Yo, what’s good? It’s Dan, and today we’re talking about one of the most important techniques in growing some dank herb – topping. Now, there are a lot of plant training techniques out there, but only a few have been used for decades and proven to be effective. And if you’re looking to increase your yields, manage your canopy, and improve your light efficiency, then topping is definitely the way to go.
So what is topping exactly? Well, it’s the act of removing the upper portion of the plant. I know it sounds crazy, but trust me – your yield potential goes up when you take off the top. Topping is all about maximising the quality of buds by creating multiple colas instead of just one giant one on the main stem.
But why exactly does removing the top of a plant help? There are three main reasons that growers use topping as a training technique: space management, hormone distribution, and light efficiency.
When cannabis plants grow naturally, they want to grow in a Christmas tree shape with lower branches reaching outwards to receive unobstructed light. But when you remove the top portion of the plant, those lower branches are no longer shielded by large fan leaves above them. This means more light to more leaves, which equals more photosynthesis and more power for your plant to develop buds.
Topping can also be used as a height management tool in small grow areas with low ceilings. And if you’re growing different strains in an indoor area, then topping can help keep your canopy as close to level as possible.
But perhaps the biggest benefit of topping is how it redistributes auxins and hormones in the plant. Instead of those growth hormones going to just the tallest point on your plant, they’re evenly distributed amongst a level canopy. This promotes even growth across many bud sites instead of just one big cola. By having more “top” buds instead of just one giant one, you can dramatically increase your yields – especially when combining topping with other plant training techniques.
So when should you top your cannabis plant? Most growers will top their plants once or twice during the vegetative stage. It’s best practice to use your discretion – some growers recommend topping between the 5th and 7th nodes, but it really depends on how tall your plant is and how much it stretches during flowering.
When you top your plant (or even its many side branches), you’ll get two new branches in place of the old one. Growers then have two bud sites, which is yet another way that topping can help increase yields. Plus, changes in hormone distribution encourage lateral branching in the plant – resulting in a larger, bushier plant than one grown without topping.
So there you have it – everything you need to know about topping your cannabis plants. It’s such an easy technique that can make a huge impact on your final harvest. And remember – always be mindful of local laws and regulations regarding cannabis cultivation. Happy growing!