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pruning marijuana plants

I try to keep the canopy even by topping the plants that stretch more but sometimes that’s impossible, especially when growing both indicas and sativas at the same time. One has to make adjustments according to the needs of the plants and direct longer branches to the corners of the grow room. Different plant require different training. Sometimes the only option is to bend down and tie the branches horizontally so that they are resting on the Scrog net. This can be a strange sight as the flowers keep growing vertically out of the side of the bud.
Needless to say, this method is highly effective thanks to the heavy branching that occurs after a flowering clone is re-vegged. With further training and some patience, you will get some real monster plants and thereby also a monster harvest.
There are many ways to train a plant and each plant requires a slightly different treatment. The goal is however to get a plant that looks like the one in the picture above. Once that plant goes into flowering it will have numerous shoots with many nodes. You can probably see what I mean. Once the bush gains size and starts to stretch, you will have to start pruning it carefully and wisely.
The sensory pigments also inform the plant of how much sunlight a certain part of the plant receives, which enables it to relocate energy and growth hormones to where they are needed. Shoots that are stuck in the shade will elongate and that means building more stem. This energy could have been spent on other things, like bud nodes, which is why we try to help the plant to become more productive by topping and training it.
It sometimes helps to think of the plant as a factory, where the leaves are the solar panels that provide the energy needed for production. That in turn is directly dependant on the availability of raw materials (including CO2 and water), something that you have to provide for the plant. Some of the raw materials are absorbed through the roots, so they are just as important as the leaves. The production can be divided into growth (expansion) and upkeep or maintenance. Maintenance has higher priority, although the plant will also relocate energy from less productive areas to areas that are more efficient. You can assist the plant by pushing the production towards the top of the plant, where there is more light but more on this later. There are many other things that you need to factor in but assume that the plant is always trying to make the most out of what is available to it. Plants may appear to be static but they are in fact in a state of constant flux, where the energy equilibrium is always shifting and readjusting.
At first glance plants seem simple but when we take a closer look at how they work we soon realize that they are in fact very complex. They rely on many different mechanisms of development and survival and are quite versatile when it comes to adaptation. Plants orientate themselves according to sunlight by a mechanism that is called phototropism. This means that the plant will always try to find the best way to capture the light by changing its shape and redirecting its leaves. Branches elongate, shoots twist and curl around obstacles in order to reach the light. The roots in turn orientate themselves according to gravity, which is called gravitropism. This means that if you tilt a potted plant on its side, it will grow into an s-shaped curve, shoots towards the sky and roots towards the earth. We are however only interested in phototropism as we can utilize this natural response in order to shape the plant as we see fit.
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.
The basic idea is that the training should be complete by the time the plants start flowering and grow through the net. Sometimes a second Scrog net or string is necessary higher up if the plants need further support.
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.
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.
Pruning marijuana plants
This plant was topped at an early stage, forming two main colas

Although this type of pruning is used primarily to reduce the risk of pests and diseases affecting plants rather than to shape and train the structure of the plant, it is highly useful and is widely employed by both indoor and outdoor growers. The technique consists of cleaning out the bottom parts of the plants and removing all the weak lower growth that doesn’t receive much light, effectively leaving the stalk and lower branches free of foliage. If left to their own devices, these shaded areas of the plant won’t yield much in the way of flowers and may provoke issues by impeding air circulation around the base of the plant, leading to high humidity, cooler temperatures and a greater incidence of fungal infections or insect infestations. Pruning away this spindly lower growth helps plants stay healthier by removing the areas where these problems may begin; by increasing airflow to the upper part of the plants, lowering the risk of fungal attack in the main flowering area; and it also helps plants direct their energies towards the more productive upper zone, increasing the eventual yield.
This method was most probably discovered by accident when a careless cultivator let his plants to grow too close to the lamps early on during flowering, causing the tips of the buds to get burnt with the heat from the bulb. After rectifying the problem, he must have seen how the burnt areas, after recovering from the stress, began to produce abnormal amounts of flowers with very little leaf, eventually yielding much more than the un-burnt areas of bud.
This approach consists of simply cutting the apex or the growing tip of the plant using scissors, knife, cutting blade, cutter, etc., ideally previously sterilised to avoid infections during the operation, although many gardeners simply use clean fingernails to “pinch out” the tip while others bend it over until it snaps off cleanly. It’s important to remember that if we make clean cuts, the plants will suffer less stress, and will recover more quickly from the damage with less chance of getting infected.
FIM pruning in cannabis plants was discovered by accident, presumably in a failed attempt at performing apical pruning, hence the name “Fuck, I Missed”. As a process it is very similar to apical pruning, but with a slightly different cut: instead of removing 100% of the growing tip as in apical pruning, with FIM we leave behind around 20% of the tip, which, if performed properly, will provoke the plant to produce multiple shoots from that spot.
In this series of posts we’re taking a comprehensive look at a range of techniques used by growers to shape cannabis plants and facilitate cultivation. Pruning and training are essential tools to control the way our plants grow, whether to restrict height, maximise yields or as a management tool for the indoor cultivator trying to control multiple varieties in one grow space.
Before beginning to prune the plants it’s worth looking at the kind of genetics we want to grow and how they might react to pruning. As a general rule, Sativas andSativa/Indica hybrids show naturally vigorous and branchy growth and will respond favourably to these methods, recovering quickly and soon growing upwards again after being topped or tied down, making them perfect candidates for practising these kinds of crop-maximising techniques. Pure Indica varieties, on the other hand, often lack the same vigorous vegetative growth and be more apical-dominant, tending to form one large central bud rather than many side branches. Indicas will tend to grow a little slower, naturally staying low and compact without any intervention, indeed many Indica strains react badly to apical pruning and can take a long time to recover, greatly slowing down growth and potentially affecting production. For this reason you may notice that many of the Indica varieties in our catalogue are marked as “suitable for SOG” (Sea of Green) where the aim is to fill the grow space with as many small plants as will fit, reduce veg time and to harvest in the shortest time possible.
We can prune with scissors, a knife, or clean fingernails
The difference between topping (apical) and FIM pruning
Growers use a wide range of different techniques in order to control the height and size of their plants and improve yields. In this article we tell y