To top a plant, make a clean cut to the tip of the main stem using sterile scissors and fully remove the top growth. Be sure to leave about 5mm of space between where you cut and the lateral branches. This will give you slight room for error and help you avoid accidentally severing these important structures.
Topping is the process of pruning the growing tip of the main stem of a cannabis plant. This is perhaps the most common HST or high stress training technique applied by both indoor and outdoor growers. Marijuana growing naturally will typically take on a Christmas tree structure; One dominant, main central cola and multiple sets of side branches. All plant parts receiving a share of sunlight at some stage during the day as the sun traverses the sky.
Removing the terminal bud will encourage the development of two new main colas and promote growth of the lower, secondary branches. The aim is to invert the Christmas tree shape to allow more light penetration.Growth hormone is diffused to all of the shoots once the apical bud’s dominance is removed. Branchy, low-profile plants are more desirable to every grower. Indoors, vertical space is often at a premium and outdoors, bushes are stealthier than tall trees. Topping is a great technique to take control of the cannabis canopy.
WHEN TO TOP CANNABIS
Wait about 1–2 weeks before topping new growth. Your plants will require this time to recover from the stress and readjust to the new growth pattern.
Plants can’t handle topping during the seedling stage. If you try topping during this time, you risk killing or stunting your seedlings. Similarly, topping during the flowering phase is sure to cause damage to your precious plants.
Use the sharpest blades you can get your hands on. Office and kitchen scissors work, but they’re not as efficient as tools specifically designed for the job, so consider using pruning scissors. Razor blades are also a good option.
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