Pruning Cannabis to Maximize Growth

When you’re growing in a tent, pruning cannabis can be the best way to really squeeze the most out of your plants. When combined with other strategies such as a SCRoG net, you’re going to be able to decide where the plant puts its energy, and manage the growth.

Without pruning cannabis, the plant will grow wild in whichever direction it can, and this creates a really uneven distribution of light falling onto the leaves. Much of the plant will spend its life in darkness, and so will only make popcorn nugs.

By pruning cannabis, you can stop the marijuana from creating branches which are shaded by a canopy. You can force a plant to grow up rather than out, or visa versa. It’s great to know the techniques to pruning cannabis, so you can take your growing game to the next level.

Pruning Dead Leaves

To get you used to the art of pruning, you can start off by just taking off yellowing / dying leaves. Don’t go overboard, because the big fan leaves are what make the food for the plant, and capture the light.

However, a leaf which is more than 50% dead can and should be removed.

This practice will get you used to pruning cannabis with scissors or shears.

Pruning Bottom Branches

Another great way to get started is to begin pruning the bottom branches. If this is not done, the leaves will easily hang into the pot, and this will damage them when watered. Also, you don’t want branches right at the bottom of the plant, as these branches will be blocked of light.

To reduce the number of shaded branches, get rid of the lower offshoots as the plant progresses along its development. You can start doing this from late week 2 – week 3.

As you clip off the bottom branches, it will force the stalk to grow upwards faster as well. The point is to do this for a few weeks, to get rid of all the bottom growth, leaving only a nice big canopy.

Pruning the Canopy

Once you have a good shape for your plant, with the bottom most branches cut off, you can go to the canopy.

Some people are going to weave it in a SCRoG net, others will want to make a big bush, others will want to make it high like a tree. Whatever the case, thinning out the canopy is a necessary part of pruning cannabis plants.

Basically, you will be looking to remove around half of the new offshoot growths. Make sure that you’re targeting the offshoots rather than the fat, plump fan leaves. Once again, cutting too many of those off will cause your plant to stagnate, as it will starve it of food.

Also, try to do it equally around the canopy of the plant. Focus on the inside of the canopy, where growth is usually a lot denser first, and then move out to the outside of the plant.

What you’re trying to do is equalize growth, and make sure that every part of the plant is receiving adequate light. This is the maintenance phase of pruning, and you can do this every day if you want to be really proactive.

This cannabis pruning process can be done until around the second week of flowering phase, which is when you really want to slow down on your efforts.

If you see something sticking out, maybe prune it really quick, but only until week three tops.

Pruning during flowering phase cases the plant to start freaking out, and it could stunt growth, or make the cannabis plant actually revert to vegetative state!

This is obviously very unfavorable, and so be careful pruning cannabis when it’s in flower state.

Pruning Cannabis Conclusion

I remember when I first started growing, pruning the cannabis always used to be a very confusing topic for me, and I was hesitant to do it.

It does feel strange lopping off big branches of your precious weed plant, but when you understand what’s going on, it makes sense.

Energy gets allocated to the weed everywhere, even towards places which are going to get no light and result in lower yields.

Getting rid of these shaded areas, and also giving the nug sites room to breathe by thinning out the canopy is a great way to increase yield.

When done right, you will increase the amount of light getting to your cannabis plant, and all the budding sites will have a lot of room to grow to their full capabilities.

I would recommend combining the pruning strategy with a SCRoG net, so that you can also weave certain parts into the net. This is a great double-whammy for increasing the workable surface area of your canopy.

Mastering this technique is a very big milestone to making you a professional weed grower, so I wish you luck on your road to learning how to prune cannabis plants!

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