Growing cannabis plants aren’t simply done by planting the seeds in the soil and wait for it to flower. It takes a considerable amount of time and patience to grow one. Also, if you want bigger yields, there are certain things you must do with your plants to achieve great yields. One popular technique is topping.
To know more about Topping, in this article, we’ll be talking about topping cannabis and how it affects the plants and yields. Also, I’ll be adding up some of the benefits of topping your cannabis plants. To learn more, read down below.
What is Topping?
Topping, as I’ve said earlier, is one of the most popular ways for growers to boost the harvest of their crops. It is a relatively easy process and isn’t complicated to do. Topping involves cutting unnecessary parts of the plants to make way for other shoots and stems from receiving sunlight. However, topping the plants is only done during the vegetative stage of the plant to encourage it to grow laterally. Cutting off parts of your plant might sound negative to you, but trust me, it will pay off in the long run, this works to boost your yields combined with high-quality buds.
When cannabis grew naturally and left alone, almost all of them grow vertically, it features the main stem, colas to which the energy is most provided. When a plant is topped, it possesses several main stems and numerous big colas, and this is because Topping encourages the cannabis plant to redistribute its growth hormones evenly, resulting in a more lateral way of growing producing wider and bulkier canopy of buds.
The best part about topping is the process is repeatable, so 8, 16, 32, or so colas can be produced. With more practice, Topping can be master even by beginners and achieve high-quality output once harvest season ends.
What are the Benefits of Topping Cannabis?
One of the main benefits of Topping is maximizing the overall potential of the yield. When compared to cannabis plants that are grown under natural circumstances, topped cannabis plants produce more yields with high-quality buds in the process.
Another benefit of Topping is growing canopies laterally. Instead of growing vertically, they focused more on growing laterally because parts of them are cut. Topping doesn’t curb the growth of the cannabis plant, and it will still grow naturally even though parts of it are cut. Topping is prevalent among Sativa dominant strain as they grow stretchy and vertically.
Disadvantages of Topping Cannabis
Topping means cutting parts of the plant, right? This means topped areas of the plants are exposed to different environmental pathogens; as a result, they could contract diseases. Topped plants are stressed, and stressed plants are susceptible to common fungi, and other microbial germs.
Overall, the advantages of topping marijuana outweigh the disadvantages. Topping cannabis plants in an environment that is controlled shouldn’t pose any threat or problems with their growth. However, do note that there are some certain strains of cannabis that are susceptible to Topping, leaving them unsuitable for Topping.
How to Top Cannabis Plants?
It’s no surprise that cutting parts of the plant causes it to be stressed, that’s why topping plants should be done during the latter parts of their vegetative phase, and this is because, as you top developed plants, they are easily adaptable to such stimulus.
To top properly, you’ll need a good amount of knowledge on specific areas where to cut. One part of the cannabis plant you’ll need to memorize is the node. The node is the intersection between individual branches and the main stem. The general when topping the node is to snip your plant right around the 5th node. Cutting this area means it will produce a bushy, sturdy, and nice plant.
Before topping your plant, you’ll only need a few materials, and it’s either scissors or sharp razors. To minimize infecting your plant when topping, sterilize your razors or scissors with alcohol. You can also use your hands when topping, but we’ll discuss it in a bit.
Next, make the Topping just above the 5th node. In a few days, you’ll witness the emerging of two new stalks. After a few weeks, these stems will achieve some serious width and becomes individual stalks in their own right.
What’s the best equipment used for Topping? Scissors or Hands?
There are two groups divided when it comes to Topping, there are growers who prefer using scissors, and there are some who love to use their hands. Both of these techniques efficient and effective. After some time, you’ll eventually know what works best for you.
For me, it is really a matter of which one you prefer the most. Go with what you thought is best for your plants; you can never go wrong either way. Cannabis plants are very pliable and stretchy at their vegetative phase. However, the longer they remain during their vegetative state, the likelier their stems and shoots to be thicker. After growing your plants for six weeks, by this time, they are mature enough to necessitate the use of razors or scissors. Pinching or using your fingertips is effective during the early stages of the vegetative phase.
So, When should I top my Cannabis plants?
There are two contradicting minds concerning the appropriate time of Topping. The first ones are old school growers who prefer to be patient, while the other prefers to top right away. Waiting a month or two to top their cannabis plants is way too long for some.
Topping cannabis plants on their infancy stage will set them to be bushier plants once they grow. However, expect those plants to have a longer vegetative growth cycle as well. The best time to top the cannabis plants is during the 4th week of their vegetative cycle, and this is because Topping during this time isn’t as stressful as it is for the plants.
For beginners, the rule of thumb is, topping your plants is done during their vegetative growth. Allow your plants to recover for about a week or two, and they’re ready again for Topping.
How Long do Plants Recover from Topping?
Always remember that each plant is unique, and each one of them has their own way of coping up with stress. Recovery times vary from time to time. However – in most cases, they are good to cut again after two weeks. Fourteen days is already a good amount of time to recover. So, if you plan to top your plants again, wait for 10 to 14 days.
When is Topping Not an Option?
Although Topping is the best option when trying to produce massive yields with high-quality buds, however – it is sometimes not a great idea to top your cannabis plants. It is highly advisable not to top your plants once they enter the flowering phase, and this is because when you cut parts of them, they will be more stressed, thus, curbing the flowering cycle.
That’s why Topping is only appropriate for the vegetative phase as they are still developing. When you cut them during their flowering phase, their entire genetic makeup changes, and the plant operates differently from before.
Topping is a surefire thing when it comes to producing bigger yields. However, always take note of the appropriate time for topping cannabis plants; when you cut them during their flowering phase, it can stunt their growth. So, it pays to monitor your plants every now and then.
There are still many more techniques in the world of cannabis that you can learn. Topping cannabis is just one of those easy life hacks to achieve a desirable outcome when harvest season comes.
Are done harvesting your weed? Start planting again and get the seeds here.