Humans have been topping autowering marijuana plants for thousands of years already after naturally growing and propagating on their own in nature. Marijuana cultivation has gone a long way ever since by introducing different methods of inducing the marijuana plant to undergo certain desirable changes by putting it under stress.
One such method of putting the plant under stress is by pruning. Pruning the practice of removing certain parts of a plant, such as branches, buds, or roots in order to remove deadwood removal, shaping by controlling or redirecting growth, improving or sustaining health, reducing risk from falling branches, preparing nursery specimens for transplanting, harvesting, and increasing the yield or quality of flowers and fruits. In nature, natural conditions such as wind, ice and snow, and salinity can cause plants to self-prune or cut their own parts. This natural shedding or pruning is called abscission.
Topping autoflower marijuana plants is as simple as cutting the top of the main stem using sterile scissors. This stress caused by the cutting will redistribute growth hormones to the new offshoots.
Why Top Your Plants?
Topping is the process of cutting the main growing tip of the main stem of the marijuana plant which usually is the top, hence, it is called topping. Topping or cutting off the top of the main stem during its vegetative growth phase will induce your plant to develop more than one main stems naturally.
Having more than one main stem will give the plant a low profile stance and allow more even light distribution in the different parts of your plants from top to bottom. This is especially advantageous for indoor growers where light is static and very limited, unlike those outdoor growers where the sun may move across the sky providing light to different parts of the plants during the day.
In an indoor growing environment, a normal marijuana plant that has an apex or is shaped like a Christmas tree may have a problem in light distribution due to the shadow that is cast by the top stems and leaves. Making the plant grow laterally or horizontally will ensure better light distribution.
Topping will also make the plant develop more leaves due to more branches growing on its sides instead of having one dominant stem growing upwards. If the grower wanted, he may further top the side branches as well that creates a bushier plant than ever before. More stems meant more leaves that shall absorb light and more buds to grow leading to a bigger harvest or yield.
There are other techniques of pruning your marijuana plants in order to induce some desirable changes in its physical properties. Fiming, for example, is another technique. Fiming is done by shaving the top of the plant instead of completely cutting it. This shaving or slightly damaging the top stem may require some support or trellis in order for it to not completely break. Some growers actually see fiming as superior to the topping.
Topping your marijuana plant may prolong its vegetative state more than usual by making it 4-6 weeks instead of the lesser number of weeks in normal plants that are not topped. This is due to the complex healing process that the plant does to itself and making it naturally grow more than one main stem through its instinct. Instead of growing stems, branches and leaves vertically, topping autowering marijuana plants grow horizontally.
This lateral growth poses another major disadvantage which could be easily remedied, fortunately. Normal marijuana plants look like Christmas trees that are wide at the bottom and sharp at the top making it balanced. However, since topped cannabis plants grow from the sides more than at the top, it may need to be supported using bamboo stalks and others.
Having too bushy plants may also pose ventilation problems as well or even light distribution problems that topping tries to solve in the first place. This disadvantage could easily be remedied by putting more space between the plants.
Is Topping Autowering Marijuana Plants a Worth It?
Looking at the advantages of topping your marijuana plants, it is easy to conclude that topping your marijuana plants is indeed worth it. With a simple operation of using a sterile scissor during your plants’ vegetative state after its seedling stage and before its flowering stage, you ensure for yourself a healthier plant that shall thrive better in indoor growing areas due to its lateral growth that will ensure better light distribution among the leaves in one plant from top to bottom.
Topping marijuana does not require any more technical intervention from the grower as the plant will naturally take care of itself by healing itself and growing more stems and leaves on its sides. More stems growing on its sides will allow for more surface area where the buds may grow from.
The very few disadvantages of topping could be remedied fortunately and may only pose a minor inconvenience to growers.