The decision about when to start pruning or training plants will depend on the stage of the plants life and the individual situation of each grower. We can start training clones or seedlings from very early on, shaping them to suit our requirements as they develop their first leaves, however we recommend waiting until the plant is a bit bigger and stronger before beginning any “destructive” pruning or super cropping, as this can really hold back a plants development if practiced too early on. Wait at least until the second week of vegetative growth before pruning, when the plant has grown a few sets of true leaves.
This approach is fairly extreme, it certainly has its disadvantages, and the jury is still out regarding its efficacy, as it does subject plants to a great deal of stress at a crucial time in their life cycle. Using RIB will tend to completely stop a plants development for a few days as it recovers from the shock, and can delay flowering by up to two weeks, during which time the plant displays classic stress/revegetation symptoms, for example deformed leaves with one to three fingers. That said, it’s clear that some growers who have experimented with this technique have been very pleased with the results indeed, and while we don’t recommend you taking a blowtorch to your entire flower room, we do encourage you to experiment and maybe try it on part of a plant to see the effect for yourself. If you’re trying to out, always put safety first and be sure to keep the flame away from any flammable materials!
A typical callus on a super-cropped stem
This plant was topped at an early stage, forming two main colas
This plant has been topped, or apically pruned
The growing tip of the plant is where the main growth hormones, or auxins are concentrated. By cutting off the tip, we force the plant to redistribute hormones to the other parts of the plant, slowing down vertical growth and encouraging stronger growth in the lower branches, which will reach upwards to take the place of the apical tip, forming multiple leaders instead of just one and forming a more bush-like plant. This has the advantage of producing many more useful bud sites and an increase in yield. Outdoor growers in particular appreciate this approach as it encourages plants to produce lots of medium-sized flowers rather than one huge bud that could easily fall prey to bud-rot due to its large size and density. Cultivators keeping mother plants also use this technique to stimulate more branching to enable them take lots of healthy cuttings at a time.
This approach consists of simply cutting the apex or the growing tip of the plant using scissors, knife, cutting blade, cutter, etc., ideally previously sterilised to avoid infections during the operation, although many gardeners simply use clean fingernails to “pinch out” the tip while others bend it over until it snaps off cleanly. It’s important to remember that if we make clean cuts, the plants will suffer less stress, and will recover more quickly from the damage with less chance of getting infected.
By removing the active apical tip, we encourage lateral shoots to grow
At this point we can tie the tips to guide the plant and continue to grow horizontally across if we want, instead of upwards. This technique can be repeated when necessary, even during flowering in extreme cases, such as when the main stem has grown too tall and the tip of the bud risks being burned by the lightbulb and we don’t have the option of raise it due to lack of headroom.
Growers use a wide range of different techniques in order to control the height and size of their plants and improve yields. In this article we tell y
Grab a pair of pruning shears, usually some Chikamasas or Fiskars, for quick work on small branches and leaves. Keep an additional pair with more strength nearby to cut larger branches.
As a plant grows and bushes out, it’ll start to take a shape and define the canopy. This will give you a sense of where the quality buds will grow so that you can start pruning away the unnecessary portions of the plant.
It might feel strange to intentionally cut off bits of your plant, but these parts won’t produce quality buds because they won’t receive a proper amount of light—they’ll get shaded out by the buds and foliage growing above.
Cutting off the branches will allow the plant to redirect its energy and resources to the quality buds that will receive plenty of light. You also want to prune off yellow or dead leaves on the plant—they have no use and will only waste the plant’s resources.
In the days following a pruning, your plants should go through a burst of growth—the open space will allow extra light to get to the plant.
Pruning allows you to control the plant and direct where it puts its energy. Remember, pruning is a great opportunity to be present in your garden and to observe how your plants are doing. Take this time to also observe your plants and check their overall health, looking for pests, nutrient deficiencies, and soil issues.
In the early stages of growth, a plant is narrow enough that most of the foliage will receive plenty of sunlight. Start pruning your plants once they begin to take a bushy shape, and top them to promote this bushy growth.
Pruning also creates open space in the middle of the plant, allowing air to flow through it more freely and letting light penetrate deeper, keeping the plant vibrant and healthy.
Quality buds grow where the plant receives a lot of sunlight and airflow, particularly on the top of the plant. You’ll want to remove:
Pruning your cannabis plants is essential for improving the yield and quality of your garden. Use our guide to learn how to prune your plants.