Cannabis plants are much less tough in the flowering stage, and they no longer are growing vegetatively (producing new stems or colas) by the time they hit about week 6. If you watch a plant in the flowering stage, you’ll see that it doesn’t get taller or develop growth nodes after about week 6. Damaging your plant during the budding stage will often cause a reduction in your final yields because you’re just taking away more plant/bud sites and may cause unnecessary stress during the crucial bud-building phase.
By the time your plants are in the flowering stage, much of the growth structure has already been created, and you generally need to try to manage as best you can if your plant has grown into a shape you don’t like. What if my plant is already too tall in the flowering stage? If your plant is already too tall in the flowering stage for your grow setup, you’ve got to take immediate action to prevent the plant from getting any taller. My suggestion is to use bending (LST) your plant to control the height of further growth. Very careful supercropping can also be used if you have a stem that is far taller than the others. Once flowering is fully underway (after the initial flowering stretch), the plant will not grow much taller, so you can just try to hang on until harvest. Sometimes you may even have to harvest a particularly tall cola ahead of time to prevent it from getting bleached or burned. I recommend trying to take it as a learning experience 🙂 How Can You Tell That Your Plant is Diverting Energy to New Colas?
Almost immediately after topping or FIMing, the connections to each node become enlarged at the base. These thickened connections demonstrate that your cannabis plant is spreading energy more evenly across the whole plant. When you see your plant thicken connections like this, it means that the plant is strengthening the “internal system” of the stem, so it’s easier to deliver nutrients and other building blocks. This results in faster growth, bigger colas, and increased yields for each of the affected stems. The thickening that happens at the base of stems is one sign that the plant is diverting energy to the new colas (where before it was putting the majority of its energy into just the one main cola). As time goes on, the most used stems can become so thick they’re almost like tree trunks. When topping your cannabis, you cut off a growing node of the plant, reducing the height instantly. This can be especially beneficial if you’ve let your plant get too tall. Topping also increases the number of colas, which can give you more bud at harvest, Never Top Cannabis in the Flowering Stage! When topping your marijuana plant, it’s best to top the plant when it is young, and has 4-6 nodes (sets of leaves) in total. Although you could do it a little earlier, you’re more likely to accidentally stunt your plant the younger it is. Additionally, the less actual plant matter you take off, the less likely the plant will get stressed. Think about it, if you’re taking off 10% of the plant it will have much less effect than if you took off 30% of the plant. “Topping” the plant means cutting off the newest node on your marijuana plant’s main cola in order to split it into two. However, the word “topping” can also refer to cutting of the tip of any stem. A good place to top is directly above the leaves of the next node. In other words, cut through the stem right above its next set of leaves from the top. Topping will cause your plant to transfer its energy to two new main colas, as indicated by the two yellow dots in the diagram above. Make sure to leave a little extra stem behind for reinforcement. This helps strengthen the two new colas to prevent them from splitting down the middle. 14-day Timelapse Video of a Cannabis Plant’s Recover After Being Topped. These 2 new colas for a V which can easily be bent to spread wide. You can top these two new colas a few weeks later and have 4 total colas. This can even be doubled to produce 8 colas that all come from a single “manifold.” Learn more about manifolding cannabis. Another benefit of topping is how the plant tends to grow bushier afterwards, spreading its energy much more evenly around to the whole plant.
Often lower branches rise up to become new main colas .
This is especially true if you combine Topping with LST to open up the plant so the lower branches get more light.