Pruning cannabis plants can be a powerful tool for increasing yields. It can also increase efficiency, airflow and reduce energy costs.
During the vegetative stage, pruning is carried out in order to remove parts of the plant that will not receive enough light. This will encourage healthy growth and produce denser buds.
There are many different types of pruning in cannabis cultivation, and each has its own effects on yield. There is a certain balance between the benefits and the negatives of each technique, so it is important to understand when and how to prune your plants for maximum effect.
Apical pruning is a popular pruning technique amongst growers looking to encourage branching in their plants. This is a good idea because it forces the plant to develop secondary branches instead of relying on just one primary shoot for nourishment and flower production.
The main advantage of this type of pruning is that it can increase the number of new side branches that grow in a cannabis plant, without sacrificing the upper shoots. However, the downside of this technique is that it can temporarily slow down the growth process, and this can lead to a delay in flowering.
Another advantage of this pruning is that it allows for a greater proportion of the plant to be exposed to light. This can help improve the overall quality of the plant, resulting in larger buds and more resin produced at harvest time.
Another common type of pruning is defoliation, which consists of removing leaves from the plant to concentrate flower and bud production. This is also useful for reducing the risk of pests and diseases.
In addition to allowing for a higher percentage of the plant to be exposed to sunlight, defoliation can also help improve plant architecture by directing growth toward specific parts of the plant, such as flowering buds and lateral growth. This is important since cannabis plants need to receive as much light as possible in order to flower and produce high-quality buds.
There are a number of defoliation techniques that growers can use to achieve this. Some of them are more invasive than others, so it is important to choose the right technique for your particular needs. Some of these techniques include Topping, Lollipopping, Main-lining and Schwazzing. These methods all require the use of a pair of pruning shears and are best carried out during the vegetative phase, before flowers begin to form.
Low Branches Pruning
Pruning a plant can seem counterintuitive, but it is beneficial to a grower in the long run. It can improve canopy coverage, bud density, and flowering time.
Several cannabis pruning techniques are used by outdoor and indoor growers to increase yield. These include topping, fimming, and lollipop pruning.
Topping refers to the process of pruning a growing point directly above a node to encourage new growth at the top of the plant, thus increasing yield. It also allows for more branching and helps maintain the shape of the plant.
It is important to prune at the right time and in the right way. Do not remove too much at once or your plant may experience a significant shock and be unable to recover.
For example, it is often advised to avoid pruning in the vegetative stage because this can slow down the process of flowering and can cause a plant to develop a lower bud density than it should. This is especially true with outdoor growers and those cultivating autoflowering strains because of the short window of time they have to produce plants before their photoperiod expires.
The effects of low branches on cannabis yields can vary depending on the type of pruning technique and the genetics. For example, Sativa varieties and hybrids tend to be more responsive to crop-maximizing techniques such as topping and fimming.
However, pure Indica varieties have a more apical-dominant plant structure and can be more difficult to maximize yield by pruning.
Topping can increase yield by doubling the number of main colas that grow on the main stem. It is commonly applied by HST (high stress training) growers to increase yield, and is a highly recommended technique for micro-growers with 1-2 plants.
In order to properly perform this pruning method, it is important to make sure that the cuttings are not causing any damage to the branch collar, which is a swollen area of bark that wraps around the base of a stem or branch. This can be damaged if cuts are made flush to the bark.
The effects of different types of pruning on cannabis yields vary, depending on how the crop is grown. While many growers prefer to let their plants grow unassisted, some will opt for some form of trimming and pruning to improve plant growth and yield.
Using pruning techniques like apical pruning, low branches pruning and main-lining can help cannabis growers maximize their yields. These methods help the cannabis plant concentrate energy on the buds that are most likely to produce a good harvest.
Another popular technique is called lollipopping, which is used to help cannabis direct energy to the best buds. This technique is often used during the flowering phase of a cannabis crop to ensure that the flowers develop to their full potential and get the most out of their light exposure.
Lollipop pruning works by removing branches and buds that don’t receive enough light. This helps plants focus their energy on developing buds at the top of the canopy, which are able to get more light than those that grow down low.
This method is a great way to boost yields, especially for non-autoflower strains that are prone to lower growth that doesn’t reach its maximum potential. It can also be effective on autoflowers, as long as it’s done when the plants are in their vegetative stage and before they flip to 12/12 flowering.
Aside from directing more light towards the buds that can make the most of it, lollipopping is a great way to prevent rot and mildew in the under-canopy area. The removal of a lot of branches from the bottom of the plant can also promote airflow and aeration in this area, which are both important for healthy growth.
As a result, the buds that grow down below will be healthier and larger. This will mean that your cannabis plant produces a higher yield of quality buds.
In addition to lollipopping, other pruning methods that can improve the health of your cannabis crop are topping and fimming. Topping removes a growing point by pruning directly above it, and fimming cuts through the small leaves at a growing point to increase the yield.
The cannabis cultivation industry is always innovating, and new techniques are constantly being developed to help growers increase yields. One technique that has quickly risen to popularity is main-lining, which uses a combination of topping and training to achieve higher yields in smaller spaces.
The effect of this pruning technique is that it focuses the plant’s full energy supply on just a few branches, resulting in larger and denser buds. This method is most effective when using seedlings because they are genetically disposed to grow a healthy root mass and have the strength to cope with the training process.
To start the main-lining process, top your chosen seedling until it reaches the 5-6 node mark, removing any growth tips below this point. This should result in a central stem with two fan leaves branching from the very top (Y-shaped).
Once you have established your first Y-shaped manifold, you will need to repeat this process several times throughout the vegetative stage. This will create a strong base for the plant to grow on, and give your cannabis the best chance of thriving in the long term.
This pruning technique is also incredibly easy to do and doesn’t require much experience. All you need to do is to follow a few simple steps and you’ll be able to achieve excellent results.
In order to ensure that your manifold is as efficient as possible, you’ll need to choose nodes that are symmetrical on both sides of the plant. This will make it easier to keep the nodes of each mainline consistent, which is crucial for maintaining uniformity.
As your cannabis plants will grow, they’ll stretch and swell, so you’ll need to keep an eye on them as they go along and adjust the ties accordingly. It’s especially important to check your plants at least twice a week during the vegetative stage so that you can make any necessary adjustments.
Topping and training plants is a great way to boost their overall yields, but it’s essential to choose the right time. If you try to start this process too early, your cannabis plants might not survive. However, if you wait until they’re around the 5-6 node mark, they’ll be more likely to recover.