Did you think that growing your own marijuana plants was as easy as sticking a seed in some dirt and adding water? Think again! Not only do you need to create an appropriate growing environment for your cannabis plant, including proper lighting, temperature, and humidity levels, but you also need to know how to prune your plants in order to ensure a healthy harvest. Let’s take a look at the science behind pruning, and how to prune marijuana during the growing stages.
What is pruning, and why should you do it?
Pruning is the act of clipping, trimming, and tidying a plant by cutting away dead or overgrown stems or branches in small and specific amounts. Gardeners of all specialties prune their plants to ensure that they remain healthy and don’t get too out of hand, as well as to encourage new growth.
In many cases, such as with cannabis, pruning often leads to plants producing higher yields and more THC than they might if allowed to grow freely. Controlled and moderate pruning allows growers to encourage each plant to reach its most ideal and efficient potential. And since it is just one step beyond the basic care of growing a cannabis plant, it is highly encouraged that growers learn about and effectively employ pruning with their crops.
When and how to prune marijuana
Pruning is an important step throughout the life cycle of your marijuana plant. In order to guarantee a productive pruning experience, it’s important to have the right equipment. Invest in quality clippers and scissors of different sizes, and make sure you keep them sharp to ensure a clean cut and prevent infection or damage when pruning.
Once your plant begins to take on a bushy shape (usually around the second week of growth), it is time to start the pruning process. You will want to shape your plant in a way that allows much of it to directly receive sunlight and airflow. So first and foremost, you may wish to remove branches at the bottom and middle of the plant that receive very little to no light. Removing these larger branches will allow for more space as you get further into the detailed work. Take your time to assess the potential of each branch; pruning can be nerve-wracking for beginner growers, and it is important to feel confident and comfortable in knowing how to prune marijuana.
From there, focus your energies on removing bud sites that appear low on the main stalks of the plant, and are overshadowed by taller leaves. Although these sites may be present on a thick branch that reaches to the top or outside of the plant, they will not develop to their full potential if they are not receiving enough light.
Finally, prune away leaves that are dying or discolored due to lack of light. As a general rule, discolored leaves should be removed swiftly in order to save the plant from focusing energy and extra efforts on feeding leaves that are dying and will not return to health.
Be sure to not just dive into the process. Your marijuana plant will need time to recover from the shock of being pruned. (Remember, you are clipping living bits off of a living thing.) Take the pruning process in intervals, and you will be greatly rewarded with a burst of growth shortly after each pruning session, when your plant has recovered.
Once you have a solid grasp on how to prune marijuana, keep pruning regularly as needed until your plant begins to flower. Keep these guidelines in mind and don’t over-prune, and you’re likely to have a bountiful yield. From there, you can move on to drying, harvesting, and curing your bud.
Want to know how to prune marijuana from varied approaches? Check out this article for explanations of topping, fimming, super cropping, low stress training, monster cropping, and lollipopping.
Article By: Daphne Eccleston