By Robert Bergman
Pruning can be simple or complex, depending on which type you choose to do. Regardless, it’s crucial that you know what you’re doing before pruning. Otherwise, pruning could do more harm than good.
At its most basic, pruning is simply the process of chopping off parts of your plant. Doing it willy-nilly will have no positive effects, but doing it strategically can be extremely helpful. Leaves at the bottom that are turning yellow can be pruned, for example, so that your plant doesn’t waste its resources on those leaves.
Topping marijuana plants involves chopping off the main shoot from the very top. This causes multiple shoots and branches to grow from the place where the single one was. That makes for a bushier plant, which means more foliage and greater sun exposure (and therefore more resources to grow faster and produce more buds).
Topping should be done after the fifth pair of leaves has sprouted – it definitely should not be earlier than that. At that point, cut off the main shoot (but only the newest shoot to minimize damage). If you top more than once, be sure to wait in between so your plant has enough time to recover.
Fimming is when you remove part of the newest shoot of a marijuana plant. It causes four main buds to sprout rather than just one main bud. Marijuana plants that have been fimmed are wider and shorter than “normal” plants, allowing for more leaves to be exposed to the sun.
If you cut off too much, you’ll only get two buds, so it’s important just to take off two-thirds of that last shoot. Many suggest that fimming Indicas is a bad idea because they don’t grow as quickly as Sativas, and recovery can be slow.
Fimming Step 1
Fimming Step 2
This type of cropping involves crushing the interior of the stem. You simply squeeze and bend a long branch on your marijuana plant, especially the middle stem. You can bend the branches to grow a certain way, or you can just pinch them to stimulate greater health and nutrient transport.
Super Cropping Step 1
Super Cropping Step 2
LST is a type of training that involves tying rather than damaging your plant somehow. Tying your marijuana plant strategically tricks it into thinking it no longer has a center shoot, so it will get bushier elsewhere.
Lollipopping is the process of removing the growths of your plant that are down at the base. These parts are shaded anyway and are therefore not particularly useful for your plant. It also helps with air circulation.