What is Cannabis Topping?
Cannabis topping is a high-stress training technique, or HST used to capitalize on the full potential of cannabis plants. With this technique, cultivators can manipulate their cannabis plants into growing in an ideal shape for maximum yields.
Under natural conditions, cannabis plants grow in the form of a Christmas tree with one center cola surrounded by several lateral branches. This shape does not lend itself to efficiently using light resources or using space optimally.
By pruning cannabis off the top central cola from these plants and allowing lower branches to develop and grow upwards too, crops can be much more uniform in shape and denser in concentration for more flowers that are easier to harvest.
The Advantages of Topping
Growing cannabis is a labor-intensive process, but with careful attention to detail and diligence, you can ensure that your yield will be as large as possible. One way to maximize the space you have for cannabis growth, as well as its overall quality, is through topping your plants.
Topping is when the top of the main stem is sliced off at an angle, allowing room for new branches and bud sites to appear in order to increase yield potential.
When you top marijuana plants, they get shorter in height so they take up less space than before. This means they’ll be able to receive more direct light regardless of how much or little growing space you have available.
More light equals greater yields, since cannabis buds better with ample sunlight and nutrients absorbed from the soil. More buds mean bigger harvests and higher yields for each plant that you’re growing.
Plus, topping also helps create a bush-like structure that’s ideal for controlling the spread of various diseases or pests on your crops due to air circulation between branches.
The Disadvantages of Topping
The decision to top plants or not is an important one and, though the advantages do heavily outweigh the disadvantages, there are a few potential drawbacks that should be taken into account.
Firstly, if you opt to top your plants then the vegetative stage (18/6) needs to be extended by approximately 4-6 weeks in order for the proper effects to take place.
Secondly, this can lead to the plant being too heavy from the multiple colas which is necessary when topping. If these colas are not managed properly then they can easily damage the weed plant itself, thus making topping pointless.
On the other hand, however, it’s worth noting that topping your marijuana plants often leads to improved production since more buds are produced at higher levels on now multiple tips.
When to Top Your Cannabis Plants
Cannabis plants should be topped after they have established three to five nodes, which is typically about 30 days into their vegetative stage. Topping your plants at this stage allows the root system to become strong enough to handle the associated trauma of topping.
This is important since if topping is done during the seedling phase, the plant will not be capable of recovering from the stress that results.
Topping brings several benefits such as increased bud sites and a more even canopy. It can increase light penetration as well as allow airflow through an indoor grow room or outdoor field.
How to Top Cannabis
Learn how to maximize your plant’s potential, increase yield, and promote healthy growth by mastering this essential pruning technique. Get ready to cultivate thriving, bushy plants like a pro.
Step 1: Gather Your Materials
The first step to topping your plants is to gather the necessary materials. You will need a pair of sterile scissors or garden shears to cut off the top of your plant. It is important that these tools have been sterilized, as any sort of contamination could cause harm to your plant. By properly preparing your materials, you will be able to ensure a safe and effective topping process.
When it comes to topping plants, having the correct supplies is essential. The tool used should be something strong and sharp enough to do the job while also being able to not cause damage or injury when using them.
It is a best practice that you use either a pair of sterile scissors or garden shears for this task due to their ability to provide a clean cut without compromising safety measures, meaning they are less likely to break the stem and cause disease or pest infestation on your plant’s foliage during its handling.
Step 2: Locate Plants with 3 to 5 Nodes
When topping a plant, it is essential to make sure the plant is strong enough to handle such a procedure. Topping requires precision, and if done on an incorrect or weak developing plant, it can be detrimental to the health of the plant. This is why it is important to locate plants with 3 to 5 nodes when topping them.
Nodes are parts of the stem that sprout new leaves, so finding plants with at least 3 nodes helps prove that their growth stage is stable. It also ensures that there will be enough foliage present on each branch after the topping has taken place for photosynthesis and light absorption.
Read More: Common Cannabis Mutations
Step 3: Cut the Main Stem Between the Nodes
Cutting the main stem between nodes is the third step in proper pruning techniques. This cut should be made about 5mm above the nodes, ensuring that the canopy of the plant is not harmed.
The node, which is a bump on the branch from which leaves grow, is where energy from photosynthesis travels out and downwards. Cutting the main stem above this encourages two branches to grow rather than one single stem with a single ‘main cola’, or bud site.
With two distinct bud sites growing you can expect an increased yield come harvest time as well as better airflow throughout your canopy. Pruning at different heights also means that lower sites receive more light while also ventilating your top branches at the same time. Not only will you see an increase in overall output but your plants will look fuller and much healthier all at once!
Step 4: Repeat as Desired
Tying down and topping plants is a great way to increase quality yields in the garden. After completing the topping process, it’s important to give the plant enough time to recover before attempting additional toppings.
For best results, wait two weeks before performing another topping, which will extend the canopy of your plant even further. Every round of topping increases the number of colas on the plant and produces an inverse Christmas tree effect that leads to an impressive yield come harvest time.
Better Techniques for Bigger Harvests
Growing a bigger harvest is something all farmers, hobbyists, and experienced growers are looking to achieve. Getting the biggest, healthiest harvests becomes much easier when you have the right approach. Utilizing good techniques can mean the difference between success and failure when it comes to yield size. Topping your plants is one such technique that can be used to maximize growth potential.
Topping involves cutting off the top portion of your plants to create more growing space for fruiting and buds. Doing this correctly requires precision – using sharp tools will ensure clean cuts without additional damage or stress to your plants.
What is Lollipopping?
Lollipopping, also known as pruning, is one of the most common techniques used when growing cannabis. This technique comes after topping, which involves cutting the main stem of the plant right above two branches.
This process encourages the development of a more robust and plentiful yield for outdoor growers. By removing the lower parts of branches that do not receive enough light exposure, the remaining branches are stimulated with natural light.
Upon completion of this pruning practice, cannabis plants primarily grow from their prime bud sites–giving them a unique “lollipop” shape.
SCROG, which stands for Screen of Green, is one of the most popular growing techniques used by cannabis growers. As its name implies, the technique involves using a screen positioned over the top of your cannabis plants to ensure that all branches are in the canopy zone.
The key idea behind SCROG is to maximize the amount of light that each branch receives by prohibiting it from getting too much shade. By spacing out your plant canopies and placing them in an even manner on the screen, you are ensuring maximum light penetration into every part of it.
This increased exposure leads to an increase in productivity for each plant – since more parts will receive adequate levels of light and will be able to convert it into bushy growth potential more efficiently.
Combining Topping and SCROG for the Best Results
Topping and SCROG (Screen-of-Green) are both innovative growing techniques that can be combined for the best results when it comes to ensuring maximum yields of your cannabis crop. To start, topping should be done twice for the most optimal growth.
This method is used to encourage outward growth and will make it much easier to employ the Screen-of-Green technique afterward. For this purpose, a screen is hung just above the colas of the plants or weaved through them, which acts as training for height management and increases light exposure for better bud growth.
The combination of topping and SCROG has been proven to deliver outstanding results that experienced growers fully trust to produce top-quality buds with larger yields. Having your plants grow outward while establishing a screen structure above them creates a wider canopy with many more available sites for light penetration in all directions.
Topped Plant vs. Non-Topped Plant (FAQ)
Welcome to our FAQ comparing topped and non-topped cannabis plants. Delve into the key differences, advantages, and disadvantages of these two approaches to optimize your growing experience and outcomes.
Do Topped Plants Yield More?
Growers of cannabis have been using the topping technique for many years. It is an effective way to get more buds from each plant, reducing the amount of investment needed for maximum yield. Topping is a two-part process that requires removing the tops of the plants and then replanting them.
This allows indoor growers to distribute flowering phase energy across multiple branches, encouraging full bud production instead of just focusing on one main stem. After topping, the plant will grow laterally with many smaller branches instead of just one large one.
This also helps when it comes to maximizing sunlight exposure and allowing better airflow around the entire plant structure.
Does Topping Increase Bud Size?
Topping a weed plant is an effective way to improve the overall health of your cannabis crop. The process involves snipping off the main stem of the plant, inducing uncontrolled bursts of new growth. This causes the plant to become bushier plants, as well as provides more space for flower/bud growth. Topping is great for increasing both the quantity and quality of cannabis yield.
However, when it comes to increasing bud size with topping, the results may not be as pronounced as one might expect. Topping increases bud size only slightly due to branches being forced into direct competition for resources like light, water, and nutrients at the same time period.
How Long Does It Take To Get New Growth After Topping?
Topping is a pruning method used to open up the canopy of a plant and allow more light to reach the lower parts of the plant. This encourages lateral growth and helps to equalize plant production. After topping, it takes an average of 2-3 days for healthy plants to start exhibiting new growth. During this time it’s important to keep the leaves on the topped node since they are vital to the continued development of their branches.