The Gorilla Glue #4 strain is a balanced (but 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.
You’re in the right place if you want to learn how to grow this high-THC strain. This guide provides easy-to-follow tips to help you get the most out of your GG4 crop.
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.
How to Grow Gorilla Glue #4 Strain: Essential Tips
If you’ve never cultivated marijuana before, the process may seem a little overwhelming. Initially, you’ll learn that certain generic tips work for most strains. As you become more experienced, you’ll discover that each strain has its traits. With this knowledge, you can develop a plan of attack to get the best out of your weed. The following combines general marijuana tips and helpful information specific to GG4.
Before you begin, please note that authentic GG4 seeds (and clones) are hard to come by. Consider yourself lucky if you’ve managed to get your hands on some.
Make SURE Your Young Veg Plants Have a Healthy Root Ball
This is probably the most important tip for anyone learning to grow Gorilla Glue #4. Since GG4 develops such a complex terpenoid and cannabinoid profile during flowering, developing a robust, symmetrical root ball in the early veg stage is essential.
This will allow the plant to suck up large volumes of nitrogen and other nutrients. If you fail to establish a strong root ball early on, you’ll have difficulty getting this strain to flower – and you’ll get nowhere near the plant’s potential in resin and THC production.
Only Use Feminized Seeds (Avoid Herms)
A breeder known as Josey Wales created the Gorilla Glue #4 strain. It 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 fertilize 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 whether your cannabis plants are male or female.
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. If you accidentally do so, finding different ways to prevent plant stress is crucial.
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 control humidity in your grow room. You may also want to purchase a humidifier or dehumidifier to increase or decrease RH. If you find the grow room temperature too hot, purchase fans to help cool things down. There are special heaters available if you need to increase the temperature.
Know Thy Nutrients
GG4 is a thirsty plant, so ensure you water your crop regularly. However, check the soil before watering to ensure you don’t overdo it. Regarding nutrients, Gorilla Glue #4 will thrive with moderate feeding. You can get away without adding much else if you use high-quality organic soil. 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. Adding potassium while your crop is still vegging is also a good idea. Certain store-bought supplements may be useful 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.
Get Your Lighting Right
Many growers cut off all light for 2 or 3 days before harvest. In our experience with Gorilla Glue #4, however, a better technique is to keep the plants on a 12/12 schedule, but during the 12-on period, decrease the LED intensity by roughly half. You can do this by decreasing your system’s wattage output, adjusting the light angle, or moving the plants farther away from the lights. This technique informs the plants that it’s almost winter, so it is their last chance at nutrient uptake and resin production.
Exposing your Gorilla Glue #4 plants to intense light is tempting. After all, this helps them to grow. However, GG4 is a cannabis strain that doesn’t thrive in excessive light. When cultivating your crop indoors, you must 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:
This type of lighting has been a popular option for over 30 years and remains 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 your crop’s canopy.
These grow lights 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.
These grow lights are relatively new to the scene. 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 many cannabis plants, an LED system is worth consideration. For casual growers, HIDs should prove more than adequate.
Learn to Train & Enjoy the Gains
Incorporating low-stress training (LST) techniques is crucial to enjoying any decent yield with Gorilla Glue #4. Training promotes the lateral growth of branches (rather than vertical) and results in a broad horizontal canopy. If you leave your Gorilla Glue #4 plants alone, they will grow tall rather than wide.
There are several 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 the side of your pot. This encourages even maturation of the canopy and discourages unwanted upward growth. LST and other techniques like Screen of Green (SCROG) maximize light exposure to flowering sites, which is key to achieving the legendary THC yields of Gorilla Glue #4.
SCROG is one of the most popular LST methods. With SCROG, you push the upper branches down while bringing up the lower ones. The process involves placing a screen above the soil (or the growing medium). Once the branches grow through the screen, you bend and weave them. The process of redirecting branches helps you create a flatter canopy.
Ideally, 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 toward the next square on the screen. You can continue to SCROG for the entire vegetative phase.
Take Pests Out of the Equation Quickly
Aside from monitoring possible nutrient issues, you must also learn how to spot and get rid of insects on weed plants. 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.
- Use neem oil; it 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.
Trimming & Pruning Are Essential for Better Buds
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 want to keep the largest outer layer of fan leaves, as this is where most photosynthesis occurs. However, pruning away all other leaves inside 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, 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.
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 immediately. However, the flowers remain sticky as they hold a lot of water. With GG4, this becomes even more of an issue.
Dry trimming is usually regarded as the most challenging option. Yet, it is worth considering this method with Gorilla Glue #4 because the buds are less sticky. Regardless of your choice, 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 substances like 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.
Marijuana Aficionados Should Cure Their GG4
As you’re probably well aware, perfecting the post-harvest drying and 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 to the top, then seal the lid. Keep the buds in the jars for 72 hours, making sure to “burp” the jars twice a day for about 10 minutes (open the lid and let air in for about 10 minutes). After 72 hours, 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 too wet when you put them in the jars to cure. When this happens, remove the nugs from the jar, let them dry in the open air for 2-3 more days, and repeat the curing process before putting them away for long-term storage.
Legal GG4 Growing is Only an MMJ Card Away
Only residents of a few select states where recreational marijuana is legal are permitted to grow plants at home. However, if you live in a state with a medical marijuana program, you might be in luck! In certain locations, the only way to cultivate cannabis legally is by becoming an MMJ cardholder. Fortunately, the application process is easy in many places and we can help you get started right now. In some states, you can become an MMJ patient on the same day you apply!
Growing Gorilla Glue #4: Follow These Tips & Enjoy Tasty, Potent Buds!
Hopefully, the tips above will 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, which could spell catastrophe for your marijuana garden.
Try to adhere to our temperature, humidity, lighting, and feeding guidelines as closely as possible. Monitor your Gorilla Glue #4 plants regularly, and purchase extra scissors for trimming!