The topping is an extremely rewarding technique which is effortless even for newbie marijuana growers.
However, when it comes to the guidelines on how to top autoflower cannabis varieties, things get much more delicate.
That’s because autoflowering marijuana plants have a completely different growth timeline, as compared to all the rest of the representatives of the cannabis family.
Thus, it is critical to know whether you can top your autoflowering green beauties successfully.
In some cases, topping autos can cause more issues than any gains for you are a grower.
But on the other hand, it is not impossible to top your autoflowering beauties in the most suitable way.
Keep reading and find out how and when topping will work for your autoflower cannabis strains!
#1 – What Makes Topping Autoflower Cannabis so Challenging?
As a rule of thumbs, the topping is essentially cutting the main colla of your green beauties.
Doing so allows you to grow two separate delicious buds, instead of a single one.
Thus, you get maximized yields, which what all of us, marijuana growers, crave for.
The challenges with topping auto-flowering strains are closely related to the unique growth patterns of this type of weed.
Autoflower cannabis is notorious as an early finisher, which can be ready to harvest within as little as 8 weeks!
And while this particular trait of autos is amazingly welcome for cannabis cultivators, you also need to keep it into consideration when training and pruning your plants.
When topping autos, you have to be very, very precise.
If you don’t top your plants in the most appropriate moment, you expose your green ladies to the risk of remaining small in size, due to the shock.
With ordinary marijuana varieties, such as Sativa, Indica, and hybrids, you have a much wider time frame to top your plants before they have reached the flowering stage.
But with autos, everything happens so quickly that it gets very easy to slip and miss the right moment for topping.
Thus, if you top your plant while it has already on the brink of starting flowering, it won’t be able to grow in full size.
That will end up with decreased yields and sometimes, it can even lead to the death of your precious green cutie.
On another note, if you top autos too early, things don’t look any brighter. You will disrupt their development and end up pretty disappointed.
#2 – How to Top Autoflower Marijuana Plants for Best Results?
If you are just getting started with growing autoflowering marijuana plants, I highly recommend that you stay away from topping.
You need at least 1 successful autoflower cannabis growing operation as to gain a better understanding over the growth timeline of your green babies.
Anyway, even experienced marijuana cultivators can easily make a mistake when topping autos since different strains will develop completely differently.
As a rule of thumbs, you must aim for topping your autos once week 2 of vegetation has passed but not later than the end of week 3.
You want to check if your plants are healthy, sturdy and strong so that they can recover from the shock.
Only top autos which are green and vital, as well as growing quickly.
Also, you want to see at least 4-5 fingered leaves until the end of week 2, which can be a good sign your plant is in a good stage and condition for topping.
Only top leaves with 4-5 fingers present and aim for cutting as little as possible. The deeper the cut, the greater the shock and the longer the recovery.
And as we already discussed above, time is not on your side with autos, so you need to act fast and precise.
#3 – When to Avoid Topping Autoflowering Weed Varieties?
Sometimes it would be a much wiser option to restrain from topping your autoflowering ladies.
For example, if your precious green princesses have not grown at least 4 nodes by the end of week 2, it is best to forget about topping.
The fact that your auto has not managed to grow a minimum of 4 fingers on its leaves by week 2 doesn’t mean your crops will be ruined.
It simply shows that your autoflower cannabis variety is a bit slowed down in its development but it can catch up later on.
However, if you top it while it encounters difficulties with the speed of growing, you will stress it out to a point which can be too much for your fragile green baby to handle.
Thus, in the case, you notice any abnormal signs in terms of growth patterns, such as drooping, then skip on topping for the better.
As we briefly mentioned above, attempting to top your autoflowering plants in the case this is your first auto growing operation, you are much more likely to mess things up than doing any good!
And finally, if your plants are already in the middle of their 4th week of growing, the topping is strictly forbidden.
Ultimately, it is not that much about how to top autoflower cannabis varieties but whether it would be beneficial to do this at all!