Cannabis cultivation is an art form that requires the utmost care and attention to detail. One of the most effective techniques for increasing yields is topping, a plant training method that involves cutting off the top of the main stem.
By doing so, the plant is encouraged to grow more colas, resulting in a greater spread of buds and an overall increase in yield.
Topping is a popular technique among cannabis growers due to its ability to increase yields while also improving the quality of the plant. This technique splits the main stem into two, allowing each stem to develop into a bud/cola during the flowering stage.
When combined with other training methods such as low-stress training (LST), topping can result in even greater yields. In this article, we will explore the benefits of topping and how to properly execute this technique to maximize your cannabis yields.
What is Topping?
Topping is a plant training technique in which the top of a cannabis plant’s main stem is cut off to create more colas and increase yield. The method involves removing or damaging top growth to reveal hidden growth tips and signals plants to start putting energy into them. This results in lower growth nodes becoming new colas once they’re exposed to light and air.
The aim of topping is to achieve a more desirable plant shape and bigger yields. Most plants naturally only have one main stem, and topping splits it into two. Each stem can turn into a bud/cola in the flowering stage. Almost immediately after topping, the connections to each node become enlarged at the base.
Topping cannabis plants reduces height instantly and increases the number of colas. It is best done when the plant is young and has 4-5 nodes. Topping causes the plant to transfer its energy to two new main colas, making the plant grow bushier and lower branches rise up to become new main colas.
This technique can be combined with LST to open up the plant and give lower branches more light.
Benefits of Topping
By removing the top growth of a cannabis plant during the vegetative stage, the plant is encouraged to redistribute its energy towards lower growth nodes, resulting in a fuller and bushier plant with multiple colas reaching towards the light like outstretched arms. Topping is a highly effective way to increase your cannabis yields, as it allows for better light penetration and encourages the plant to grow in a way that maximizes its potential.
The benefits of topping are numerous, and can be summarized in the following table:
|Increased yields||Topping allows for the development of multiple colas, resulting in a higher overall yield|
|Better light penetration||By spreading out the plant, topping ensures that all parts of the plant receive adequate light|
|Bushier plant||Topping encourages lower growth nodes to develop, resulting in a fuller, bushier plant|
|More control over plant shape||Topping allows growers to shape their plants in a way that maximizes yields and minimizes wasted space|
|Improved quality||By encouraging the plant to grow in a more controlled way, topping can result in higher quality buds|
Incorporating topping into your cannabis plant training routine is a great way to improve your yields and get the most out of your grow. By understanding the benefits of topping and how it works, you can help your plants reach their full potential and produce high-quality buds that are sure to impress.
Combining Topping with LST
Combining the plant training technique of topping with low-stress training (LST) can result in a well-shaped cannabis plant that has increased light exposure and yields. LST involves bending the top of the plant and tying it down to expose more lower growth to light. When combined, the two techniques can create an even canopy of buds and colas, with each node receiving optimal light and airflow.
Here are three reasons why combining topping with LST can be beneficial for cannabis growers:
LST can help spread out the plant even further, allowing for more light to reach the lower branches and nodes.
The combination of topping and LST can create a more uniform canopy, resulting in more even growth and bigger yields.
By training the plant to grow horizontally, growers can take advantage of all available light and space, maximizing the potential yield of each plant.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can topping be done on any strain of cannabis plant?
Topping can be done on most cannabis strains during the vegetative stage to increase the number of colas and achieve bigger yields. However, it should be avoided during the flowering stage to prevent a reduction in final yields.
When is the best time of day to perform a topping on a cannabis plant?
The optimal time of day to perform a topping on a cannabis plant is during the early morning hours when the plant is in its most active growth phase. This allows the plant to recover quickly and continue its growth cycle without interruption.
How long after topping should I expect to see new growth?
After topping a cannabis plant, new growth can be expected within a few days to a week. The plant will redirect its energy to the lower nodes, which will grow into new colas, resulting in a bushier plant and potentially higher yields.
Are there any risks or potential negative effects of topping a cannabis plant?
Topping a cannabis plant can have potential negative effects such as stunted growth, reduced yields, and increased risk of disease or pests. It should only be done in the vegetative stage and with proper technique to minimize risks.
Can topping be done on autoflowering cannabis plants?
As autoflowering cannabis plants have a finite vegetative stage, topping may not be recommended as it could stunt growth and limit yields. However, some growers have successfully topped autoflowers early on to increase yield and bushiness.