Pruning can be a great way to maximize the output of your cannabis crop. But it’s important to know when and how to do it.
In the vegetative phase of cannabis growth, pruning can be carried out to control plant height and encourage more efficient flowering. However, heavy pruning during the flowering stage can cause damage and even prevent flowering altogether.
Regardless of the breed you choose to grow, each of your plants will benefit from pruning, which can help to shape their growth and increase the amount of buds they produce. However, different types of pruning have different effects on cannabis yields and you should learn how to prune properly to ensure the best possible results.
One of the most common and effective pruning techniques used by professional cannabis growers is apical pruning. This method involves cutting the main stem of the plant, which will encourage side branches to form and grow stronger. This will allow the plant to produce more resinous flowers and yield a higher amount of buds.
In order to properly perform this type of pruning, it is important to wait until the plant has at least three sets of branches growing from the top of the main stem. You should not make any cuts before this point, as the main branch will not be able to withstand the stress of apical pruning.
The effects of apical pruning are often overlooked by new growers, but this technique can be one of the most effective ways to maximize your harvest potential. When done correctly, apical pruning can produce large, dense bushes full of resinous flowers.
Another benefit of apical pruning is that it can limit the size of your plants, which will help them to adapt better to indoor grows and increase their yield. However, it is important to note that apical pruning can cause your plants to rot and suffocate, so it is best to make a few large cuts rather than a mass of small ones.
While apical pruning is a popular technique amongst many growers, it isn’t always the best option for cannabis strains. The main reason for this is that the apical bud produces horomone auxin, which inhibits lateral growth. When you top your plants, you remove this apical bud, which reduces the production of auxin and increases lateral growth.
In addition, topping can also negatively impact a plant’s cannabinoid composition. When a plant is cut down and its apical bud is removed, it can release terpenes and other cannabinoid chemicals into the air that may influence the plant’s final yield. To prevent this, it is a good idea to use sprays with disinfectant before pruning.
Cannabis yields are dependent on many factors, including temperature, humidity, lighting and plant density. Each strain is genetically predisposed to producing a certain amount of yield in a given environment, and some are much more likely to produce high amounts than others.
A sudden cold snap or heatwave can cause plants to slow down, which may affect their growth and final yield. So, it is a good idea to avoid pruning during times when the plant is growing quickly and is in need of extra nutrients.
If you do need to prune your marijuana plants, be sure to do it right the first time. Pruning too aggressively, especially before the plant has finished a growth flush, will remove minerals from the leaves and stems, which can make it difficult for them to absorb nutrients for storage during winter.
The goal of pruning should be to ensure that the bud sites get more light than they would if they were left unpruned. You can achieve this by removing dead or dying leaves and branches that will not form sizable buds.
When a plant is fully grown, it should have about 10 buds on each branch. During this time, it is a good idea to walk around the plant from every angle and note any issues that need correcting.
For example, if you notice that a branch is rubbing against another one or is growing too close to the center of the plant, it should be cut back. Likewise, if the plant is growing too tall, it should be pruned to reduce its height.
Keeping the plant at an even height is important for airflow and to prevent overcrowding. Using pruning clippers can be very effective in this regard.
A trimmed plant can also be more attractive, particularly if it has a bushier shape. Moreover, trimming the plant can help it grow more efficiently, as each blade is now able to do double the amount of work.
Lollipop pruning is a technique where the lower half of your cannabis plants’ leaves and stems are removed. This technique allows you to shape your plant into a lollipop and concentrate its energy towards the tops of the canopy where it’s most productive.
By removing the lower growth, you force your plant to direct its energy towards producing big, resinous buds on high-quality bud sites. It also increases yields and improves photochemical production, which in turn leads to a higher THC concentration and more potent terpene profiles.
During this process, it’s important to remove only the lower parts of your plants’ foliage and shoots, as any excess material can stunt the development of the plant and create a weaker canopy. This is especially true in indoor environments where light intensity and airflow are limited.
Before you start this process, examine your plants and identify the areas that require more attention. The lower parts of your plants’ leaves and branches receive less light than the tops, so they are often atrophied or have developed into small popcorn buds that lack quality, potency, and flavor.
Once you’ve identified the areas that need more focus, use a pair of scissors or pruning shears to cut them down. You may want to use a hard-tip shear for tougher branch growth and a thin-tip shear for the thinner and weaker ones.
To minimize stress on your cannabis plant, make sure that you thoroughly disinfect the tools you’ll be using, as this can help prevent the spread of pests and diseases. This can also make the procedure easier and more precise, allowing you to cut the right amount of plant material in order to achieve the best results possible.
If you have trouble determining where to cut, it’s helpful to take a step back and inspect the entire plant from a distance. This will allow you to see the areas that need attention and eliminate shady, low-growing areas.
You can also take a closer look at your plants and determine the main stalk and main branches of the plant, which can be useful for identifying any bud sites that develop on these. If you remove too many bud sites from the bottom of your plant, your buds will be short and produce less resin, which is why it’s essential to only remove the areas that need a little extra TLC.
Topping is the process of trimming away the upper growth of a plant to promote bushier, fuller buds and a bigger yield. It is a common practice and can be performed during the vegetative stage after the plant has developed strength to withstand the added stress.
Topping helps redistribute the growth hormones from the main stalk to side branches, forcing them to grow out instead of up. It is also used to increase the number of buds on the main stem and improve bud quality by increasing the surface area for air and light exposure.
In the growing room, it is commonly used to encourage a cannabis plant to develop multiple fat colas and a large harvest. However, it is important to note that topping plants can be very top-heavy and can result in a significant loss of yield.
This can be caused by a number of factors, including the height of the plants and distances between lower areas and their light sources. If the lights are placed too far up on the canopy, they will not reach all parts of the plant.
If the plants are not topped, the buds at the bottom of the plant will not get enough light and will grow larfy and small. They will not produce the amount of THC and CBD that a plant can produce if the lights are placed in a way that maximises light exposure to the bud sites.
A grower should observe their plants after each topping and for about 2-weeks to ensure that the bud sites are recovering from the shock and that they are healthy enough to perform further training. This is because, as with all pruning techniques, the rush of hormones that tops cause can be very stressful for the plant and it needs to have time to heal before further training can be performed.
Despite the potential benefits of topping, it should not be done on a regular basis. A grower should not do this technique until the cannabis plant has grown six or seven nodes above the 5th node. This will provide the plant with sufficient side branches to allow it to properly bush out and create larger bud sites on the main stalk.