Pruning is an integral part of cultivating cannabis, an essential process that increases both the yield and quality of your plants. This intimate act between growers and their plants also gives you a chance to examine your plants closely and give them a proper health check. For some, primarily newbies, pruning can feel like a betrayal, especially initially. However, it is not. Pruning is crucial if you want the best buds.
Why Prune Cannabis?
Pruning is important for a few reasons. A healthy plant with plenty of foliage will block sunlight to all of the buds underneath them, preventing these buds from receiving the light they need to grow bigger and more potent, leaving you still reliant on weed delivery. According to ResearchGate, by thinning out this foliage, you can allow more sunlight to penetrate the canopy and reach the buds below.
Furthermore, you want plants to focus their energy on producing quality buds, not looking for the sun. Pruning branches back gives them the opportunity to do this, since they now have sufficient light and do not have to look for it. Remove dead and yellow leaves too, since they serve no purpose and will only cause plants to waste important energy and resources. Pruning also opens up space for better airflow.
What to Check When Pruning
The biggest and best buds grow where they get lots of ventilation and sunlight, which is why a plant’s top buds are typically the nicest. Look for the lowest branches that get little light. Remove them. Then, cut off any dead and dying leaves that are not getting enough sun. Find those little bud sites low down on the plant and remove them. Those that will never get enough light, even after pruning, are wasteful.
When plants first start growing, they are narrow enough to ensure most of their foliage gets sufficient sunlight. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, it is necessary to cut the tops of plants off to encourage vertical, or bushy, growth, and to increase cannabinoid production. You should start pruning when plants start getting bushy enough to take shape and start growing their canopies.
Once you have an idea of the shape a plant will take, you can have some insight into where the best buds will grow. When you have this sense, you should start pruning off all the unnecessary parts of the plant, those that use resources wastefully, such as dead and dying leaves, and those that will never produce. You should continue pruning until about a month into flowering, then stop and let it finish.
Pruning Cannabis Plants
Invest in a pair of good quality pruning shears. They are sharper and make quick, easy work of trimming small branches and leaves. For larger branches, have a stronger pair nearby. Keep your shears sharp and clean, and when using them, always make clean cuts to keep plants healthy and protect them against damage or infection. Here are some other important pruning tips when working with cannabis plants:
- Prune the biggest branches first. This will give you a chance to make as much space as you can before you start the finer work of pruning. Start at the bottom, with the lowest branches, as these will never get enough light to develop any buds of worth.
- Remove those branches growing from the center of the plant, but still beneath the canopy. Any buds that grow here will also get shaded out and never develop fully. These middle branches just take up space, never growing buds of any value, and waste valuable resources in the process.
- Cut off all dead leaves and branches throughout the vegetative growth phase. Never keep yellow or small leaves either, as they just use resources unnecessarily. Remove all of them whenever and wherever you find them throughout the plant’s life cycle, except those last few weeks of flowering.
For a few days after you prune your plants, they will enjoy a good growth spurt. The extra space, improved airflow, and the additional light will make a remarkable difference to the size and health of your plants in just a matter of days. Pruning enables you to direct the plant’s energy where you want it, and it gives you an opportunity to check for bugs, soil problems, nutrient deficiencies, mold, and other issues.
If you get your pruning right, the size and quality of your buds will increase significantly. If you get it wrong, however, then you may still need to use a cannabis dispensary in Santa Monica until your next crop. You can order weed delivery online until you master the art of pruning, but if you follow these tips, then with just a little practice, you should find pruning no difficulty at all.