Understanding the effects of different pruning techniques on cannabis growth is crucial for anyone looking to increase their harvest. Getting it right will help produce a larger, denser crop with more cannabinoid-rich buds.
Pruning removes unproductive or damaged sections of the plant to promote healthier overall growth. It also encourages greater airflow and light exposure, fostering stronger plants with more robust buds.
During the vegetative phase of growth, pruning is a key part of maximizing yield. However, pruning can be a risky practice in some cases. Depending on the strain and growing conditions, heavy pruning could delay flowering or even inhibit it completely.
One of the most well-known pruning techniques is topping, also known as pinching. Topping involves cutting off the upper portions of your cannabis plant’s main stem (Figure 2). This will cause the cannabis plant to concentrate its energy on bud sites closer to light.
The effect of topping is a rapid increase in the number of budding sites. This happens because topping causes the top of a branch to diffuse floral hormones called auxins.
It also causes the two growing shoots just below the top bud to grow bigger and stronger. This helps stimulate the formation of side branches and eventually the final main colas.
Topping is best performed at least 3-4 weeks into your plant’s vegetative growth. In conjunction with a cloning experiment, this trimming technique is a great way to get your plants into a crop rotation cycle and maximize your harvest potential.
Another popular pruning strategy is fimming, or “f*ck I missed.” This is a slight variation on the classic topping technique. It occurs when cannabis growers accidentally cut their plants further above the next node than they “should” have.
Although fimming is slightly less effective than topping at reducing stretching, it still increases the number of main colas. Fimming can even result in four new top colas rather than the traditional two. This is an excellent technique for micro-growers who are limited in their number of plants.
Topping is a highly popular pruning technique, which can be performed by any grower, either indoors or outdoors. It involves cutting the main stem at the apex of the plant, to stimulate growth and produce more side branches that can ultimately lead to a high harvest.
However, this can be a bit of a hit and miss technique, with results varying significantly between different growers. It’s important to use a sharp, sterile blade when performing any trimming of the plant.
Fimming is another pruning method that can help with bud production. This technique essentially works by removing a large portion of the main stem from a Cannabis plant. This is done in the early stages of vegetative growth, and can help to boost yields without causing any damage or stressing the plants.
The key to this technique is that it removes a significant percentage of the main stem, but still leaves other parts of the plant intact. This allows for the plant to develop new shoots that can increase the number of bud sites in the canopy.
As a result, it can also promote extensive bushy growth at the base of the plant, with secondary branching and additional tops appearing. This will help to increase harvest yields, as more colas can be produced by each cannabis plant.
The only drawback to this growing technique is that the branch structure it produces is weaker than topping, so the new lateral shoots may need to be tied down with a trellis. This can be an issue for some growers, but it’s still an effective high yield training method that can be used in conjunction with other methods to maximize your crop.
Super cropping is a technique that can be applied to any cannabis strain during the vegetative or growing stages. This can boost the yield of a plant, but it should be done correctly to avoid stunting growth or damage to the bud sites.
The method involves bending the branches and stems of your cannabis plants. The goal is to promote horizontal growth and create larger buds. It also increases the strength of the colas (flowers) of your cannabis plants.
This type of pruning is a good option for new growers who want to increase their yield and quality of cannabis. However, it is important to pick the right branches that your marijuana plant will react well to.
To start, choose pliable and healthy branches that will bounce back after the super cropping process. If you can’t avoid damaging the exterior parts of the stems, make sure to tape them to protect them from any infections or disease.
Once the bending process is complete, it’s time to let your marijuana plants recover from the stress. The plant will quickly regenerate from this trauma, but it may take a few days or weeks for the branch to heal completely.
During this recovery phase, the plant will release repair-growth hormones that will help form hard wooden knuckles around the original bend. Over time, these knuckles will become stronger and capable of supporting more weight than the stem alone, leading to higher yields.
If you’re growing outdoors or in a greenhouse, super cropping is an excellent way to improve the structure and robustness of your marijuana plant. It will also increase your yield without adding more plants.
Low Stress Training
The effects of different pruning techniques on cannabis growth can be quite varied and can significantly impact the final yield. Understanding the effects of these techniques can help you decide which one is best for your garden.
One of the most common methods for directing the growth of your plants is Low Stress Training (LST). This technique involves gently bending and tying down branches and stems to make better use of available space, light, and air flow.
LST is an efficient training technique that can increase the crop output of both indoor and outdoor plants. It also promotes a healthier, more potent final yield by maximizing bud production and keeping the canopy structure flat.
This technique can be used on almost all cannabis strains, including autoflowers and feminized seeds. It’s ideal for growers who want to maximize their crop potential without compromising their plant’s health or the environment.
Performing LST at the start of a plant’s life cycle is essential; this is when the stems and shoots are still most pliable. You should only apply this method on plants that are in the growth stage, with at least three nodes and the first side branches growing from them.
Another important aspect to consider is the level of stress a plant will experience. Depending on the strain and the conditions it’s grown under, LST can be extremely effective for increasing yields.
In general, low stress training is an easy technique to implement and a great way to boost your harvests. This is because it aims to keep stress levels down for your plants so that they don’t over-stress themselves and become susceptible to disease. To avoid this, it’s a good idea to pick genetically stable strains that respond well to these training techniques.
Cannabis growers have a strong desire to produce high yields every time they go to harvest their crop. This is why many growers have turned to a variety of pruning techniques.
The most common of these is monster cropping, which involves taking clones from female cannabis plants as they enter the flowering phase. These clones can then be rooted and re-vegged to make them larger. This method of cloning can add at least three weeks to a plant’s growth, depending on how long it takes for the cuttings to root and re-veg.
To get the best results out of this technique, growers should select plants that have a high level of health and resistance to disease. They should also be able to withstand a short growing season outdoors.
If you live in a colder climate, where the outdoor growing season is shorter, monster cropping can help you get an early harvest before spring arrives. You’ll need to grow the cuttings indoors first, harden them off and then move them outside once it’s safe to do so.
In the meantime, you can use a light schedule that will encourage your monster cropped cuttings to grow vegetatively rather than directly into bloom. Then, when the weather warms up in summer, these cuttings will naturally bloom, giving you superior yields.
While monster cropping isn’t the most popular pruning method, it’s a proven success among some growers. It’s best suited for experienced growers who want to maximize their yield potential while maintaining the highest quality of crop. It’s also useful when combined with other training techniques like topping, fimming, lollipopping, or LST.