Trimming cannabis plants requires a level of focus, training, and experience that can’t be obtained overnight.
It’s a good idea to get a container and fill it with the amount of bud you intend to trim. Also, this is a cool preparation step. It gets you mentally ready for what promises to be a hard few days of work ahead.
If you allow dead and dying leaves to remain, the plant wastes precious resources on a lost cause. On the other hand, when you clip the stems of leaves killed early, you could save your marijuana plant weeks of effort. As a result, it can focus on healthy leaves. Better yet, it may turn its attention towards growing new leaves (and ultimately new buds).
1 – Scissors or Shears
There are a few different methods for trimming your cannabis plant, but we’ll try to keep things simple. What follows are the two best (and easiest) ways to cut marijuana buds for a healthy yield.
Pruning also creates open space in the middle of the marijuana plant, allowing air to flow through it more freely and light to penetrate deeper, keeping the plant healthy and vibrant so it can produce more quality buds.
Topping cannabis works best when a plant is strong and developed and can withstand drastic change.
With one vertical stalk, the main cola will get a lot of light, but the lower branches will get shaded out by the main cola, producing larfy buds down below. With a bushy shape, you’ll get more buds, and they’ll be of a higher quality.
Topping vs. fimming
Whichever technique you choose, you’ll see an increase in yields. If you aren’t sure which method works best for you, try both and see which you prefer.
If you wait to top a weed plant after it has developed more than seven nodes, the plant will have been putting energy into upward growth that you are just going to cut off, when it could have been focusing on lateral growth that you will keep.
Topping marijuana is the tried-and-true method preferred by most growers, but there is another plant training technique called “fimming” or “FIMing”—short for “f**k I missed,” if you’re wondering. Fimming started as an accident but is also useful in the right circumstances.
When to top marijuana plants
Although it may seem strange to cut off and throw away part of your cannabis plants, topping is essential to keep your weed plants healthy and to get quality yields.
Check out Johanna’s full video series on how to grow weed on Leafly’s YouTube .
In addition to pruning the right parts of your plant, you are going to want to utilize a few different pruning techniques.
When pruning your plants, there are also some common trim mistakes that you need to avoid.
‘Scrogging’ is a bit different than these other pruning techniques because it refers to the site at which the plant should be grown. High-yield pruning strategies can be enhanced with Screen of Green (ScrOG), which refers to placing a mesh screen across the grow space. You then can have the concrete goal of having the plant bud through as many mesh holes as possible, which increases your yield by encouraging you to attain a quantifiable objective.
Main Pruning Techniques
The first mistake is pruning plants at the wrong time. When you prune too early or try to clip off bad buds preemptively, you run the risk of eliminating a part of the plant that could have grown into a good product. Of course, this is something to avoid at all costs if you want to maximize your yield!
If you love growing cannabis, you’re not alone. In fact, by 2025, it’s estimated that legal marijuana will earn the US $23 billion in annual revenue!
Other Pruning Techniques
The plant will also thrive because you have controlled where the plant invests its energy in growing. It isn’t going to waste time and resources attempting to grow unproductive or dying areas, but will rather be able to focus on the areas that will yield usable weed.
The second- and more detrimental- mistake is over-pruning. While you may think that pruning constantly is a great way to ensure that your plant gets the appropriate amount of light, you could wind up killing it if you’re not careful. The nutrients that your plant needs are stored in its buds, and clipping these buds off means that nutrients will never get to the parts of your plant that you want to nurture. Instead, pruning once a week is generally a safe bet.