You’ll have to make a lot of decisions when growing cannabis. If you make the wrong decisions, there is a good chance that your plants are going to suffer and that will lead to decrease yield and potency. Before germinating your seeds, you’ll want to learn about the decisions that you’ll have to make. This will ensure that you’re ready and know what to do when you reach that stage. One thing you’ll need to do is determine whether or not you want to top your plants. Doing so offers some benefits but some people prefer keeping their plants intact.
What is the difference? What should you do?
What Is Topping?
First and foremost, you’ll want to learn a little about topping. This is a great technique that is primarily used to control the height of your plants. When topping a plant, you’re going to cut off the tip. This stops the plant from growing upward and forces it to grow sideways. This means that the plant is going to be wider instead of taller. Topping is a good option for people who are growing cannabis in a tent or inside. If you’re growing outside, you don’t have to worry about topping too much.
Nevertheless, the topping technique is going to stress the plant. Therefore, it might not be worth it. You have to learn about the pros and cons before making your decision. If you decide to top your plants, you’ll need to find out how to do so properly to avoid cutting off your nodes.
What Are The Benefits?
Topping may sound like a bad thing but it is not. Topping may be a necessity for indoor growers and it offers various benefits. As mentioned above, the topping technique is one of the best ways to control the growth of your plants. Once you’ve topped the plant, it won’t be able to grow much taller. Instead, it is going to grow sideways. Then, you’ll be able to prune to plant to prevent it from getting too fat too. Simultaneously, you should know that this technique can increase your yield.
Topping is not a necessity. However, it might be a good option for you. It depends on the grow operation, the space you have, and how many plants you’re growing.
More Even Lighting
One reason why some growers opt to top their cannabis plant has to do with lighting. Unfortunately, plants that are not topped can grow up to five-feet or taller. When this happens, the top of the plant may block the light from reaching the middle and lower parts of the plant. Utilizing artificial lighting in a grow tent or box does help but sometimes it is not enough to ensure even distribution throughout the plant.
As your cannabis plant grow taller, you will need to adjust the height of your full-spectrum or LED grow lights. Many grow lamps are designed with a metal chain mechanism for easy lowering and raising. This design works extremely well in ensuring even lighting. However, the taller the plant gets, the more difficult it will become for the grow light to do what it is supposed to. The solution, no other than topping or fimming. These are easy processes that take no more than a couple of seconds and a clean pair of garden snips.
Another advantage of topping cannabis plants is better handling. The taller the plant, the more difficulties the handler faces. That is especially true for handlers who do not utilize automated irrigation systems. It is not unusual for growers to remove their cannabis plants from the grow tent or box to ensure more thorough watering. During this process, a tall plant will be at a higher risk of injury. It would take much force to snap a branch in half, which could go unnoticed for several hours or days.
When Should You Top Your Plant?
Now, you need to find out when is the best time to top your plant. You don’t want to cut it too early since this will restrict growth. It is best to wait until the plant has developed at least 5 nodes. This will ensure that your nodes will create new cola when exposed to air and light. You may want to top the plant again with the two new colas that are developed. Just remember that this can stress your plants.
Therefore, you’ll want to give it plenty of time to rest before you do anything else. Also, you should only top your plants during the vegetative stage.
How To Top Your Cannabis Plants
You’ll find that topping your cannabis plants isn’t very difficult. However, you need to make sure that you do it right. Otherwise, you may do more harm than good. First and foremost, you need to make sure that you’re using sterilized scissors or clippers. Simultaneously, you need to know what to cut. Remember that you want to focus on the main stem. You will find two auxiliary buds at the top. You should cut the stem roughly an inch above these two buds.
If you’re not comfortable with this technique, you can try bending instead. Both work exceptionally well for the intended purpose. However, bending can be risky since you may break the stem and you don’t want that to happen.
When You Shouldn’t Top Plants
In some situations, you should avoid topping your plants. As mentioned above, you should never top your plants once they’ve entered the flowering phase. This is a bad idea since it will cause problems. If you try topping the plant during the flowering stage, you may ruin your yield. This will force the plant to focus its energy on repairing itself and that will reduce the energy used on growing buds. Again, you should top the plant well before the flowering stage or you’re going to regret your decision when you see the tiny buds your plant is going to grow.
Another thing to remember is that topping can be very stressful. It is essential to avoid topping marijuana plants when they’re ill or stressed out. Make sure that the plants are healthy so they’ll be able to recover and continue growing healthily. Once you’ve mastered this technique, you will be able to use it to your benefit and to increase your yields.