When to Top Your Cannabis Plants

Are you wondering when to top your cannabis plants? Read this blog post to learn more about the process and how it can benefit your plants!

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You’ve probably heard of topping your cannabis plants, but you may not be sure when the best time to do it is. Topping is a form of pruning that involves cutting the main stem of the plant in order to encourage it to grow lateral (side) branches. These lateral branches will then produce new growth tips, which can be topped again to produce even more branches. This process can be repeated multiple times, and each time you top your plant, you’ll end up with more and more branching.

So when is the best time to start topping your cannabis plants? The answer depends on a few factors, including the strain you’re growing, the size of your plants, and your personal preferences. In general, though, it’s best to wait until your plants have reached a certain size before you start topping them. This will ensure that they have enough energy to recover from the stress of being topped and continue growing vigorously.

The vegetative stage

The vegetative stage is when your cannabis plants grow leaves and stems, but no buds. In the wild, cannabis plants would stay in the vegetative stage until late summer when the days start getting shorter. But when you grow cannabis indoors, you can keep your plants in the vegetative stage as long as you want by controlling the light cycle.

Most growers keep their plants in the vegetative stage for 2-3 months before starting the flowering stage. This gives their plants enough time to grow big and strong so they can produce lots of buds during flowering. Some growers top their plants once or twice during the vegetative stage to encourage them to grow wide instead of tall.

The flowering stage

The flowering stage is when your cannabis plants start to produce buds. Topping your plants during this stage will encourage them to produce more buds, making your harvest bigger.

Topping is a gardening technique that involves cutting off the main stem of a plant. This triggers the plant to produce two new stems, each of which will grow out and produce its own buds.

You can top your plants as early as the fifth week of the flowering stage, but it’s best to wait until the sixth or seventh week. This will give your plants time to grow a bit before you top them, making them less likely to be damaged by the process.

The ripening stage

The last stage of growth for your cannabis plants is the ripening stage. Once your plants have reached full maturity, they will begin to produce flowers. Depending on the strain, your plants will be ready to harvest anywhere from 8 to 16 weeks after flowering has begun. Some strains can take up to 24 weeks to ripen.

You will know that your plants are in the ripening stage when the pistils (the fuzzy white hairs that cover the flowers) start to turn red, orange, or brown. The flowers will also swell and become more aromatic.

Once your plants have reached this stage, it is important to monitor them closely. You will need to check the trichomes (the tiny crystal-like hairs on the buds) to determine when your plants are ready to harvest. The trichomes will change color from clear to milky white as the buds mature. When about 50-75% of the trichomes have turned white, your buds will be ready to harvest.


Topping your cannabis plants is a great way to encourage them to grow more evenly and produce more buds. It’s best to do this when they are young and still growing rapidly. Once they start to slow down, you can stop topping them.

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