Some strains absolutely hate it when you prune them to increase their number of branches, so in these strains what you’ll want to do is increase the amount of production on the central stem. These strains tend to be indicas. The one that’s easiest to recognize with this kind of shape is Critical+. These plants center most of their production on the main “eye” of the plant, the central calyx, so to get the most out of these plants you’ll need to place a whole lot together and prune/trim the lower branches. This way you’ll be able to grow up to 16 plants per square meter without them getting tangled. The idea is to prune those branches that come out over the flowerpot, leaving just the main stem and 4 to 6 branches around the bottom. To make sure that it doesn’t end up doubling over with the weight you should wire or string it, and you’ll have 16 extremely productive plants where before you could only fit 9.
If you take one of the branches on your plant and bend it slightly, it should form a sort of callus which will double the strength of the branch. The cells in your plant will make their way to the injury and they’ll strengthen the branch, allowing it to put up with much more weight. As well as not growing any more, the end bud will have heavier buds. All you have to do is bend the branch slightly, making sure not to go too far; if you actually break it then that’s that. If done correctly, you should end up with thick balls of buds and compact, strong plants. You’ll be able to grow less plants in your grow tent but with a higher production rate.
Another thing that you mustn’t do is prune your plants while they’re flowering. Plants need a few days to recover from prune-induced stress, and it takes a while to decide where the new branch or central stem is going to grow from. You’ll need to prune at least 15 days before you switch your plants to the growing period or before summer begins for outdoor crops. You need to prune during the growth period every time, or else the start of the flowering period may be compromised.
Pruning is essentially cutting a part of your plant so that it can direct its strength to other parts that can absorb light easily. This doesn’t mean that you can prune any part of your plants like the large leaves so that the light can reach the lower parts. Leaves have an extremely important part to play in your plants’ lives; they’re kind of like solar panels for plants, and the buds are the batteries. If light hits the batteries they won’t charge, it needs to hit the panels so that the light can be turned into energy for your plants. This means that if you remove the leaves you’ll end up removing a lot of the strength from your plants, as they act like nutrient deposits; if your plants leaves aren’t receiving enough light the plant will automatically absorb all of the nutrients, leaving the leaf yellow and dead.
To use this prune technique you’ll have to be a bit more careful, because you’ll have to cut along the fattest part of the trunk, and your plant will have an open wound that you’ll need to cover up. This way you’ll manage to get the plant to have a high density of flowers on the inner and outer branches, creating a blanket of buds of around 40x40cm with which you can fill a square meter grow tent with just four plants or a 1,2×1,2 grow tent with up to 9 plants. This kind of pruning helps spread out the production in the shape of smaller buds but in larger quantities. You’ll need to make the cut right around the height of the lower branches, leaving the plant looking kind of like a candelabrum, allowing the shorter branches to end up at the same height as the longer ones. You’ll need to use a scarring paste on the wound or even wax from a candle so that no dirt or insects can get in and put your plant’s life in danger.
We’re going to talk about a few different pruning situations, along with a picture and an explanation so that you know where you have to cut depending on the result you want, because not all pruning is done the same or for the same reason, so each type has a different effect on your plants.
You can prune to change your plants’ shape, but never prune at the top to allow more light to reach the bottom; the top is always more productive than the bottom even if you want it to get more light. The logical thing to do would be to prune the bottom so that the top can produce even more.
If you’re looking to learn how to do other kinds of pruning, leave a comment and we’ll do our best to add it on to the article.
To get two central calyxes and have a more centered harvest, all you need to do is cut above the two branches that we want to let grow. The cut must happen after a point in which two new branches are appearing, leaving about 1cm of trunk after those two branches. In the picture we can see the two sprouts coming out of the trunk, and even a little extra bit. In a couple of days the wound will close and the two new central points will have your plants entire attention. That’s where the most bud will be concentrated because your plant will see the two new branches as the central eye of the plant.
Comprehensive article on when and how to prune marijuana plants depending on the effect you want the pruning to have. Read on to find out more.
The SOG plants do not require any training as that will only slow them down and delay the harvest. It is probably better to just grow more plants instead and fill out the entire surface area with as many plants as possible. In case the smaller plants do not fill up the entire area of the grow room, some minor LST training might be needed in order for them to branch out a bit more.
Twice as many plants grown half as big will fill the grow space twice as fast, so harvests take place almost twice as often.
Topping and low stress training work quite well together but it’s not necessary to top the plant in order to start the training. Some people prefer to leave the plant untopped and tie down the main shoot at ground level instead. This will have the same effect as topping it because once again, the centre for growth control located in the main shoot will dictate how the plant takes shape. When the main shoot is tied down, all shoots above it will grow more rapidly as the plant now assumes that the main shoot is gone.
Most of the time this transition is quite fast but some plants that respond poorly to topping might display stunted growth for a while. It is possible to top a plant many times, each time the number of dominant shoots will double. Give your plants some time to grow before you top them. If they are topped too early they might get stunted for a while, mainly due to the loss of photosynthetic tissue. I do top them quite early sometimes as you can probably tell from the pictures that I have included. Go by your feelings, once the plants look strong enough you can start topping and training them. Look for secondary growth at the lower nodes, that usually means that it is safe to top the plant. When the plant has formed the fifth pair of leaves, it should be ok for you to remove the main shoot.
Scrogging, or Screen of Green means that you suspend a net over the plants and allow them to grow through it. This makes it easier to separate the growing branches so that they eventually cover the entire area of the grow room. The Scrog net also provides support as the buds can often become so heavy that that the branches cannot support them anymore and break under the weight. Thereby the Scrog net also removes the need for noisy fans, used to make the stems stronger through the waving effect. Personally never use fans due to limited space. If you can keep the temps within optimal levels, you don’t really need them. The added support from the scrog net usually becomes necessary at this stage because the branches can be quite thin compared to the bud that they are packing.
There is also a technique called super cropping, which involves the crushing of the soft inner tissue of the stem. This technique will allow you to gain some control over the plant, but it is mainly used to increase health, potency and yields. This soft inner tissue is made up of cellulose and forms a network of vascular tissue that can be divided into two groups; namely the xylem and phloem. These two are responsible for the transport of water and nutrients along the stem.
Sea of green or SOG is the method of growing where a multitude of smaller plants are grown instead of few large ones. These smaller plants will mature faster and in less time than larger plants and one crop can be started while another is maturing. This saves the grower a lot of time and money as less time is required between crops. This method is also good for those wanting to make the most out of their smaller grow area.
These diagrams, originally posted by big_buddha, illustrate what I am talking about. These are excellent diagrams so many thanks to the creator.
Just to demonstrate how many different ways a plant can be trained, here are some pictures of plants in early training. All of them were topped first. By training a plant you can also slow down the stretch, especially in pure or sativa dominant plants that tend to stretch more than indicas.
Here are a few tips on how to train your cannabis plants for a maximized crop. This guide covers the basic idea behind various techniques and how to apply them for the best results. All of the techniques mentioned in this guide can be used both indoors and outdoors with equal results.