When to Top Your Cannabis Plant for Maximum Yield

Learn when the best time is to top your cannabis plant for maximum yield. By following these best practices, you can ensure a bountiful harvest.

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Topping your cannabis plant is a great way to increase yield. By removing the growing tip, you can encourage your plant to grow wider, rather than taller. This technique is especially useful for indoor growers, who may not have the height necessary to support a tall plant. However, it’s important to note that topping should only be done early in the vegetative stage, before the plant has begun to flower. If you top too late, you run the risk of reducing your yield, as well as the quality of your buds. In this article, we’ll discuss when and how to top your cannabis plant for maximum yield.

The vegetative stage

Cannabis plants grow rapidly in the vegetative stage. Topping your plant during this phase will result in more branches and, ultimately, more buds. An easy way to think of it is: more tops equal more yield.

The ideal time to top your cannabis plant is when it has 4-6 nodes (sets of leaves). Nodes are where the branches and buds grow, so the more nodes your plant has, the more potential it has for growth.

Topping is a simple process: using sharp scissors or pruning shears, cut off the main stem at the point just above a node. Two new shoots will sprout from the cut you make, resulting in a Y-shaped branch.

You can top your plant as many times as you like, but be aware that each time you do it, you’re stressing your plant and slowing its vegetative growth. Too much topping can even kill your plant, so make sure to do it sparingly.

The flowering stage

The flowering stage is when your cannabis plant produces buds. The amount of time it takes for your plant to flower will depend on the strain you’re growing. Indica strains tend to flower faster than sativas.

You will know when your plant starts to flower because the nodes (joints) between the leaves and stem will start to grow thin, white hairs called pistils. As theflowering stage progresses, these pistils will get longer and thicker.

The flowering stage can be divided into two parts: pre-flowering and flowering. During pre-flowering, your plant’s growth will slow down as it prepares to flower. The pre-flowering stage usually lasts for around 2 weeks.

During the flowering stage, your plant’s buds will start to grow and mature. This is when you should start thinking about topping your plant.

The ripening stage

The ripening stage is when the plant is at its peak maturity and produces the highest yields. Topping during the ripening stage will result in more buds and a higher overall yield. The optimal time to top your cannabis plant is when it’s about 50-75% of the way through the flowering stage. For most strains, this will be 8-10 weeks before harvest.


Topping your cannabis plant is a great way to increase yield, but timing is everything. You need to make sure that you top your plant when it’s big enough to handle the stress and when it’s young enough to recover quickly. For most growers, the ideal time to top their plant is when it’s between 4 and 6 weeks old.

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