What is Topping Cannabis?
Are you cultivating your cannabis? If you want to enhance your harvests, you must start topping cannabis. Topping can also be referred to as pruning. Topping is the technique of cutting the top branches of a cannabis plant to limit upward growth and encourage lateral growth in the lower branches. More lateral development equals more flowering opportunities.
Moreover, both indoor and outdoor cultivators employ this high-stress training method. Although, before moving on to HST, novice gardeners must first master other techniques such as SCROG, Sea of Green, and super cropping (high-stress training)
Why is Topping Cannabis Useful?
Cannabis plants grow tall and slender, like a Christmas tree. They have little lateral growth and concentrate most of their resources in one stem with one primary cola if they aren’t trained. This leads to smaller stalks with immature buds that are not excellent; thus, the plant’s overall growth and production will be limited. Luckily, topping is here to save the situation!
Equipment Needed for Topping Pot Plants
Topping cannabis only requires a sharp tool, such as a razor blade. Even office or kitchen scissors will suffice in a pinch, but there are far better instruments designed expressly for the function of pruning plants. Premium Cultivars suggests picking up a set of pruning scissors from your local hardware store or garden center.
When to Top Cannabis
During the vegetative stage of the cannabis plant’s life cycle, topping becomes critical. The stem will thicken and grow higher during the vegetative period, and it will begin to form new nodes. More leaves and even new branches will sprout from these nodes. Before you top your cannabis plant, we recommend waiting until it has four, five or six nodes. This allows the plant to recover from the shock of topping by having enough stem and root development. To avoid prioritizing uneven dominance and vertical growth when it comes to topping cannabis, don’t go lower than the fourth node and no higher than the sixth node.
How to Top Cannabis
When topping cannabis for the first time, a decent rule is to trim the plant above the 5th node, preferably between the 6th and 7th nodes. This will ensure that the cannabis plants have enough bottom branches to bush out properly. You will be taking away a significant fraction of the plant’s upper growth if you top lower than the 6th. To allow the plant to spread out appropriately, trim each branch above the second or third node if you want to continue toppings on the same plant. These toppings are more personal preferences and determine how much you want the plant to bush out and how big you want the finished product to be.
Topping vs. Fimming
Usually, most people confuse these two methods because they are similar but differ in the results rate. Topping concerns cutting the top branches of a cannabis plant while fimming is used to boost yield similarly to topping, although it’s not quite the same. The goal remains to grow the number of major colas. Instead of doubling down, fimming can result in the creation of four or more new top colas. For micro-growers with only a few plants, this method is highly recommended. The fimming technique seizes the plant’s top and removes around 70% of the plant’s tip. It isn’t the most attractive pruning procedure, but it is effective.
Take into account that fimming does not limit vertical growth nearly as much as topping does. A cannabis plant that has been topped creates two additional stems that act as apex stems, resulting in thick and dense cannabis flowers. Fimming can result in up to eight additional stems that you must train. Moreover, it is a fantastic approach for new growers with modest grows tents to boost productivity.
Why Prune Cannabis Plants?
The advantages of topping are obvious. When comparing a topped cannabis plant to one that is allowed to develop naturally, the topped cannabis will always have higher yields, more colas, and more blooming nodes. Topping cannabis concentrates more energy where it’s needed most and also lets more light reach parts of your plant that were previously obscured by their tops. Cannabis topping is a type of LST that allows you to get more control over your plant’s production without jeopardizing its health. Topping is an excellent training method for producing larger yields unless you do it incorrectly. What person wouldn’t desire that?
How to Prune Cannabis Plants?
Pruning is a skill requiring a particular level of knowledge and critical thinking. When the cannabis plant begins to take on a bushy look, it’s time to start pruning. Keep in mind that Sativa strains grow quicker than Indica strains. So, if you’re pruning an Indica strain, give it another week. Try teaching the plant to become bushier for the greatest outcomes.
In most cases, this happens in the second week after the first leaf grows. After flowering begins, the plant will continue to grow until the third week. However, stop pruning after the second week to allow the plant to recuperate. If you continue to prune after this time, the plant will be forced to return to the vegetative stage due to the stress caused by the cutting. This will have a significant impact on our yield and the quality of our buds.
Potential Drawbacks of Topping Cannabis
Topping requires experience and certain skills for your cannabis plants to provide high yields. Thus, this technique is ideal for experienced cultivators as they have the right needed level of knowledge and critical thinking. This is because inexperienced growers are more likely to make errors when training or topping. These mistakes can stress the cannabis plants leading to low yields and quality.