When Should I Top My Cannabis Plant?

If you’re wondering when the best time is to top your cannabis plant, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog post, we’ll discuss when to top your plant and how it can benefit your grow.

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Welcome to our complete guide on topping cannabis plants. Here you’ll learn everything you need to know about topping including when to do it, how to do it, and even some advanced topping techniques.

By the end of this guide, you’ll be an expert at one of the most important high-yield gardening techniques in cannabis cultivation. Let’s get started!

The vegetative stage

Topping is a pruning method used to control the shape of a cannabis plant, encourage branching, and ultimately increase yields. The main goal of topping is to create more even canopies with multiple flowering sites. This can be especially helpful when growing in a screen of green (SCROG) setup.

It’s best to start topping once your plant has reached the vegetative stage and has developed several sets of leaves. The ideal time to top your plant will depend on the phenotype (strain) you’re growing as well as your personal preferences. Some growers prefer to wait until their plants have developed 4–6 sets of leaves, while others top as soon as their plants have 2 sets of leaves.

Topping involves cutting off the main stem of the plant just above a set of leaves. When done correctly, this will cause the plant to grow two new stems from the cut site. You can then top each of these new stems to produce even more branches and increasing your yield even further.

The flowering stage

The flowering stage is when your cannabis plant produces buds. For most cannabis strains, this occurs when you expose the plant to 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness each day (known as “12/12”). You can start the flowering stage by:
-Switching your grow lights off for 12 hours straight, every day
-Covering your plants with a black cloth for 12 hours straight, every day

The flowering stage usually lasts between 6 and 8 weeks, but it can last longer for certain cannabis strains. You’ll know the flowering stage is over when the pistils (hairs) on your buds stop growing and turn brown or red.

The ripening stage

The ripening stage is when your plant produces the majority of its flowers or “buds”. The length of time it takes to reach this stage depends on the strain of cannabis you are growing. Typically, indica strains take 8-9 weeks and sativa strains take 9-10 weeks. Topping your plant will not affect the length of time it takes to reach the ripening stage.


After reading this article, you should have a good understanding of when to top your cannabis plant. There are many factors to consider, such as the size of your plant, the strain you are growing, and your personal preferences. Ultimately, the best time to top your plant is when it is healthy and growing vigorously.

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