Indica cannabis plants are characterised by their short stature and densely branching structure. This is because they develop more nodes with tight internode spacing. In contrast, sativa cannabis plants are far taller and less branchy. Typically, plants develop fewer nodes with large internodal spaces between sets of branches. Of course, hybrids will exhibit a mix of both indica and sativa traits.
Some will lean towards the indica side, others to the sativa side. Usually, after weeks 3-6 of vegetative growth, cannabis plants will begin to display pre-flowers. For the grower with a keen eye and knows what to look for, this is invaluable information - especially if you happen to be cropping regular seeds with the potential for 50% males. Pre-flowers emerge from the nodes of both male and female cannabis plants. Close eye-ball inspection of the higher nodes close to the top of the main stem is the easiest way to identify emerging pre-flowers. Essentially, you are looking for two very fine white hairs protruding from a tiny growth on the node. These hairs are really pistils emerging from a calyx just like what happens later in bloom with the flowers. On the other hand, if you see a bump that resembles a cluster of grapes, this is a red flag for a male in the grow-op.
Moreover, in rare cases or if the plants have been stressed, some may display both male and female pre-flowers. Intersex plants are commonly referred to as “hermies” by growers, short for hermaphrodite. Just like males, they too must be removed to ensure a pure sinsemilla harvest. The diligent grower regularly checks for growth on the nodes even if he/she is cultivating from feminized seeds, just in case. Stretchy growth and large internodal spacing are not always due to genetics. Wide temperature fluctuations and lights either too weak or too far away from plants can cause plant stretching. Cold nights and hot days will induce stretchy growth. To keep internode spacing to a minimum and avoid branches snapping later it’s critical to maintain consistent environmental control of the grow-op. Outdoors, this is more challenging, and plants may need to be taken inside at night if temperatures plummet. In order to prune for yield or trim plants for a tidy, you need to make the right cuts in the right places at the right time. A clean cut is one made close to the node with a sterile scissors. The the most common pruning techniques to increase yield are Topping and Fimming; make sure you apply these high yield pruning practices during vegetative growth. During bloom, trimming should be kept to a minimum to avoid stressing plants. Both the Topping and Fimming methods involve removing a portion of the apical bud or main stem. Topping is a clean cut made to the tip, entirely removing it. Fimming is not so clean and tidy, and pinching is probably more appropriate than using a scissors. Simply pinch off 75% of the main growing tip between your fingers. Whichever method you choose to apply, the number of colas will be increased as the shoots emerging from the nodes below the cut will become the new main colas. Taking a cutting or cloning your marijuana is the best way to preserve winning grow-op genetics. Generally, the oldest most mature branches make for the most successful clones. These are to be found closer to the bottom of the plant rather than the top. Plants grow up so that the newest freshest tips are towards the top and rarely root well when clipped for clones. Cuttings are mostly taken during vegetative growth. Although, monster cropping requires taking cuttings from plants 4 weeks into the bloom cycle and re-vegging the cuts. Regardless, the method is the same and growers enjoy the greatest success cloning from the bottom up. Cutting Cannabis For Better Structure: “Topping” Topping is a cannabis plant training techniques that involves cutting off the top of a main stem. The technique is designed to give you a free way to create more colas as well as spread out the plant so you can take advantage of all your light.
As a result, topping can help you achieve bigger marijuana yields! The idea of “topping” is to cut off the top of a main stem to split it into two. The two growth tips that remain will each develop into their own stem. Each stem can turn into a bud/cola in the flowering stage, so by topping the plant once or a few times, you increase the total number of buds sites under the grow light, and it also helps you keep the plant flat and wide.
It you let a marijuana plant grow naturally, it will usually grow one main stem.