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Growing Gardens Topping

Topping

Topping Marijuana Plants

Topping is a method used for a few reasons. First, it causes your plant to grow shorter and bushier, rather than tall. It also significantly increases the yield you get from your medical marijuana garden. Most gardeners prefer to top their plant after 5 sets of nodes have formed on the plant, but it can be successfully done as early as when the plant has 3 sets of nodes.

While we already stated the benefits of topping, there are a few downfalls as well. First of all, topping has shown to slow growth, although not significantly. Also, while you will have more colas, the buds on these colas will be slightly smaller. Most gardeners also prefer not to top more than 3 times, as this tends to be very hard on the plant.

To top your plant, cut the main stem, just below the newest leaf formation. Usually after a few days, the small leaves which were coming in under where you topped will have grown to become the new top of the plant. You can repeat this process up to 2 times.

If possible, be sure to use sterile scissors whenever you cut your plant in order to reduce the risk of infection. You should also note that topping should only be performed during the vegetative stage and should NEVER be done during flowering. This is because when you switch to the 12/12 light cycle, the plant starts focusing its energy on flower growth rather than leaf growth. If you top it in the flowering stage, you will have basically cut off one of your colas.

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Comments
 
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Chief | Mar 22, 2011
 
I have seen the effects of topping first hand and while it does create a shortr plant, it means that you will get more colas which may or may not make up for the fact that they become smaller in the process. If you are an experienced grower and you do not mind experimenting with new techniques, go ahead and give this one a go. It is an interesting way to do things that will possibly benefit you.
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CannaConnoisseur | Mar 23, 2011
 
I agree, for me it depends on the strain whether I top it or not, or whether I'm doing a SoG setup or not, in which case you wouldn't want to top them. I generally like to LST them not top them to get a shorter plant.
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smokestack | Mar 25, 2011
 
I like to top my outdoor sativa plants so they don't get too tall and out of control. It produces a bushier plant with fat colas.
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Flower22 | Mar 25, 2011
 
In my personal opinion all plants need topped at least once or twice in their life. It seems to make a slightly bushier plant. If you top them to much it can just make a short little bush and that can be great for indoors, but if you top just once or twice you will still get a strong healthy and tall plant just a little fuller than most.
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Flower22 | Mar 28, 2011
 
I also wanted to add that when and if you top your plant you need to be extremely careful or you could hurt the plants growth if topped wrong
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SkillitHits247 | Mar 29, 2011
 
I topped my first set of plants early in the veg. stage and did see it grew in fullness instead of height. Now I have a Jack Herrer plant that is in early flower stage already 3ft. tall AND bushy, if she continues to grow I think I may need to top her to make sure she doesn't grow much taller; because I already bent an elbow on the very top branch to slow down the growth for the other lower branches to catch up, now that they are caught up it is still getting fuller and taller... any experienced growers have any suggestions for this beginner grower???
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gbennett1 | Apr 1, 2011
 
I am a begginer myself also wondering if i should experiment with topping ione of my babies. I am just not sure which one and how and when.
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reggaequeen | Apr 3, 2011
 
Have you guys tired the FIM process? When veg plants have at least 7th to 8th branching you pinch off the very new leaf setthat is still in a "ball" form. Be careful to only pinch half of the "ball" form. In a several weeks the newly pinch leaves will shoot off into there own branches to produce kolas in bloom. Now this process does make some of the leaves look funny at first, but they are okay. Do this process only once or twice in middle veg and seperate the times you do it. Give at least a week in between FIMing. I can also suggest changing containers from the traditional plastic pots to SmartPots, they air prune the roots and keep down the size of the plant. My Whiteberries at time of harvest are no taller than 4 1/2 feet tall. Good luck. Namaste...ReggaeQueen
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CannaConnoisseur | Apr 21, 2011
 
@SkillitHits, I wish I would have seen your post sooner than this, but never top during flowering. The time it takes to regenerate will likely end up hindering the plant. I personally usually don't top (I prefer to LST), but you should top no later than a week before flowering, you give the plant time to heal and not be so stressed by regenerating and flowering at the same time.
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just started germinating some seeds 4 have sprouted out of 9 so I am pretty happy.and cant wait to top them once they get about 5 sets of nods..And I am a sort of beginner grower i had one plant before but i never toped it.Cant wait to top this one.
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Guest | Jun 23, 2011
 
Would you give me more information about infections after FiM and topping ??
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farmerKT | Jul 24, 2011
 
I need sum info from an experienced grower! I may have screwed up my big baby.... I topped the plant the other day, but being this is as far as I've gotten I think the plant is in flowering stage! Is my baby f'ed up!
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Guest | Jun 17, 2012
 
Very exp grower here....topping is wonderful...diseases are bad....com on now its a plant...if ur so stupid tht u kill it or stress it thn Thts ur own fault...plants grow in the wild meaning ...don't mess w them...top them once,feed,water,light..simple?
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Guest | Jun 18, 2012
 
Topping is best suited to growing sativa type strains,indoors things can get BIG and scary otherwise very quickly
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Guest | Oct 21, 2012
 
I like topping just for the multiple colas, once i mistakenly 'FIMd' my plant and it ended up with 4 main branches instead of two. I kept topping and FIMing and i ended up with a small bush with many fat colas. Good strain too, smelt like sour green apples with a little bit of a sweet tropical punch.
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Guest | Jul 23, 2013
 
i have 3 week old platinun og kush very good strong hardy plant..at she is at teen or better thsy are i 1gl nursery pot as she grows new leavs thay tend to come out to be all twisted please keep in mind this happens to all new leaf groth is this the soil ph acting out or nutrient ph or ppm,s need adjustment
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Guest | Sep 10, 2013
 
i harvested 8oz=lb off 1 plant