Zativo caters to private customers only, and does not supply commercial or industrial growers with large amounts of cannabis seeds. If we have reason to suspect that the ordered seeds are destined for growing cannabis on a larger-than-private scale, we reserve the right to dismiss that specific order.
Pruning your cannabis plants involves manipulating the number of potential bud sites on the plant to try to increase your overall yield. This process has nothing to do with thinning your cannabis plants.
The mechanics behind pruning your cannabis to get a better yield is quite simple. Have you ever heard of the Greek mythological creature known as the Hydra? Basically, legend told of a multi-headed serpent that would regrow two heads in place of one that was chopped off. Pruning your cannabis goes along the same lines, if you manage to do it correctly, cutting off a shoot will result in two growing back in its place – enhancing the potential yield you get with some strains.
To do this correctly you need to make a cut using some sterilized clippers at a 45 degree angle to the shoot in question. Each time you prune correctly, the cut area should split into two. This can also be done to the stem multiple times to create anywhere between 2-8 stems. A word of caution though, the success of this is largely going to depend on the cannabis strain you are growing – every strain has a genetically determined limit to the amount of branches they can grow, so over pruning may do more harm than good.
It should also be noted that cannabis plants need in excess of 50% of their foliage to survive, so over pruning will kill them.
This technique can be effectively applied to a sativa strain in order to control its size whilst maintaining great yields. Normally a sativa will grow to towering heights, but under the skilled hand of an experienced pruner, they can be kept as small bushy cannabis plants - suitable for cramped indoor grow rooms. Just remember, every strain has a different predetermined branching limit.
Topping as a pruning technique is used to multiply the amount of top colas produced. The theory follows along the same lines as pruning - by cutting the top branch formation during the third or fourth week of the vegetative stage, you can cause it to grow back in a “V” shape, giving you two top colas. It has been known for some growers to force their cannabis plants to produce in excess of 6 top colas! Whilst this has to sound appealing to most cultivators, its success is once again going to be determined by the genetic limits of the strain you are growing.
So how does this genetic limit possibly cause multiple colas to be a bad thing? Well in the same way cannabis plants have a maximum amount of branches they can grow hard coded into their genetics, they also have a maximum yield they can produce in there as well. What this means is that some strains will have the potential to produce extra colas that are just as big as the original cola, enhancing the yield; whilst other strains will end up producing multiple small colas that equal the same amount as one main cola would have produced, due to the yield limit already being hit - each marijuana strain cannot produce more than their genetics will allow, no matter how hard you try.
Do not be deterred though! Some strains never reach their yield limit naturally, so topping your cannabis can really enhance the yield you get. A good example of this is the Blueberry strain; you will never reach full potential yields with this strain unless you top it. Whereas other strains do not have a high threshold for bud production and topping them will result in two colas sharing out the maximum yield instead of it being present in one.
FIM topping can also be used to produce multiple colas. To do this, look through the leaves at the top of your plant during the third or fourth week of the vegetative stage. You should see a small leaf bud. Use nail clippers to cut about 3/4 of this off. It should result in multiple top colas being produced (up to 8 normally).
Standing for “Fuck I Missed”, FIM was first discovered when a cannabis grower accidentally cut this bud when trying to perform a standard topping - We think he was pleasantly surprised with the results.
This is another method of topping your cannabis plants to create multiple top colas. By taking a top branch and gently crushing it between your thumb and forefinger, you can encourage it to produce multiple branches above the crushed area, thus producing multiple colas.
This can be tricky, it is easy to snap the branch by crushing it on the wrong side. It should be very easy to crush, if you are getting a lot of resistance then you are probably doing the wrong side – it just takes a bit of practice.
This super cropping process should be done during the second or third week of the vegetative stage. A super cropped cannabis plant will also require extra time in the vegetative stage (about an extra 4-6 weeks). This may sound like a long time, but it will result in a plant that has multiple new nodes, all of which are going to produce top colas. Patience is key here.
If you decide to top your marijuana, then it is important to remember that no matter which method you choose, each strain has a maximum yield ceiling that it cannot exceed. As a result, we would strongly recommend only topping one or two cannabis plants when you are growing a strain you are unfamiliar with. This will give you a better feel for what potential it has without taking a needless risk with your entire crop. Once you have practiced with your new strain and have a good idea what it is capable of, you can go ahead and do them all in your next batch – practice makes perfect.
Also, whilst most pruning/topping takes place in the first 3-4 weeks of the vegetative stage of growth, further pruning can take place at later dates; just don't do any pruning/topping during the flowering stage – this will divert much-needed energy away from flowering to growth of new branches etc.