This is Week 7 of our week-by-week series on growing marijuana in the Vegetative Stage using hydroponic methods.
In the last article, we showed you how we top our plants. This week, we show you the increased growth that has happened in just one week after topping.
In this episode you will see:
- Increased growth of the surrounding colas
- All growth has moved to the top of the plant
- We now have the ability to prune in “lollipop” style
Benefits of topping Cannabis plants right before flower
As you can see in the video, the plant is quite larger after only one week of growth. What has happened is that the center stalk has slowed in vertical growth, but the surrounding branches have accelerated. We refer to these surrounding branches as the “crown,” and we specifically sought to develop these branches through topping.
If you will remember, in Week 5 we pruned these plants, but we did not top them. The reason is that Dan is very much against topping small plants. When you top small or early stage veg plants, you can seriously retard their growth. Instead, you should begin shaping it into the plant you want it to become by removing everything off the dirt, and allowing that center stalk to keep growing.
By Week 6, our plants were of sufficient height overall, and had good side branches to form a potential crown. And now, in Week 7, you see how that crown has risen to the top. This is absolutely perfect for the flowering stage.
Pruning the Plants in Veg to optimize the canopy during the flowering stage
As we have explained before, you must use your time during the vegetative stage to shape and prepare your plant for the flowering stage.
During the first couple weeks of flowering, the plant will go through an explosive growth period known as the “post-veg stretch” or the “pre-flower stretch.”
During this time, all branches will increase in length. But also, foliage growth on those branches will thicken up as well. So if you have branches forking out from the bottom of the plant, those branches will not only get longer and taller at the top, but the amount of bushy foliage at the bottom will increase as well.
Our solution is to “lollipop” these plants during late-stage veg. And now is the perfect time.
After topping cannabis, Prune the bottom of the plant like a Lollipop
The term “lollipopping” is used by growers to refer to a way of pruning a plant so that it resembles a lollipop. After the new growth that occurred to these plants after topping, we decided now would be the perfect time to lollipop these plants. To do so, we simple pruned everything on the lower half of the plant, just as we did in Week 5 of veg. Except that now, you can really see the top-heavy shape we are after.
The combination of topping and lollipopping has given us the following benefits:
- Strong center stalk that will act as a trunk
- All growth has been pushed to the top of the plant
- We have a crown of colas for the flowering stage
This plant is now the perfect shape as we prepare to flip it into the flowering stage next week. As you can see at 2:45 of the video, all of our plants now have an even height. They did not always look like this. But by being strategic and topping them at the right time, we were able to halt vertical growth and create these crown tops. And we were able to do this for about dozens of plants.
Next week, these plants will be even bigger, but will have maintained their shape going into the flowering rooms. Click here to see the final week of veg.