When to Trim Your Cannabis Plants

As your cannabis plants grow, you’ll eventually need to trim them back to keep them healthy and under control. But when is the right time to trim your plants?

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Cannabis plants are trimmed for a variety of reasons. Some growers believe that trimming their plants will increase yields, while others do it for aesthetic purposes. Trimming can also be a way to get rid of leaves that are damaged or unhealthy.

No matter what your reason for trimming is, it’s important to do it at the right time. Trimming too early or too late can result in less-than-optimal yields, and it can also cause your plant to become stressed. Here is a guide to help you determine when the best time to trim your cannabis plants is.

The Different Stages of Plant Growth

Cannabis plants go through different stages of growth. These stages are vegetative, pre-flowering, flowering, and post-flowering. Each stage has different characteristics and requires different care. It is important to know when to trim your plants so that you can get the most out of your harvest.

The vegetative stage

The vegetative stage of cannabis plant growth is when the plant is growing leaves and stems, but not yet producing buds. In this stage, growers will typically “veg” or “veg out” their plants under 18-24 hours of artificial light per day. The light schedule does not have to be perfectly precise, but plants do need a consistent light schedule with no more than a few hours of darkness per day. This is because marijuana plants rely on sunlight (or artificial light) to produce energy via photosynthesis.

The flowering stage

The flowering stage is when your cannabis plants finally start to grow their buds. This is the most crucial time for determining the final yield and quality of your harvest, so it’s important to give your plants everything they need to flourish during this stage.

To induce flowering, you will need to change the light cycle from 18 hours of light to 12 hours of light. This simulates the shorter days of fall and tells your plants that it is time to start growing buds. Once you change the light cycle, it usually takes between 7-14 days for flowering to begin.

During the flowering stage, you will need to continue fertilizing your plants with a quality nutrient solution designed for cannabis. However, you will need to reduce the amount of fertilizer you give them compared to what you were giving them during the vegetative stage. Too much fertilizer can lead to problems such as nutrient burn, which can damage your plants and reduce yields.

As your plants grow their buds, you will also need to start thinking about how you are going to protect them from pests and diseases. Buds are very susceptible to mold and mildew, so make sure your grow area is well-ventilated and that you are regularly inspecting your plants for signs of problems.

The flowering stage typically lasts for 8-10 weeks, depending on the strain of cannabis you are growing. Once again, indica strains tend to flower faster than sativa strains. During this time, you will need to keep a close eye on your plants and make sure they have everything they need to produce high-quality buds.

When to Trim Your Cannabis Plants

Cannabis plants need to be trimmed when they are in the vegetative stage. This is because it helps the plant to grow bushier. It also helps to prevent the plant from getting too tall. When you trim your cannabis plants, you will need to be careful not to damage the plant.

The vegetative stage

During the vegetative stage, your cannabis plants are growing, and they won’t start flowering (making buds) until you change the light cycle to 12 hours of darkness and 12 hours of light. So, you have some time to experiment with trimming during this stage.

You can start trimming when your plant has 4-5 sets of leaves. Some growers like to waited until the plants are a little bigger, with 6-8 sets of leaves. It’s really up to you.

Start by trimming off any dead leaves or leaves that are touching the ground. These leaves are not going to produce buds, so there’s no point in keeping them.

Next, you can start trimming off any fan leaves that are blocking sunlight from getting to the smaller leaves below them. You don’t have to remove all of the fan leaves, just the ones that are shading other leaves.

You can also remove any leaves that have been damaged by pests or diseases. These Leaves won’t produce buds either, and they could infect other parts of your plant if you don’t remove them.

The flowering stage

During the flowering stage, your cannabis plants will begin to produce buds. Depending on the strain, this process can take anywhere from 8 to 12 weeks. Once the buds have reached their full size, they will begin to mature. This is when you will want to start thinking about trimming your plants.

There is no set time that you have to start trimming your plants, but most growers generally start around week 8 or 9. Trimming too early can result in smaller yields, so it’s important to wait until the buds have reached their full size.

To maximize your yields, you will want to remove any leaves that are blocking light from reaching the buds. You should also remove any leaves that are dying or browning. These leaves will not contribute to the bud development and can actually end up detracting from your final product.

When trimming your plants, be sure to handle the buds carefully. The THC-rich resin on the buds is very delicate and can be easily damaged. Use sharp scissors or a razor blade to make clean cuts, and avoid touching the buds with your fingers as much as possible.

Once you have finished trimming your plants, they will need some time to recover before they are ready for harvest. Allow them to dry and cure for at least 2 weeks before harvesting the buds.


In conclusion, the best time to trim your cannabis plants is when they are in the vegetative stage. This will allow you to remove any unwanted leaves and branches so that your plant can focus its energy on creating buds. If you wait until the flowering stage, you run the risk of affecting the quality and quantity of your final product.

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