It can be difficult to distinguish between pruning and topping. Topping involves removing the main stalk from a marijuana plant to make it bushier. This will increase its yield and health. Pruning refers to removing dead marijuana branches and leaves so that the plant can concentrate its energy on other areas.
Because growers often do both, the line between them is blurred. These are the differences.
Why is it necessary to top marijuana?
It may seem odd to take off and discard a portion of your cannabis plants. However, topping is vital to ensure your plants are healthy and produce high-quality yields.
A marijuana plant that is left to grow by itself will grow vertically and focus its energy on one main stem. This will result in one large cola at its top and smaller colas along the main stalk. The plant’s overall size and yield will be very small.
How to grow top-quality marijuana plants?
Topping is performed during the vegetative phase to help redistribute the growth hormones from the main stalk to the side branch. By cutting off the main stalk, the plant redirects its energies to the side branch, forcing them out instead of up. A weed plant will become bushier by topping.
When to top marijuana plants, wait until the plant has reached six to seven nodes. This is often done higher than the 5th node. To ensure that the plant can withstand shock, it is important to wait until it has reached this stage.
You should wait to top a marijuana plant that has more than seven nodes. The plant will be putting its energy into upward growth, which you will just cut off. Instead, it will be focusing on lateral growth, which you will keep.
How a marijuana plant gets light?
Because the cannabis plant has a bushy shape, light can reach all branches evenly.
One vertical stalk will give the main cola a lot more light. However, the lower branches will be shaded by the main, creating buds below. A bushy shape will produce more buds and be of better quality.
These side branches can be topped over time. This will allow for more side branches to grow and increase the plant’s business. This will increase the number of bud sites on the branches, which in turn will result in higher yields. A plant can be topped anywhere from 1-3 times in its lifetime.
How to grow top-notch marijuana plants?
Capping cannabis is best done when it is robust and well-developed and can withstand extreme changes.
The first topping involves cutting the main stalk. A good rule of thumb for trimming the plant is to cut it above the 5th Node. This will allow you to trim enough branches from the rest of the plant so it can properly bush out.
To add more toppings to the same cannabis plant, you will need to cut the side branches above the second or the third node. This will allow the plant to bush out properly. These toppings can be more subjective and will vary depending on how large you want your final plant to grow.
To top marijuana plants:
Grab your tools and disinfect them. A pair of pruning scissors is enough. Sharper is better, as you only want to make one cut. To prevent infection in the plant, sterilize the tool with rubbing alcohol. Although this is rare, it’s a good idea.