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Topping weed plants

Topping Weed Plants: Techniques

Topping Weed Plants: What You Need To Know

Anybody interested in cultivating cannabis should have at minimum one go-to training technique. Training methods allow cannabis growers the ability to control the growth of weed plants so that they can produce more buds.

This guide will help you learn the basics of how to train marijuana plants. It also teaches you how to top cannabis plants to achieve better yields.

topping weed plants

Why topping cannabis is so important

Cannabis plants will grow naturally if left to grow without any human intervention. They will focus their energy on one main cola and a few smaller bud sites below. This natural growth pattern isn’t ideal for optimal bud yield. It ends up taking the shape of a Christmas tree.

This will cause your cannabis plant to grow so that the lower branches and budding sites don’t get enough light exposure. Since the lower branches receive less light, the nugs will grow smaller, and all the energy goes into the main cola. This results in a smaller yield overall.

If you leave your plant to its own devices, it will produce a lower yield than if you were to train it. 

Additionally, there are many techniques that growers can employ to maximize their plants’ yields in areas with little light and space. You can train a plant’s height, width, number of cola growth tips, and the evenness of the canopy to help increase nutrient absorption, reduce bacterial spread, and improve overall production.

Furthermore, growers can have many reasons for training their plants. Common reasons for training cannabis plants include promoting a dense, even canopy and large, compact cola production. Topping weed plants also ensures proper airflow, reducing bacteria and flowering times for an early harvest.

If you have limited height or space in your grow area, you may want to top your weed plants to inhibit vertical growth. Additionally, if you have low plant limits in your state and want to get the best out of each plant, training your plants for lateral growth is your best bet. Moreover, training your plants will result in healthy and hefty plants.

topping weed plants

Topping Weed Plants: When To Train Your Plants

There are three different stages of growth when growing cannabis plants—the rooting, vegetative, and flowering phases.

This question is not so simple. If you are talking about keeping a mother plant healthy for clones.

If you want to keep plants short and encourage lateral growth during the flowering phase, you will want to train during the vegetative stage.

Additionally, if you are trying to redirect a plant’s energy to a few select grow sites, the first couple of weeks of the flowering phase is best for this. 

Topping Weed Plants: The Best Training Techniques

As we mentioned above, training is an essential element of growing cannabis. 

First, figure out what your goals are. 

Are you looking to shorten the vegetative period, produce larger colas, get an even canopy, refocus the plant’s energy, or something else?

Then, you need to apply the proper techniques to achieve your goals. You will most likely combine training methods and use more than one method.

Controlling Light

With indoor plants, each growth phase is dictated by the amount of light available. Therefore, you must adjust the lighting for each growth phase. Additionally, if you have a limited number of plants you can grow, and only one outdoor grow season, you can start your plants indoors and then put them outside around the summer solstice. 

Unless you have auto-flowering seeds, your plants will stay in the vegetative stage and not produce any colas as long as they get more than 16 hours of light per day. Keeping your plants in the vegetative stage allows you to make clones and train them to be any height you like before placing them outdoors. 

Light deprivation, also known as light dep, forces plants into flowering in a greenhouse by decreasing the amount of natural light. 

Light deprivation techniques can be used on short flowering varieties to maximize the sunlight and not extend the vegetative cycle. 

Supplemental lighting can extend natural flowering cycles in areas with long winters. This will ensure that your plants get enough light and are not exposed to extreme cold temperatures.


Deleafing refers to removing large fan leaves and small flowering areas from a cannabis plant. This is the most basic type of training. People usually deleaf at different stages of the vegetative or flowering stage.

Large fan leaves should be removed during the vegetative phase. This will divert plant energy to other sites and allow for greater airflow throughout the plant. Furthermore, this reduces the risk of bacterial spread. 

Additionally, some leaves can block light from vital growth points during the flowering phase. Pruning fan leaves is essential to redirect energy from the leaves into the buds and will increase your yields. 


Topping cannabis plants is a way to increase new growth and produce more branches. This will effectively double your plant’s yield. To effectively top your plants, cut the top of the main stem at the very top of the cannabis plant. This will create multiple colas instead of one, resulting in a higher yield. Additionally, be sure to cut the stems at a 45-degree angle.

This method slows down vertical growth, which allows lower buds to catch up with the main stem’s growth. To increase yields, cultivators can use topping multiple times. They can top dominant growth tips numerous times to transform one tip into two, three, four, and so forth.


The FIM (or fimming) is similar to topping cannabis. Fimming is a way to remove most of the budding tip rather than cutting it at a 45-degree angle. It involves cutting the main tip. Fimming stimulates new growth and produces many colas instead of just one main cola. Fimming can lead to an uneven canopy because it is difficult to control the growth areas.

FIM is the result of improperly topping the plant. It stands for “F**k I missed!”

Topping Weed Plants: Sea of Green SOG

The sea of green (SOG) method promotes the shortest vegetative phase. This results in the production of one dense cola. 

Additionally, it involves cultivating many smaller cannabis plants rather than a few larger ones. Although the yield per plant is smaller with one cola, the overall yield will increase if you pack more plants into your growing space. For SOG, we recommend growing lots of clones of the same age.

Screen Of Green (ScrOG)

Local laws may limit how much cannabis you can grow. The Screen of Green (ScrOG Method) will allow you more growth sites per plant. 

This translates into more flowering. ScrOG allows cannabis plants to grow horizontally through a suspended screen. 

ScrOG allows the plant’s branches and leaves to grow horizontally instead of vertically. This increases the amount of light reaching the flower nodes. It also allows for colas formation in otherwise dormant parts of the plant by spreading laterally across the screen.

Topping Weed Plants: LST (Low-Stress Training)

Low-stress Training (LST) is a way to limit the growth of your cannabis plant vertically. It involves bending and tying down the stems to maximize yield and light exposure in a specific area. 

Low stress is a way to modify stem growth without resorting to high-stress techniques such as breaking or extreme bending of the main stem. It should usually begin in the plant’s vegetative phase before the stems become hard and unpliable. However, you should do the  LST method  in conjunction with the ScrOG method.

Super Cropping

Super cropping is not about focusing on sustained low-stress levels. It involves strategically executing forms of high stress that boost the plant’s ability to produce cannabinoids. 

Super cropping involves pinching the stems and binding them down. This causes the plant to send more energy to the area needing healing and increases nearby bud production. To help your plant heal from super-cropping, you can apply duct tape to the area to help support the healing process.


By removing the lower portions of the plant’s growth, you can create a lollipop-shaped plant. This helps to divert more energy towards the higher, cola-producing branches. 

Lollipopping is especially useful for indoor cannabis plants that receive little light. Because the lower branches don’t get much light anyway, this method removes them. The plant can then concentrate on cola growth.

Topping Weed Plants: In Conclusion

If you carry out training techniques correctly, they can increase your yields and the overall health of your plants. Topping specifically encourages flowering and results in larger yields.

After you top your plants, you can expect new shoots of growth forming where you initially made the cut. Trimming the fan leaves will allow for more lateral growth, reduce bacteria, and encourage more flowering on the lower branches.

We hope that you enjoyed this article on how to properly trim your cannabis plants to maximize your yields!

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Let us know how these tips work for you in the comments!

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