There are many different pruning techniques that cannabis cultivators use, each of which has its own effects on yields.
It’s important to be careful when pruning your plants. Excessive pruning can weaken a plant and reduce its ability to grow, resulting in lower yields.
Scrogging is a cannabis training method which helps the plant to grow sideways and not upwards. It is a great way to maximise resin production from cannabis plants as well as increase harvest size and bud strength.
The scrogging method requires a mesh screen, netting or rope and it can be used both indoors and outdoors. It is a very efficient training technique and can be very rewarding. However it can be a bit of work to set up the screen and keep all of the branches/stems tucked under it as they grow, but once you get the hang of it it is not too difficult.
Scrogging is an excellent method for growing small numbers of cannabis plants in big pots. Depending on the strain, you can typically fit about four plants per m2 in a large pot.
One of the main benefits of scrogging is that it can increase cannabis yields by up to 20% compared with untrained plants. It also means that you can fit more plants into a smaller space without sacrificing root room or light exposure.
Some strains are better suited to the scrogging technique than others. Green Gelato is a good example of a strain which can be grown successfully using the ScrOG technique, as it has a slight indica dominant phenotype which makes it easy to achieve tight flower clusters at each node.
As well as allowing more flowers to be exposed, scrogging also reduces the chance of mould or bud rot. Many scroggers remove the lowest branches which can no longer reach the screen, as this allows air to circulate under the canopy better and also increases light penetration.
Another pruning technique which is often used by scroggers is to remove leaves which are blocking light from reaching the bud points on the lower stems/branches. Sativa strains are particularly suited to the technique as their thin fingered leaves make them easier to penetrate, ensuring that light reaches all the bud sites and buds.
It is important to remember that scrogging can stress out some cannabis plants, so be patient and water them within 24 hours after scrogging. It can take a couple of days to see the effects, but they will eventually bounce back and produce a high quality crop.
Lollipopping is a pruning technique that removes lower branches, leaves and buds that don’t receive enough light. Named after its unique lollipop-like shape, lollipopping helps plants focus their energy on developing buds higher up on their canopy where they get the most exposure to sunlight.
Cannabis plants naturally grow bushy, with many limbs and branches emerging from the stem all the way down to the bottom of the plant. But this structure can result in suboptimal yields as the lower branches and leaves don’t get as much light as those higher up on the canopy.
To improve the quality of the bud sites that are exposed to the light, many growers apply lollipopping. Removing the foliage from the bottom of the plant promotes better airflow, reduces overall humidity and minimizes fungal disease vectors that can cause mould in indoor growing environments.
It also helps concentrate the plant’s energy on fewer places, improving the chances of a high-quality harvest. Using this technique in conjunction with other low-stress training methods, like SCROG or the sea of green (SOG) method, allows your cannabis plant to direct its energy towards producing more buds and bigger yields.
However, you shouldn’t lollipop your entire crop. Removing too much of the plants’ foliage can stunt growth and result in shortened colas. In addition, removing too many of the plants’ lower bud sites may damage future buds if you’re not careful.
The best time to lollipop your plant is during the vegetative phase of its life cycle, right before it flips over to flowering. This gives the plants plenty of time to recover from the stress of the pruning process, and will prevent any shortened colas that you may have missed.
If you’re new to the technique, start slow and cautious with a few plants at first, then try different levels of lollipopping on other plants in your garden to find the sweet spot. This will help you learn which pruning methods are best suited to which phenotypes in your cannabis crop.
This pruning method also works well with ScrOG and the SOG method because it helps to direct energy evenly toward a canopy that’s more evenly shaped than a SOG setup. This allows more light to penetrate all of the areas within the canopy where it’s needed, leading to healthier and more robust plants that produce larger, more intense buds.
In order to maximise the quality and size of cannabis yields, growers often employ various pruning methods that alter a plant’s growth. Some of these techniques are simple and straightforward, while others can be highly advanced and require a significant amount of time and effort.
One method that can have a big impact on the quality and size of your final yields is deleafing. This process involves strategically removing excess foliage to improve light penetration and airflow throughout your plants.
This can help to boost bud development and increase overall plant strength. The method also reduces the risk of diseases such as powdery mildew, which can be a serious problem for many cannabis growers.
The effects of defoliation can vary depending on how much foliage is removed, as well as the nutrient and water content of your plants. A few defoliations per week during veg and flower can have a positive effect on your plant’s growth and overall production.
There are some downsides to defoliation, too, such as stressing the plant and causing it to stunt its growth. As such, we recommend only defoliating when you’re confident you’ll see a difference in the final outcome of your crop.
Aside from boosting airflow and light penetration, defoliating can also help to reduce the risk of disease, such as powdery mildew. This can be done by removing excess fan leaves, which can hinder airflow and lock moisture inside the plant’s inner regions, thereby creating an ideal breeding ground for fungal infections.
However, defoliating too frequently can result in stunted bud growth and reduced yields. This is why it’s important to follow a strict defoliation schedule, which involves only removing leaves that have died or are not producing any buds.
Another potential risk with defoliation is that the process can cause a plant to bud too late in the flowering cycle. This is because a plant will be attempting to push larger buds to the top of its canopy, but will not have the space to do so.
In order to avoid these problems, be sure to remove excess fan leaves that are pointing toward the bottom of your plants during your next defoliation session. This will ensure that your plants can absorb as much light as possible during the blooming stage, resulting in a better, more potent harvest.
Topping is a pruning technique that can be used to encourage healthy cannabis growth. By removing excess or damaged growth, pruning can encourage a plant to focus its energy on developing stronger leaves, stems, and buds.
The most common method of topping is by snipping off the main growing tip of a cannabis plant. This can increase a plant’s overall size and shape, and can also help to create a larger harvest.
When a cannabis plant is topped, it begins to grow a variety of side branches and new shoots from the bottom. These shoots are called secondary ramifications and can produce more buds than the original main stem.
These lateral branches, or side shoots, are triggered to grow by the stress that topping creates. Topping can be a great way to boost your yields, but it is important to be careful not to overdo it.
A common mistake made by novice growers when attempting to top their plants is stripping away too many fan leaves from the plant. This is a bad idea as it can result in unhealthy plants that don’t have enough fan leaves to support photosynthesis.
Another common mistake is cutting too early. This is a big mistake because it can stunt the development of your buds, and in some cases, can cause hermies to form on the plant.
It is best to wait until the plant has more than enough side branches to form new buds before topping it. This gives the plant time to recover from the stress and will allow it to develop its buds better.
If you’re thinking about trying out topping, be sure to read up on the different methods and the effects they have on your harvest. Once you know what works for you, you’ll be able to improve your results.
Another pruning technique that is often used in conjunction with topping is Low Stress Training (LST). This is a method of gently bending the plant’s main branch and securing it so that it can grow more evenly. This can result in a wider canopy and multiple bud sites instead of a single central cola, which is ideal for outdoor growers who want a bushy, compact plant that takes up less space.