense light. After all, this helps them to grow. However, GG4 is a cannabis strain that doesn’t thrive in excessive light. If you’re cultivating your crop indoors, you’ll need to be selective when choosing a lighting setup.

HIDs, CFLs, and LEDs are the three most common grow light options. Here is a quick overview of each one:

HIDs have been a popular option for over 30 years and remain a good option for autoflowering plants. Most growers prefer to use Metal Halide lights during the vegetative stage and HPS lights for flowering. If you choose HIDs, look for bulbs between 400W and 600W. Also, make sure they are 30-50cm above the canopy of your crop.

CFLs operate in the cooler white spectrum and are an alternative to Metal Halide bulbs. Indeed, a 250W CFL can produce equivalent results to a 400W HID. You can place a CFL as little as 10cm away from your plants. It is best to use CFLs in the vegetative stage as it isn’t powerful enough for flowering.

LED lighting is a relatively new option. The setup cost is considerably higher than with other lights. However, they will save you money in the long run by trimming your energy bill. LEDs with just 350W can perform better than 600W HIDs. LEDs also provide a better light spectrum range than their rivals.

If you intend to grow a lot of cannabis plants, an LED system is worth consideration. For smaller growers, HIDs should prove more than adequate.

Use Screen of Green (SCROG) for Higher Yields

Unless you’re an experienced marijuana grower, it is best to choose low-stress training (LST) techniques. These methods involve gently manipulating the branches of your plants to encourage faster growth.

The SCROG method is one of the most popular LST methods. If you leave your Gorilla Glue #4 plants alone, they will grow tall rather than wide. With SCROG, you push upper branches down while bringing up the lower ones. The process involves placing a screen above the soil (or whatever the growing medium is). Once the branches grow through the screen, you bend and weave them. The process of redirecting branches helps you create a flatter canopy.

quotes-use-screen-of-green-for-higher-yieldsIdeally, you will place your screen approximately 20cm above the bottom of your plants. Once the GG4 plants grow tall enough to be 5cm above the mesh, start tucking each branch beneath the screen. Point them towards the next square on the screen. You can continue to SCROG for the entire vegetative phase.

Trim Routinely to Prioritize Bud Sites

Once your GG4 plants are harvest-ready, it is time to cut them down and start trimming. GG4 presents a challenge due to the stickiness of the buds. Typically, growers prefer wet trimming, which involves removing sugar leaves straight away. However, the flowers remain sticky as they’re holding a lot of water. With GG4, this becomes even more of an issue.

Dry trimming is usually regarded as the most challenging option. However, it is worth considering this method with Gorilla Glue #4 because the buds are less sticky. Regardless of the option you choose, make sure you remove the larger fan leaves as soon as possible after harvest.

You also require at least two pairs of curved trimming scissors. The rounded blades of these devices fit neatly around the base of the buds. Don’t buy anything that doesn’t feel comfortable in your hands.

It doesn’t take long for your scissors to gunk up with Gorilla Glue #4. Cleaning involves rubbing them with a substance such as white vinegar or rubbing alcohol. If you opt for the vinegar, soak a clean cloth in it and rub the blades until they feel less sticky. For those using the alcohol, soak the scissors in the solution for a few minutes.

Final Thoughts on Growing Gorilla Glue #4

Hopefully, the tips above help you in your quest to grow GG4 plants at home. Realistically, your best option is to cultivate your crop indoors. Make sure your plants are not exposed to stress. Otherwise, they could produce pollen sacs, an event that could spell catastrophe for your marijuana garden.

Try to adhere to our guidelines regarding temperature, humidity, lighting, and feeding as closely as possible. Monitor your Gorilla Glue #4 plants regularly, and purchase an extra pair of scissors for trimming!

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