How to Prune Cannabis Plants For the Best Results

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

If you want to get the best results from your cannabis plants, you need to learn how to prune them properly. Pruning is an important part of plant care that allows you to shape the plant, remove excess growth, and improve air circulation.

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Pruning Basics

Pruning is an essential part of growing cannabis. It helps the plant to grow stronger, stay healthy, and produce more buds. There are a few different ways to prune your plants, but the two most common methods are LST (low stress training) and topping.

What is pruning?

Pruning is the process of selectively removing parts of a plant for the purpose of encouraging growth in other parts. When pruning cannabis, growers typically focus on two main objectives: increasing yield and improving the quality of the buds.

There are a number of different ways to prune cannabis plants, each of which offers its own set of benefits and drawbacks. The type of pruning you do will depend on your specific goals for the plant, as well as the stage of growth it is in.

Topping is a type of pruning that involves removing the main stem (the tallest part of the plant) just below a set of leaves. This causes the plant to branch out and produce multiple stems, each of which will grow its own main cola (the largest bud at the top of the plant). Topping can be done multiple times throughout the vegetative stage, and can result in significantly increased yields. However, it also stresses the plant and can slow down its overall growth rate.

FIMing (or “FIMing”) is a type of pruning that stands for “Fuck I Missed.” It’s similar to topping in that it involves removing the main stem just below a set of leaves, but instead of making a clean cut, you only remove about 70% of the stem. This allows the remaining 30% to continue growing, resulting in multiple colas on each side of the FIMed area. FIMing is less stressful than topping and doesn’t slow down growth as much, but it can be more difficult to do correctly and doesn’t always result in evenly spaced colas.

Lollipopping is a type of pruning that involves removing all lower leaves and branches from the plant so that only leaves near the top are left. This allows all the energy from the plant to go into producing bigger, better buds at the top. Lollipopping also makes it easier to control moisture and pests near your plants since there are fewer places for them to hide. However, lollipopping can slow down growth since it removes so much foliage from the plant, and it can also make your plants more susceptible to wind damage since they have fewer leaves to act as stabilizers.

Leaf pulling is a type of pruning that involves manually removing individual leaves from your plants. This helps improve air circulation and light penetration around your buds, which can result in higher-quality flowers. Leaf pulling can also help get rid of mold or mildew before it has a chance to take hold on your plants. However, leaf pulling is time-consuming and labor-intensive, and it’s important not to remove too many leaves or you could end up damaging your plants

Why prune cannabis plants?

Pruning cannabis plants can result in bigger, healthier, and more abundant yields. By pruning your plants, you are essentially telling them to grow in a certain way. By selectively removing leaves and branches, you can encourage your plant to put more energy into the growth of buds (flowers) rather than foliage.

Not only does this result in bigger yields, but it also allows the buds to get more light and air circulation, which results in better air flow and less chance of mold or mildew.

When to prune cannabis plants?

You can prune your cannabis plants at any time during the vegetative stage. It’s best to prune when the plants are small so you can get a better idea of the shape you want to achieve. If you wait until the plants are too big, you may end up with an awkward-looking shape.

Pruning Techniques

Pruning your cannabis plants may seem like a difficult task, but it is actually quite simple. Proper pruning will improve the growth and yield of your plants. There are a few different techniques that you can use to prune your plants. Let’s take a look at a few of them.

Topping

Topping is a pruning technique that involves removing the very top of the main stem. This encourages the plant to put out new growth, which can result in a fuller, bushier plant with more buds. When done correctly, topping can be a great way to increase your yield.

Topping is typically done when the plant is about 2-3 weeks old. You will want to wait until the plant has 4-6 leaves on the main stem before topping. Once you have decided to top your plant, use sharp scissors or a knife to remove the very top of the main stem, just above the fourth or fifth leaf node.

It is important to be aware that topping can stress your plant, so make sure you give it time to recover before you start doing any other type of pruning. Topping also causes the plant to put out more leaves, which can result in a higher leaf-to-bud ratio. If you are growing for quality over quantity, you may want to avoid topping altogether.

FIMing

FIMing, or “FIMing cannabis” is a pruning technique that stands for “Fuck I Missed”. It involves topping a cannabis plant (cutting off the main shoot) and then training the resulting 4 new shoots that grow outwards from the cuts.

This pruning technique can be used on young cannabis plants, or “vegetative stage” plants that have not yet been switched to 12/12 (12 hours of light, 12 hours of darkness). However, you can also FIM adult plants, it just won’t result in as big of a yield increase as topping a young plant.

Topping a young plant will cause it to grow 2 new main shoots (instead of just 1), and FIMing an adult plant will cause it to grow 4 new shoots (instead of just 2).

LSTing

LSTing, or low stress training, is a type of pruning that involves gently bending and tying down the branches of a cannabis plant in order to force it to grow in a certain shape. This training technique is often used in order to produce smaller, bushier plants that are better suited for indoor growing setups. LST can also be used to increase yields by allowing more of the plant’s leaves to receive direct sunlight.

To perform LST on your cannabis plants, you will need to start with young plants that have not yet been flowered. Once your plants have reached a height of 6-8 inches, you can begin gently bending and tying down the branches with soft string or thin wire. Be sure not to tie the branches too tightly, as this can damage the plant.

To achieve the best results with LST, you will need to continue training your plants until they are ready to be flowered. This process can take several weeks, but it is worth it for the increased yields and smaller overall size of your finished plants.

Pruning for Bigger Yields

Although it may seem counterintuitive, pruning your cannabis plants can actually result in bigger yields. By carefully removing certain leaves and branches, you can encourage your plants to put more energy into producing buds. In This guide, we’ll show you how to prune your cannabis plants for the best results.

Screen of Green (ScrOG)

Screen of Green, also known as ScrOG, is a cannabis growing technique that involves using a screen or netting to train your plants. The screen is placed over the top of the plants and the branches are then trained through the holes in the screen. This causes the plant to grow horizontally across the screen, rather than vertically.

A well-trained ScrOG plant can produce incredible yields, but it does take some time and effort to get your plants looking just right. In this article, we’ll show you everything you need to know about ScrOG cannabis growing, including how to set up your screen, train your plants, and achieve monster yields.

Screen of Green (ScrOG) is a cannabis growing technique that involves using a screen or netting to train your plants. The Screen of Green method is an excellent way of maximising yields while still keeping plant sizes manageable. By training your plants horizontally across ascreen, you create more space formain colas (the biggest buds) to grow while controlling stretching and preventing vertical growth.

Main-lining

Main-lining is a cannabis pruning technique in which the central stem of the plant is removed, forcing the remaining branches to grow outwards. This creates a “main line” of evenly spaced out branches, which results in a higher yield per square meter.

To main-line a cannabis plant, simply remove the central stem at the desired height. For best results, main-line when the plant is young (around 2-4 weeks old).

Pruning for Better Quality

Pruning your cannabis plants is important for two reasons: to increase yield and to improve the quality of your final product. When done correctly, pruning will result in more buds, more trichomes, and better-tasting smoke.

removing leaves to increase light exposure

Leaves block light from getting to your buds, so removing them will increase light exposure and likely improve bud quality. Removing leaves also allows more air to circulate around your buds, which can help prevent mold and bud rot.

Topping is a type of pruning that involves cutting off the main stem of a cannabis plant. This causes the plant to grow multiple new stems, which can produce more buds. Topping also makes it easier to control the shape of your plant.

removing leaves to increase air circulation

Removing leaves to increase air circulation is a good way to improve the quality of your cannabis plants. By removing leaves, you allow more air to circulate around the plant and this can help to prevent mold and mildew from growing. Additionally, increasing air circulation can help to prevent pests from infesting your plants.

Pruning for Healthier Plants

Pruning your cannabis plants is an important step in ensuring that they stay healthy and produce the best possible yield. When done correctly, pruning can also help to increase the THC content of your buds. Here’s a step-by-step guide to pruning your cannabis plants for the best results.

removing diseased or damaged leaves

Removing diseased or damaged leaves is the most common type of pruning. This type of pruning can be done at any time of year. It is best to prune off the affected leaves as soon as you see them. This will help to prevent the spread of disease and keep your plant healthy.

If you see any leaves that are yellowing, browning, or wilting, you should remove them. These leaves are no longer capable of photosynthesis and are just taking up space and energy that could be used by healthier leaves. If a leaf is only partially affected, you can try to remove just the damaged part.

Another reason to remove leaves is if they are blocking sunlight from getting to other parts of the plant. If there are leaves that are shading other parts of the plant, you can remove them to allow more light to reach those areas.

removing leaves to reduce pests and diseases

One of the most common and important ways to prune your cannabis plants is by removing leaves that are infested with pests or diseases. By doing this, you can help prevent the spread of these problems to other parts of the plant, and ultimately keep your plants healthy.

Another reason to prune your plants is to remove leaves that are blocking Light from reaching lower leaves. If Lower leaves don’t get enough Light, they can start to die off, which will ultimately reduce the overall health of your plant.

When pruning for Light, it’s important to only remove a few leaves at a time so that the plant doesn’t become stressed. You should also make sure to prune evenly from all sides of the plant so that it doesn’t become lopsided.

Finally, pruning can also be done for purely aesthetic reasons. Some people like to prune their plants into specific shapes, or just remove any leaves that are discolored or dying. Pruning for aesthetics is completely up to you, and there are no right or wrong ways to do it!

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About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books