When the plant is left to grow as it chooses, it usually has more branches than it has the energy to support. This means that a lot of energy is wasted on smaller branches, especially the lower ones. The energy need is spread out over so much growth, that in extreme cases flowering takes a very long time as the plant tries to supply energy evenly to every location. By removing some of the less important and weaker branches, you can ensure that the larger branches produce a greater amount of high quality bud. As some of the branches are removed, more energy becomes available to the plant. The bud on the lower branches that receive less light usually end up as single “pop corn” buds that never truly mature, so it is best to remove them at an early stage. These branches also have a tendency to stretch for the light and that results in fewer buds because a lot of energy is wasted on building stems.
Topping the plant or Super Cropping it can be considered High Stress Training (HST), which might upset the plant to some degree. There is however another option called LST or Low Stress Training.
The main shoot also has other functions. It communicates with photosensitive pigments located in the leaves. The information that these pigments receive dictates the behavior of the plant. Shoots on branches that are in the shade will be supplied with growth hormones in order to elongate and catch up with the rest and this might waste precious energy. I will explain more on this topic later on.
It is possible to keep tying down each new branch as it pops up, which will result in a plant that grows into a dense bush with an even canopy. LST training combined with topping can be a very effective way of creating a plant that makes use of all the available space. If there is enough time for it, top the plant several times and keep the internodes as short as possible by bringing the light in closer. More nodes means more bud and less stem means less energy wasted. Training the plant in this manner takes some time and there is no way to reach good results by being in a hurry. As you can see, the plant in this picture has been both extensively topped and trained. If you look closely you can see where the branches have been tied to the pot. Tying down the branches in a circular fashion will help the plant to take on the desired shape.
As you can see, this plant has grown into a real monster, and all this without ever topping the plant. That’s the beauty of this technique; you can forget all about topping and FIM’ing since the flowering clone will sprout all these new branches all by itself.
These diagrams, originally posted by big_buddha, illustrate what I am talking about. These are excellent diagrams so many thanks to the creator.
Keep in mind however that the most important thing when it comes to cloning is to provide the fresh cuttings with plenty of oxygen and that is why the propagation bubbler is so effective compared to other methods.
Although no topping and training is needed when growing SOG, the trimming of branches and fan leaves, especially lower ones, becomes a must because every little bit of space counts towards the harvest. By removing excess fan leaves that would otherwise block bud sites, the SOG grower improves on his yield. Since SOG grows usually contain a great number of plants in a relatively small area, the need for trimming fan leaves becomes apparent. After all, what we are after is a bountiful harvest and different methods apply to different styles of growing.
Topping the plant enables you to make the most out the the relatively limited light source that you have at your disposal in the indoor environment.
Here are a few tips on how to train your cannabis plants for a maximized crop. This guide covers the basic idea behind various techniques and how to apply them for the best results. All of the techniques mentioned in this guide can be used both indoors and outdoors with equal results.
Pruning is essentially cutting a part of your plant so that it can direct its strength to other parts that can absorb light easily. This doesn’t mean that you can prune any part of your plants like the large leaves so that the light can reach the lower parts. Leaves have an extremely important part to play in your plants’ lives; they’re kind of like solar panels for plants, and the buds are the batteries. If light hits the batteries they won’t charge, it needs to hit the panels so that the light can be turned into energy for your plants. This means that if you remove the leaves you’ll end up removing a lot of the strength from your plants, as they act like nutrient deposits; if your plants leaves aren’t receiving enough light the plant will automatically absorb all of the nutrients, leaving the leaf yellow and dead.
The FIM prune is a type of cut that’s not followed through on, and it produces 4 or 5 new sprouds. At the beginning they may seem strange and deformed, but they’ll soon turn into sturdy branches, you just need to give them time. This kind of technique is perfect if you want to turn a cutting from another plant into a parent plant. Using the FIM method, you can get a lot of new branches on your plant, which will cause new slip sprouts to appear on the upper layers, which is what you’re after. The first time I tried this I got very good results even though I had never done it before, even though it might seem difficult, you just need to try and leave the middle tip when the cutting is still small, like in the picture, taking away about 60% of the tip and leaving the little leaves that were starting to come out. If you want, you can repeat the process when the tip begins to come out again. You’ll end up having an extremely dense parent plant, which’ll be extremely productive, meaning you can have a SCROG set up with a mesh in your grow room or grow tent.
None of the leaves are disposable, even the smallest ones. Every single one is needed so that they grow properly. If you want to test this out yourself, trim one of the big leaves while your plant is still in the growth phase. You’ll notice how the branch carrying that leaf will stop growing, and branches with all of their leaves will continue growing without any issues. The same thing will happen to the buds; if you remove a leaf so that the lower buds can get more light, the higher buds will end up dwarfed and a lot less potent, when they would have been much bigger than the lower ones to begin with.
When and how to prune marijuana plants: depending on why you want to prune your plants, you’ll need to do it one way or another, or at a certain time or another. You wouldn’t prune the same way if you want to make a parent plant, then if you wanted your plant to have a more distributed production in order to have a more discreet plant or if it’s just the way that that particular variety is grown.
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Another thing that you mustn’t do is prune your plants while they’re flowering. Plants need a few days to recover from prune-induced stress, and it takes a while to decide where the new branch or central stem is going to grow from. You’ll need to prune at least 15 days before you switch your plants to the growing period or before summer begins for outdoor crops. You need to prune during the growth period every time, or else the start of the flowering period may be compromised.
You can prune to change your plants’ shape, but never prune at the top to allow more light to reach the bottom; the top is always more productive than the bottom even if you want it to get more light. The logical thing to do would be to prune the bottom so that the top can produce even more.
If you’re looking to learn how to do other kinds of pruning, leave a comment and we’ll do our best to add it on to the article.
Some strains absolutely hate it when you prune them to increase their number of branches, so in these strains what you’ll want to do is increase the amount of production on the central stem. These strains tend to be indicas. The one that’s easiest to recognize with this kind of shape is Critical+. These plants center most of their production on the main “eye” of the plant, the central calyx, so to get the most out of these plants you’ll need to place a whole lot together and prune/trim the lower branches. This way you’ll be able to grow up to 16 plants per square meter without them getting tangled. The idea is to prune those branches that come out over the flowerpot, leaving just the main stem and 4 to 6 branches around the bottom. To make sure that it doesn’t end up doubling over with the weight you should wire or string it, and you’ll have 16 extremely productive plants where before you could only fit 9.
Comprehensive article on when and how to prune marijuana plants depending on the effect you want the pruning to have. Read on to find out more.