The topping is the act of cutting the aerial part of a crop to prevent seed formation and distribution. Most often, the topping is performed in order to control a temporary cover crop and prevent it from seeding. It helps you to maintain your plants to grow horizontally and make the most efficient use of the light. Now in this article, we explain the science of apical dominance and the reasons why you should cut cannabis plants. We provide simple and easy ways for when to trim cannabis plants to avoid stunting and get the best results. Topping is actually rather simple, and any grower can master it. We provide you a piece of very important and useful advice on how to prune cannabis plants.
Topping is a “high-stress” training technique which entails removing the topmost growth tip from the main stem or a branch of the plant. Many growers are concerned that cutting the tip off their young plants may slow their growth down; however, when done correctly, the topping is a critical method to fill the canopy faster and reduce vegetation times.
Why is topping cannabis necessary?
Topping is done during the vegetative cycle to help redistribute growth hormones from the main stalk to new offshoots and stalks farther down the plant. Topping and fimming will create an even canopy as the growth hormones are distributed to all the developing stalks and colas.
When To Top Cannabis Plants:
Well Generally you have to wait until your cannabis plants have 6 nodes before topping them. This 6 nodes to be grown ensures that they get adequate stem and root development before the shock of topping of plant. Only because of the nature of how auxins behave and what is most efficient for light, we recommend topping the plant above the 4th, 5th or 6th node.
When Topping higher than the 6th node, may be lead to uneven dominance and also a pattern that prioritizes vertical growth. Manifolds and Mainlines are often topped down to the third node, but if you are not following those training practices, the toppings below the fourth node will leave too few branches to develop.
How to Top Cannabis or Marijuana Plant – Step By Step
- Select the latest shoot
- Cut it off
- Give the plant some rest
A shoot grows into 2 new petioles with leave on them. The middle of the shoot contains a new shoot, and new shoots will be formed in the axils. A shoot therefore consists of 2×2 leaves, crosswise against each other. By removing this, the two shoots in the axils will grow to become the main buds.
Make sure you only cut the latest shoot, so you only inflict minimal damage to the plant. The plant is damaged, so it will use its energy to heal the wound, so it won’t grow much for a couple of days. You can top multiple times if you want to, but leave some time in between sessions, because the plant has to recover. Topping is always done during the growing phase, and possibly in the first week of flowering at the very latest. Otherwise the plant has no time to grow wider, and it wont have any use.
Topping can be useful when your growing room isn’t very high. Especially Sativas grow very quickly and can become very tall. Since they don’t get very wide, you have to place many plants close to each other, so no light is lost. Light that doesn’t hit the leaves and falls on the ground is considered lost energy. By topping the plants, they will stop growing lengthwise for a bit, but they’ll mainly grow in width. You can then leave some more room between plants and still have a nice green blanket.
I never fim Indicas, because they grow much slower and the vegetative stage would last too long otherwise.Another advantage is that the plant can absorb more light, because it gets wider. The plant will have more leaves that can absorb light. This can significantly increase your yield. Especially outdoors, great results can be achieved. I’m sure you’ve seen those pictures of gigantic outdoor plants. This advantage also applies to indoor plants, but I prefer to just place some more plants to make sure no light is lost.
Lastly, topping spreads your risks. You get more main buds, and because they’re not as big, they’re not as sensitive to bud rot and/or other nasty diseases. Once again, this is a major advantage for outdoor plants. Especially because you can’t control the climate and your plants become sensitive to bud rot in the moist fall. Indoor growers could place some more plants without topping them to spread the risks.
Be careful when you have a really big plant that’s very heavy, because there’s a chance that the plant will split in half under its own weight. It’s best to start strengthening the plant with some tape, just under the topping, to prevent splitting. This only applies to outdoor plants, because they get much bigger and heavier than indoor plants.