How to Prune and Top Your Cannabis Plants

The difference between pruning and topping is very hazy. Topping is cutting off the main stalks of the marijuana plant to force it to be bushier. While pruning involves removing the dead branches or those that will not receive light to enable the cannabis plant to concentrate its energy on producing buds on other branches.

The line between pruning and topping is blurred because most farmers do both practices at the same time.  Check out prune cannabis new guide to help you learn how to prune your plants.

How to prune your cannabis plants

At the early stages of the cannabis plant, it is usually thin such that most foliage will receive light. Pruning your plant will help to give it an overall shape. Pruning involves cutting unnecessary parts of the plant so that your plant can grow healthy buds.

To prune your marijuana plants, grab a pair of pruning shears to cut small branches and leaves. Also, have a stronger pair to cut the larger branches. Ensures your clippers are sharp and clean to keep the plant healthy and prevent infections. Quality buds grow at the top of the plant because that is where the plant receives enough light and excellent circulation of air. When pruning cannabis, you will need to:

  • Remove large branches first –this will help you clear out space before beginning your detailed work. Start cutting branches at the bottom of the plant. Branches at the bottom will not receive enough sunlight; hence quality buds will not develop.
  • Remove branches that are shaded – this can include branches in the middle of the plant and others that will not receive light, depending on your setup.
  • Cut any small branches and leaves.

After pruning, your plants should experience an eruption of growth. The extra space will allow adequate light and air circulation to get to your plant.

Why should you prune your plants?

It might seem crazy to cut off healthy branches from your marijuana plant, but without a proper amount of light, your buds will not grow. Cutting off those branches allows your plants to redirect their energies to quality buds that receive adequate light. And notably, pruning is required at all marijuana plant stages throughout its lifecycle.

Pruning allows air to circulate freely through the plants, making them healthy and produce quality buds. Also, pruning will let you look closely at your plant and look for soil issues, pests, and diseases.

Topping marijuana plants

If you leave the cannabis plant to grow on its own, it will grow vertically, concentrating its energy on one stalk. The results will be one big cola at the top and small colas at the central stalk. These other colas will be small and of low quality. Topping helps to keep your marijuana plants healthy and produce high-quality yields.

Topping is done at the vegetative stage of the plant to redistribute growth hormones from the main stalk to other branches. By cutting off the main stalk, the plant can redistribute its energy to side branches enabling them to grow instead of growing vertical. Topping makes the plant bushy.

How to top marijuana plants

  • Get your tools and disinfect them- you will need pruning blades. Ensure your tools are sharp to make clean cuts. Also, disinfect them to prevent infections on your marijuana plants.
  • Decide where to make your cut- usually find the 5th node on the main stem and cut above it.
  • Wait and watch- topping can cause stress to the plant, so keep an eye on the plant for some days. Ensure your plant gets enough water and sunlight. Give your plant a couple of weeks to recover before topping again.

Bottom line

Pruning and topping your marijuana plants is essential to allow proper air circulation in the plant and ensure the plant receives enough light. In addition, pruning ad topping helps to make the marijuana plants bushy, hence increasing buds yields. Ensure your tools are sharp and clean before pruning and topping to prevent infections and allow your plants to thrive.


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