When I was just getting started with growing marijuana, learning how to top my cannabis plant the right way has made me go through some trials and errors.
Admittedly, I underestimated the process of topping because I thought this is something extremely effortless.
Well, the truth is, topping is, indeed, an easy-peasy task.
However, if you proceed with that mission without understanding the basics, you can pretty much cause more damage than any good to your precious green beauties.
That’s why in this article, we are providing the best guidelines regarding topping cannabis plants successfully.
Let’s get down to work, cannabuddies!
#1 – When Can I Start Topping my Marijuana Plant/s?
You can start topping your cannabeauties as soon as you notice at least 4 nodes present.
As a rule of thumbs, it is best to proceed with topping when about 6 nodes have already popped out.
The more mature is your cannabis plant in vegetation, the better and easier it will recover from the shock.
Yep, topping causes slight stress to your green ladies at first.
Anyway, there is nothing to be particularly worried about.
Weed plants are very resilient during the vegetative phase. During this period any mistakes you make as a grower are mostly reversible.
Just make sure you start or continue topping before the last 2 weeks of vegetation take place.
#2 – When NOT to Top Weed Plants
Topping can be a very bad idea once your marijuana plants have already entered the flowering stage.
Some cannabis cultivators do, however, top their cannabeauties during flowering, as well.
But keep in mind that this approach is a reserved territory for experienced growers.
When you top a cannabis plant during flowering, you risk decreasing your yields significantly.
Not that those tender green princesses won’t recover from the stress.
It is just that this will cause them to force way too much vital energy on the topped spots, instead of concentrating their power in growing the buds.
On another note, if you are planning to top an autoflower cannabis strain, experts do recommend that you only proceed with topping if you have some previous experience with growing autoflowering varieties.
Autoflower marijuana strains enter the flowering stage fairly quick and topping must be executed with absolute precision.
Otherwise, you will end up with half of the crops as your autoflowering weed plant might easily lack behind in growing due to the stress and the limited time for recovery.
#3 – How to Top my Cannabis Plant Tutorial in 3 Easy Steps
Sterilize your Tools
Some marijuana growers tend to snap or pinch the so-called terminal bud.
However, this is not something you want to do because you risk exposing your green babies to bacteria.
Yes, even though you may wash your hands carefully, there will still be plenty of germs on the surface of the skin.
Nevertheless, pinching or snapping also hide the risk of missing out to top the terminal bud properly and evenly.
I like using small scissors, such as ordinary nail scissors. They are compact, easy to work with, and there’s a smaller chance of accidentally cutting any other leaves, located nearby.
Simply swipe the scissors with a cotton pad, soaked in alcohol or highly antibacterial essential oil, such as Tea Tree oil.
Take the Time to Spot and Prep the Terminal Bud
I know this sounds fairly obvious but it is utterly important to monitor your plant before you jump into the topping.
You want to have a close look and to be careful as not to cut any too near to the main stem.
Don’t be afraid to gently make your way through the rest of the leaves by slightly moving them with your hand to examine well the terminal bud.
As long as you are acting tenderly, you won’t snap or break any of the leaves.
Act Fast but be Gentle
Okay, so now that you have spotted the terminal bud and you are ready to top your cannabis plant, you still need to be gentle!
After all, you can always cut once again if the first time was not that precise but you cannot do anything if you cut too deep as to affect the stem, right?
On another note, don’t hesitate too much with cutting because you want to make a clean and even cut. If you are too slow, you won’t be able to do so.
Well, that’s pretty much all of it!
Ultimately, it turns out I have learned how to top my cannabis plant with almost surgical precision, so I bet you will, too.
Don’t let topping frustrate you even if this is your very first attempt.
Even a child can do this procedure effortlessly when following the right guidelines.
Wish you a happy cannaventure, ya’ll!