Yo, what up, it’s your boy Dan and I’m here to talk about the age-old debate among growers – to top or not to top autoflowering cannabis plants. Now, you might be thinking, “Dan, isn’t it impossible to top and train autos?” Well, my dude, it is possible but definitely not for the faint of heart.
Let’s break it down. Topping and training cannabis plants is all about improving your yields and having more control over how your plants grow. If you just let ’em grow as they please, you’ll end up with a bunch of Christmas tree-looking plants with a slim central cola and small flowers down below. But if you top your plants, you can develop multiple colas along the main stem and branches, leading to bigger buds.
But here’s the thing with autoflowers – they’re different from regular photoperiod strains because they have genetics from Cannabis ruderalis. This means they flower automatically once mature and don’t rely on changes in light cycles like indica and sativa varieties do. So, topping and training an auto can cause some degree of stress that they might not be able to recover from fully. This could lead to lower-quality harvests.
Now, some growers swear by topping and training autos while others think it’s a disaster waiting to happen. So, if you’re an experienced grower with at least 1-2 auto harvests under your belt, go ahead and experiment with topping and training. If not, focus on getting to know your strains and properly watering and feeding them.
But if you do decide to top or train your autos, start early. We recommend doing so when your plants have just developed 3-4 nodes. And go for low-stress techniques like LST (low-stress training), ScrOG (screen of green), or SOG (sea of green). These techniques help manipulate the way your plants grow without causing too much stress.
LST involves gently bending the main stem of your plant and tying it down using wire, string or pipe cleaners. This helps teach your plants to grow outwards rather than upwards and creates a wider canopy that gets better light exposure. ScrOG involves using a mesh screen to train your plants to grow laterally, while SOG involves growing multiple small plants close together in small pots to create a thick canopy.
Topping involves cutting off a plant’s top shoot, which will cause it to grow two main branches that will eventually become two main colas. But this is a high-stress technique that we only recommend for experienced growers who are positive their plant is super healthy.
Fimming is a slight variation on topping that involves only partial removal of the plant’s tip. This is slightly less stressful than topping because it doesn’t damage the plant’s main stem.
Super cropping involves twisting the stems and branches of a plant to damage its inner herd while leaving the outer herd intact. This promotes vigorous growth and helps expose more of the plant’s bud sites to light.
So there you have it, folks – topping and training autoflowering cannabis plants: can it be done? Yes, but proceed with caution and stick to low-stress techniques if you’re a newbie. And always remember – practice makes perfect!