How to top a cannabis plant
No we’re not talking about putting pepperoni on the weed plants like a pizza. The topping we are going to discuss has to do with guiding and shaping the plant. If you are new to the whole growing weed game, there might be a couple of terms starting out that you should be familiar with. One is basically assaulted online with flowering stage tips that range all over the map from trimming cannabis to pruning marijuana. For those of you in the trimming weed business, I’m sure you’re already quite familiar with this. You’re probably also pretty familiar with how a sweatshop is run, if you’re trimming cannabis in the Washington I-502 recreational market.
How to trim cannabis plants
Trimming weed is a bit different than pruning cannabis, as it’s done after the cannabis plants have been harvested. When you learn how to trim marijuana plants you learn that trimming marijuana basically removes the leaves and makes the bud or the calyx, look all pretty. This should be done after the weed has been cured, as the leaves can supposedly help the terpene profile mature during the curing process. When you learn all about how to trim marijuana, you become intimately familiar with how stanky, danky, and sticky icky icky weed can be. We’ll focus more on how to trim cannabis in a future post. On this one I want to focus more on how to prune marijuana.
But if you want to know how to top a weed plant, that’s a whole different part in the weed to wow cycle. Learning when to prune cannabis can also be important, especially if you are running out of canopy space, and is much more similar to topping cannabis than trimming is.
Pruning during flowering?
Some say no, some say yes when it comes to pruning during flowering stages. It can remove the leaves that turn the light into food for the plant, but depending on when you decide to start pruning cannabis, you can allow more light to hit those lower buds, making them get nice and thick. Just remember, everything like this is going to stress the plant. The more stress, the more possibility of bad shit happening in your grow. So be gentle.
Everything you’ll find when looking up pruning cannabis, or searching for how to top a cannabis plant, says that this is how you guide or train the plant to grow in a more efficient and easier form. Whether it’s to use up the most canopy space your particular grow light can support, or to just make the cannabis plant fit in your closet, figuring out how to top a weed plant, or pruning marijuana plants can come in quite handy.
You’ll also find out that there’s a variety of cannabis top cropping and lollipopping methods to choose from, depending on what you are trying to accomplish, and what sorts of nutrients and grow media you use. The most basic summary says you are basically damaging the plant so that it starts making multiple colas rather than just one. Depending on where, when, and how you do this, which I’m sure there are multiple volumes written on by now, you’ll get different results. This will also depend on the strain and grow environment, as most thing phenotypical tend to do.
So you basically snip the tip, in between the nodes of course. In the vegetative stage of the plant, this can be done to reduce the height the plant will eventually reach. But also be careful, as it can take the plant some time to get everything back in order once the topping has occurred. You also don’t want to top your marijuana plants too early, as this can stunt growth and make the whole cycle take longer than expected. This will also be dependent on a whole bunch of other things including phenotype and genotype.
You should also know that the vegetative stage is basically the only time you would ever want to top your weed plants. This is the only stage where the plant is actively trying to grow new colas and growth nodes. If you do this, during the flowering stage for example, you’ll most likely just hurt your plant. Nothing good will come of it. Now you know how to top a weed plant, and your cannabis flowers will thank you for it.
Do you know how to top a weed plant properly? Have any experience cutting cannabis in a way that brings on big beautiful buds? Let us know in the comments section below.
By Mat Lee