It’s important to know when to trim your cannabis plants in order to ensure a healthy and bountiful harvest. By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your plants are trimmed at just the right time.
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Many growers swear by preventive topping or trimming, while others only do it when they have a problem. Topping and trimming can be beneficial, but only if done correctly and at the right time. In this article, we’ll go over the basics of topping and trimming cannabis plants.
Topping is the process of cutting off the main stem of a cannabis plant. This encourages the plant to grow lateral (side) branches, which can produce more buds. Some growers top their plants once, while others top multiple times.
Trimming is different from topping in that it involves removing leaves, not stems. Trimming is often done to improve airflow and light exposure in the canopy, and also to remove any leaves that are yellowing or dying.
The vegetative stage
Cannabis plants grow rapidly during the vegetative stage, when they are getting lots of light. If you are growing cannabis indoors, you will need to give your plants 18-24 hours of light per day during the vegetative stage. Outdoor growers will need to take into account the changing length of days as summer turns to fall.
During the vegetative stage, you should not trim your plants too aggressively. If you do, it will shock them and slow down their growth. A good rule of thumb is to only remove about 10-20% of the plant material when you trim. For example, if you have a 3 foot tall plant, you should only remove about 6-12 inches of growth when you trim it.
The flowering stage
The flowering stage is when your cannabis plants produce the precious buds you’re hoping for. It’s important to know when to trim your cannabis plants during this stage, as it can mean the difference between a good harvest and a great one.
Trimming during the flowering stage can help your plants produce bigger, better buds. By removing excess leaves and branches, you give your plant more energy to put into developing its buds. Buds that are not trimmed may be smaller and less potent.
The best time to trim your cannabis plants is during the last 2-3 weeks of the flowering stage. This will give your plant time to recover from the trimming and put all its energy into developing large, dense buds.
If you are growing cannabis for the first time, it is best to err on the side of caution and start trimming a little earlier rather than later. You can always take more off, but you can’t put leaves back on once they’re gone!
The harvest stage
The harvest stage is when you will finally get to reap the rewards of your hard work! After weeks or even months of carefully nurturing your plants, you will finally gets to enjoy the fruits of your labour. But before you can start smoking (or eating) your buds, you need to properly harvest and dry them.
One of the most important things to do during the harvest stage is to properly trim your plants. Trimming is vital to the quality of your final product, so it’s important to do it right. But when should you trim your plants?
The answer is: it depends. There is no one-size-fits-all answer, as the best time to trim will vary depending on the strain, growing method, and personal preferences.
In general, indica strains are ready for harvest sooner than sativa strains. Indica plants tend to have shorter flowering periods (usually 8-10 weeks), while sativas can take up to 12 weeks or longer.
So if you’re growing an indica strain, you can generally start trimming when 75-80% of the trichomes have turned milky white. For sativas, wait until at least 90% of the trichomes have turned white before starting to trim.
Of course, these are just general guidelines – ultimately, it’s up to you to decide when your plants are ready for harvest. A good way to tell is by inspecting the trichomes with a magnifying glass. When they’re ready, they should look like tiny balls that are milky white or transparent in color. If they’re still mostly clear or amber in color, they’re not quite ready yet.
Remember – it’s better to err on the side of caution and trimmed too early than too late. Once most of the trichomes have turned amber, the THC starts breaking down and converting into CBN (cannabinol), which has more sedative effects rather than psychoactive ones. So if you want buds that are high in THC and give you a powerful psychoactive high, be sure to trim while most of the trichomes are still milky white in color