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Lollipopping Cannabis


Cannabis plants only have so much energy. As a gardener, you’ll need to assist them in directing energy to the places generating the greatest bud. Lollipopping, it turns out, constitutes one of the finest methods to achieve precisely that. It’s a top-bud enhancement trimming strategy that works nicely alongside strategies like ScrOG and mainlining.

What is lollipopping: A sneak peek into the cannabis plant training technique

Lollipopping is a method for removing branches and buds from the lowest section of the cannabis plant. This strategy is used throughout the plant’s vegetative stage or, at the very least, during the initial 15 days of blooming. This trimming aims to free the plant of tiny buds, allowing the plant’s energy to be concentrated on bigger buds rather than small buds. It results in better cannabis yields while harvesting.

Lollipopping Cannabis
Lollipopping cannabis before and after.

The bottom portions of the weed plant produce small buds. These buds are eliminated with the lollipop method, allowing the plant to focus its energy on the bigger branches and buds. Lollipop refers to the form the plants adopt after training, similar to the popular Chupa Chups candy.

Unveiling the Benefits of lollipopping: Maximizing yield and quality

Cannabis plants, like all other plants, create energy using the light, water, and nutrients within their surroundings. However, this energy is finite. Lollipopping, as is known among farmers, is about directing your plants’ energy into producing buds in the appropriate spots. It directs attention to the regions of the crop that get the most light.

Cannabis plants that have not been pruned or trained flourish like Christmas trees. By the moment they’re about to blossom, they’ll most likely have established a thick canopy that permits very little light to penetrate. As such, light will not reach the bud areas at the bottom. If these lower nodes are not pruned, they will yield little, airy “popcorn” buds with little potency and bag allure.

Lollipopping involves reducing growth to a particular degree on every branch of your weed plant to focus your energy on the uppermost bud locations. By lollipopping, you assist in routing light to the proper nodes and optimize your plants’ limited energy storage. Consequently, a larger harvest of enormous, thick buds with optimum quality is obtained.

The downside of lollipopping: Considerations before implementing the technique

When lollipopping weed plants, it’s essential to understand the possible downsides of this pruning strategy. It may, for example, put stress on the plant. Remember that lollipopping removes many of the plant’s lowest leaves and branches. This process may be stressful because the plant needs to recover from the loss of these components. Excessive plant stress may cause slowed development or nutritional shortages if not done appropriately or at the wrong time. It is especially true for autoflowering strains, which spend a shorter time in the vegetative stage.

Another disadvantage is the possibility of over-pruning. Excessive pruning during lollipopping may result in removing too many twigs and leaves, severely influencing your plant’s general health and development rate. Cannabis plants depend on their leaves for photosynthesis; if too much is removed, they will not have adequate energy reserves to grow properly.

Similarly, although lollipopping may be advantageous, it may not be appropriate for all gardeners or production settings. Before selecting a lollipop, consider strain, space, and growth objectives.

Step-by-step guide to lollipopping: Transforming your cannabis plants

Lollipopping your weed plants is a simple practice that may dramatically boost your crop’s quality and production. You’ll be comfortably on your way to lush, powerful buds if you apply these step-by-step instructions.

Select the appropriate time

When your plant has produced numerous nodes or branch points, the optimal time for beginning lollipopping is in the vegetative phase. This stage can start at roughly 4-6 weeks; however, it may be influenced by strain and growth conditions.

Get your tools ready

Before you begin, gather all required tools, such as clean pruners, scissors, and gloves, to safeguard yourself from sticky trichomes when handling plants.

Determine which lower branches and leaves should be removed

Choose branches in the bottom third of every plant that is not getting enough light owing to shade from above foliage or have poor growth patterns compared to other canopy regions.

Lollipopping vs not

  • Avoid eliminating too many branches in one go; trim progressively over many days if necessary.
  • If you’re unsure which branches to remove, try “lollipop tasting,” which involves gently bending single stems downwards and removing those that break easily.

Pruning carefully chosen branches

Using strong pruning shears or scissors, cut off selected branches neatly at their base without injuring nearby regions of good growth. To avoid the transmission of illness, clean your equipment between cuts.

Take away any leftover leaves from the lower branches

After removing any undesired stems, remove any remaining leaves from the bottom third of every plant. It will further boost ventilation and light penetration, improving overall growth.

After lollipopping, regularly monitor the well-being of the plants

Keep a close watch on your plants’ development in the days and weeks following lollipopping by monitoring for symptoms of stress or nutritional deficits (including yellowing leaves). Adjust feeding schedules or other care areas as needed to achieve optimum recovery. Additionally, when growing indoors, ensure you have the right indoor conditions for your plants to thrive.

After these procedures, you will have completed an exhaustive lollipop job on your weed plants. Patience is essential; allow them time to recuperate and refocus their energies on generating high-quality buds.

Preparing Your Cannabis Plants for Lollipopping: Essential Prerequisites

When trimming any aspect of your weed plant, especially lollipopping, it is critical to use clean equipment. Dirty equipment may transmit bacteria or fungus into plant wounds, resulting in illnesses and crop loss. When removing diseased foliage, pruners should be sterilized between plants. Consider cleaning your pruners after each cut. Likewise, ensure your pruning tools are sharp. Lollipopping needs sharp, clean trimming instruments to avoid plant damage.

Choosing the Right Time to Lollipop: Understanding the Growth Phases

Lollipopping cannabis is an important phase in the development process, but it’s important to know when it’s appropriate to use this approach. Trimming your crops at the appropriate developmental stage will guarantee optimal yield and quality.

Throughout the Vegetative Stage

The vegetative phase is the perfect time to initiate lollipopping your cannabis plants. The vegetative period lasts 4-6 weeks, depending on the cultivar. During this time, your plant is more concerned with building its root system and leaves than with producing buds.

  • Early Vegetative Stage: It’s not a good idea for young lollipop plants that still haven’t formed a robust root system.
  • Late Vegetative Stage: You may start lollipopping after the vegetative phase (about week 4) as the plants get bigger and develop more branches. It gives adequate time for healing before moving on to blooming.

Before the Flowering Stage

Any heavy trimming, including lollipopping, should be completed at least one week before moving to a flowering light schedule.

lollipopping into flower12

Allowing your cannabis plant to recuperate after pruning assures that it will not be stressed when it enters its most essential development phase – bud production.

Trimming Techniques: Mastering the Art of Lollipopping

To lollipop, first study the plants thoroughly to determine the gloomy places covered by the topmost branches. These are the earliest shoots of the bottom branches, which are concealed by the top foliage and get insufficient sunlight. Pick and clip the tiniest and weaker branches from the plant’s lowest half, normally within the first 2 and 4 pairs of stems in indoor plants and one additional pair in outdoor crops.

When lollipopping, trim a third of the plant, with the lowest section being the most important. Remember that you shouldn’t ever trim more than 50% of the plant’s entire leaves; the amount may vary depending on the crop’s qualities.

Also, please don’t eliminate too many leaves since they are necessary for photosynthesis and food absorption. If you do, the plant will instantly focus on growing new leaves.

Understanding the science behind lollipopping: Promoting better light penetration

Lollipopping cannabis promotes maximum light exposure, which might result in higher harvests. More light will reach all regions of your plant with fewer leaves obstructing sunlight, which is particularly helpful for growers growing indoors with restricted lighting choices. Lollipopping your plants right might result in better growth and bigger buds.

The importance of pruning: Enhancing airflow and preventing mold

A lollipop’s primary advantage is preventing your plants from wasting energy on creating many tiny bud sites and leaves. However, lollipopping is also an excellent strategy to guarantee that light is delivered equally to your primary bud sites. When a plant has too much foliage, the leaves cast shadows on the plant’s lower sections. Excessive foliage might also obstruct air circulation. Here are some of the top reasons for lollipopping or pruning your plants:

  • Focusing energy on bigger bud sites to produce larger buds
  • Getting rid of ineffective lower leaves and bud locations
  • Increasing circulation
  • Conserving energy
  • Enhancing light penetration
  • Mold prevention and control

Overcoming Challenges: Common Issues and Troubleshooting Tips for Lollipopping

It’s essential to be mindful that several challenges may develop while lollipopping cannabis plants. These include:


Overly enthusiastic trimming during lollipopping may result in removing excessive leaves and branches, which may severely influence your plant’s general health and growth pace.

Tips for preventing over-pruning include:

  • Be conservative: Begin by eliminating a few lower branches and seeing how your plant responds before thoroughly trimming.
  • Maintain balance: Maintain a healthy balance of top canopy leaves (for light reception) and lower growth (for nutrition intake).
  • Avoid removing healthy leaves: Clip away dead or dying leaves instead of ones still green and healthy.

Increased pest and disease susceptibility

Lower leaves are generally used as a barrier against intruders; thus, removing them could subject your weed plants to a greater likelihood of bug infestations and illnesses. Furthermore, stressed crops are more vulnerable to pests and diseases, so keep an eye on your lollipop plants for any symptoms of problems.

Tips for avoiding pest and disease problems:

  • Maintain cleanliness: Clean the grow space by frequently eliminating dead plant material.
  • Air circulation: Maintain good air circulation over cannabis plants to prevent humidity levels, which may encourage mold development.
  • Pest control measures: Use preventive plant pest control strategies, including bringing beneficial insects or organic insecticides when required.

Post-lollipopping care: Strategies for supporting healthy growth

Monitor your plants’ development in the following weeks and days after lollipopping by looking for symptoms of stress or nutritional deficits (such as yellowing leaves). Change feeding schedules or other care areas as needed to achieve optimum recovery.

After these procedures, you will have completed an extensive lollipop job on your weed plants. Understand that patience is essential to allow them time to recuperate and refocus on creating those high-quality buds everyone desires.

Alternative Techniques: Exploring Other Plant Training Methods

Consider combining lollipopping with different training strategies to increase the quantity and quality of your harvests significantly. Mainlining, for example, is essential for managing cannabis plants’ inherent apical dominance. It combines topping and LST to produce symmetrical crops with a Y-shaped, manifold-like primary stem. Each time you do this, you double the amount of colas your plant produces and aid in the equal distribution of energy across each of its branches.

This is a method that works particularly well with lollipopping. When used together, these two strategies increase the light in the growing room and increase your plants’ energy for bud creation.

Aside from mainlining, lollipopping works quite well with ScrOG. ScrOG is about creating an equal canopy by weaving plants via a mesh screen. Combining ScrOG with mainlining and lollipopping, you will assist your plants in directing energy evenly and effectively toward this canopy.

Mastering Lollipopping: Expert Tips and Tricks for Optimal Results

To ensure effective lollipopping outcomes, keep a few simple tips and tactics in mind. First and foremost, begin slowly and closely check the plant’s health. Over-pruning or mistiming may harm growth and diminish yields, so finding the correct equilibrium between pruning and plant health is critical. Experiment with varying amounts of pruning on various cultivars of the same breed to discover the best balance for your plant genetics.

You may ensure the success of your lollipopping efforts by using the right technique, equipment, and time. However, possible downsides must be considered, such as reduced plant stress recovery abilities or increased nutritional deficits. You’ll be able to increase yields while reducing any hazards related to this pruning procedure if you follow the instructions on lollipopping cannabis effectively.

Picture of Ed Rushford

Ed Rushford

Ed Rushford’s impact on cannabis growing is undeniable. Though he tends to focus primarily on 2 areas, plant training techniques and dealing with disease, pests, and other problems, he has offered many insights into how cannabis plants live and grow. That’s not to say that Ed is unfamiliar with the complete life cycle of cannabis, from seed to harvest, but he uses his widespread knowledge to hone in on the minutia and niche areas of growing cannabis. Ed’s goal is to spread knowledge and allow for everyone to become better growers. About this Author

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