pruning marijuana

Pruning Marijuana

When it comes to pruning marijuana, a lot of new marijuana growers seem to get confused. The problem of pruning is contentious. Some cannabis growers think that it is an important step in regulating size and yield, while others think that marijuana must be allowed to grow free in the wild. It doesn’t matter which side of the growing area you’re on, you may need to prune at a certain point. Knowing how and when to prune your cannabis plants properly is an important advance towards becoming a skilled marijuana grower. In this article, you will show you a concise guide, and when and how to prune your marijuana plants.

What is pruning?

Pruning cannabis is the act of attempting to control the growth of your plant to selectively remove some leaf and stem parts. It’s one of the least expensive and easiest ways to boost your yield and if efficient once properly implemented. In general, pruning cannabis plants rarely damage your plant’s health, so you don’t have to worry about sniping a few stems everywhere. 

What to look at when pruning marijuana plants?

High-quality buds develop in which the plant gets a lot of airflow and sunlight, especially at the top of your plant. 

  • Bud locations which are low to the ground and don’t get a lot of light
  • Low to the grown branches that do not get enough light 
  • Leave that are dying because of lack of light

Pruning cannabis during veg, the plant is tiny enough for most of the leaves to obtain more than enough light. Start pruning your cannabis plants as soon as it starts to take a bushy structure, and then top them to endorse this bushy growth. As the plant grows bushy, it will begin to take a shape and define the canopy. This would give you a sense of where the development of the buds would grow so that you could begin pruning away the unwanted parts of the cannabis plants. 

At this point until around 3 to 4 weeks before the flowering phase, you could continuously prune your cannabis plant. Once well through the flowering stage, you want to stop pruning because it may cause the plant to begin to produce vegetative growth once more, which would reduce the quality and size of the yield.

When do you need to start pruning marijuana plants?

When to start pruning cannabis? Some cannabis growers say you must only start pruning marijuana plants when they have a bushy structure. If your cannabis plant is still young, it must be enough to get plenty of light. By plant training, you could control its structure in such a way that governs its canopy. This makes it much easier to remove any excess leaves. Your cannabis plant would be “shocked” by the procedure and would need a few days to rest. Once you prune early,  you give your cannabis plant time to rest and grow larger leaves. Ensure that you do not force your cannabis plant to flowering phase for at least 3 days after pruning. This is supposed to be long enough for your cannabis plant to begin growing again.

Don’t say that you really can ignore pruning by using the Green Screen (SCROG) method. When you’re using the training technique, you put a screen about 0.5 m above the plants. When the tops of the plants are still within 0.1m of its screen, start taking them off again and wait for the new tops to develop through the screen. After they’ve grown 0.1m through the screen, tilt them slowly and carefully and attach to the screen.

At this phase, when the first shoots have come through the screen, you could prune the plants. After several days, the transformation to the flowering phase, and in the first few weeks, your plants must keep growing. You should not prune in flowering for over 2-3 weeks., Or else, you might unknowingly trigger even more vegetative growth, which would negatively affect your yield.

How to prune your cannabis plants

Take a pair of pruning shears, usually some, Fiskars or Chikamas, for fast work on small leaves and branches. Maintain an extra pair with much more toughness near the area to cut out larger branches. Keep your scissors or clippers clean and sharp because this would keep the plant healthy and prevent infectious disease and damage. 

  • First, remove large branches. It would enable you to clear quite enough space as possible before you start a much more thorough job. Start only with branches at the base of the plant. They will not receive enough sunlight and it will never become fully mature buds.
  • Cut off branches growing in the midpoint of the plant below the canopy. The branches would get shaded out, and not even full buds would then develop.
  • Prune any small, dying branches or leaves.

In the following days of pruning, your cannabis plants must undergo a growth burst and an open space would then allow additional light to reach the plant. Pruning enables you to control the plant and help lead the energy of the plant. Remember, pruning is a great chance to be evident in your garden and see how your cannabis plants are really doing. Take some time also to evaluate your plants and check their general health, look for nutrient deficiencies, pests, and soil problems.

Do not prune this way!

  1. Never cut the stems or leaves with your hands. This would need too much energy and can lead to harm to your plants. You might also pull the cannabis plant so hard that it is absolutely uprooted.
  2. Don’t remove too much from the plant. Removing too many can lead to a slowed-down post-prune recovery. 
  3. Never prune the main stem of your plant or else you can stop the growth of the cannabis plant. 

Marijuana Pruning Techniques

Here are the marijuana pruning techniques that would help you a lot:

Cut out the non-productive branches early

Once the cannabis plant is fairly small and in its vegetative phase, it’s possible to nest some of the lower-branches together with the connected leaves. There is nothing wrong with putting those specific branches mostly on plants, however when it’s time for the plants to flower, they’re not going to produce a lot anyway. This little practice would also allow the cannabis plant to concentrate more on higher and undoubtedly more constructive branches. In the meanwhile, it would stimulate growth and may increase overall yield towards the end of the life cycle of plants. This varies from defoliation in the flowering phase. 

Remove any dead or dying leaves

It’s obviously going to get stronger as the cannabis plant ages. The upper leaves begin to fill and establish a canopy just above the lower areas of the plants.  Unluckily, for the low end of the scale of the plant, it is likely that all the leaves will die as a direct result of not obtaining enough light. Cutting them off well before they begin turning yellow has about the same impact as cutting your fingernails. Trying to remove leaves which are already dying is definitely defoliation, which can cause damage to the plant if it is not done correctly. Stay to leaves which are already dying for the least amount of effort.

Monitor the plants

If you are going indoors, you’re supposed to provide some vertical (and sometimes horizontal) constraints. Pruning could also definitely cure this situation without triggering too much harm. If you grow cannabis outdoors, the plant would have significantly more room for growth. While this is beneficial to some degree you could get caught. Larger plants are generally easier to get to than smaller plants, and taller outdoor cannabis plants are a recipe for trouble. Prune your cannabis plants to keep them within your available space. 

Top the plants

Topping could also increase the harvest considerably. While it may seem counter-intuitive to snip off the largest branch, this could make a huge difference. The top colas have a substance in them which prohibits the growth of the lower branches, and once you cut it off, it enables the majority of the plant to thrive. The top colas are also quite powerful, making them great for a test smoke. 

Don’t force flowering of the plant

After you have topped the cannabis plant, you wouldn’t want to start forcing the cannabis plant to flower instantly. Give it longer to heal. Cutting the top cola close to the end in the vegetative phase isn’t the same as cutting a few snaps or small branches early on in the game. The lower leaves and branches would then slowly begin to work their way back to accommodate the vacant position left by the top cola. After around 4 to 5 days, you could begin to force the cannabis plants to flower, after which point you must be rewarded with a much higher yield with all your efforts. When the plant is grown up, you would need to begin to think about harvesting season.

Do not prune during flowering

When the cannabis plant begins to flower, this is a really bad idea to try to prune something else. For sure, if there are some inefficient branches or dead leaves, you may also be able to get away with that. Cannabis plants already are rapidly growing, as well as any substantial pruning of the plant is likely to shock them. Unexpectedly, it’s like when defoliation is expected and only within the first part of the flowering phase. You must not prune auto-flowering plants, either. 


Pruning techniques, if used correctly, could also help cannabis growers optimize their yield for even more smokable buds. You don’t have to be terrified of pruning as it will occasionally cause devastating damage. Pruning must never be held out at the stage of flowering. The vegetative phase is the best time to begin pruning, and you could do it until the flowering phase is just about to begin. If in hesitation, simply remove dying leaves. When you have gained experience, you could start implementing training techniques and use various types of pruning to reach greater yields. After that little practice, pruning becomes like second nature.

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