QUESTION: I want to top my plants so they bush out instead of turning into little Christmas trees, but I don’t know when to cut them or how many times. Also would it be better to start with clones or plants grown from seeds?
Jay Kitchen and Uncle Tweezy: If you want to top your cannabis plants you should definitely do it with plants started from seed. Marijuana plants that are started from seed seem have more vigor and seem to be stronger. Plus you don’t want to re-top clones. Clones need time to veg and get their vigor.
There are many different methods to topping. You can use the FIM technique (sometimes referred to as the fuck I missed method). With this technique you’re cutting the top in half not removing it completely. And new sets of leaves will come up. You do that and that’ll send the auxins down and increase the pre flower development and then you’ll get multiple tops. For each FIM technique you’ll probably get two, or four, maybe even six tops depending on the plant. But you want to do it when the plant has around four, to six, to 8 nodes—meaning it’s at least eight to 12 inches tall. Once it reaches that height then you can top your plants.
Also you can just cut the whole top off. Once you take the whole top off the two side branches or secondary branches will take over—they’ll protrude like two big horns. They’ll grow out and then you’ll have what you have on the bottom. It’s all about how you want to do it, but if you want to do it it’s best to top your plants that are grown from seed.
If you’re going to do like a Dru West’s West Coast Masters style of topping your plants, he recommends topping when you have four sets of leaves and remove the bottom two sets, leaving the top two intact, which with the right genetics and veg time can give you a pound of weed per plant.
So yeah there’s a lot of different ways to top your cannabis plants. Try one plant one way and try another plant a different way and see what you like—see how it turns itself out. That’s what’s up.
Keep those questions coming! All of our love from The Kitchen!
Jay Kitchen and Uncle Tweezy
To answer all your cultivation questions we’ve teamed-up with experts Jay Kitchen and Uncle Tweezy, authors of The Kitchen presented by Uptowngrowlab—an oversized, hard-covered, coffee table book that’s 50% grow guide, 50% adventure story and 100% awesome.