View Full Version : Topping: An Essential Guide to Bushier Plant

05-10-2005, 03:07 PM
Essentially there are the same, "Pruning" and "Topping", just two different commonly words used. It is also known to some as "Pinching" as well. In this page it will be refered to it as "Topping"

Topping is done to Marijuana to keep the plants small and bushy, promote "branching", and increase the overall yeilds of the plants. With higher overall yeilds, a grower will successfully harvest many more budds, or floral clusters, and from smaller, bushier and more compact plants.

If Topping is not done to Marijuana there is alot less yeild per plant. To the indoor grower this can be a waste of their artificial lighting, and growing spaces potential. Marijuana with its own natural growth pattern, and without the benifit of topping, will have one main central "khola" budd, at peak flowering. Several other small branches will grow outwards, down its main stalk, with much smaller budd topps.

Marijuana's natural growth pattern is to grow upwards at its main stalk. From this main central stalk will begin to grow side branches. The side branches come out as tiny shoots with leaves, and usually there are a pair of them on opposite sides of the main central stalk.

When the seed leaves have long dyed off on the main stalk. The first true seed leaves commonly can or will, wilt, dry up, or dye off of the plant as well. Once healthy new vegative growth begins the rate of growth can be very fast, with excellent lighting supplied.

As the new growth increases the light reaching the lower portions of the plants becomes less. Thusly is is common to see first leafs wilting and dying ect. Growers that see leaves wilting or dying, ect, will opt to pulling them off of the plants.

The main central stalk is topped of just above the branches that are coming out below it. A pair of scissors or your fingers can be used. Once the topping is done you can remove the two upper fans leaves as well. This will aid in the light getting to the newer vegative growth, and other shoot tips, down the main central stalk.

There are no rules to where you top your plant or how old it needs to be. As long as your plant has shoots protruding further down the main stalk it is able to be topped. When topped the growth of the plant will be concentrated towards the new, younger vegative shoots.

Once you have topped your plant(s) the younger shoots will rapidly begin growing. With the removal of the main central stalk the lower braches grow more. With topping completed we keep the plants on their regular lighting and feeding schedules.

Now each new shoot tip will essentially grow as the main stalk did, however the growth is not concentrated to only one central stalk. So as each new shoot grows outward new shoots will grow from each one of them stalks as well.

Therefore topping can be done again, and again, and as each shoot becomes a growing tip with other shoots forming down its stalk, it is removed. By completing these topping or pruning tactics, a grower can achieve any desired height, or desired bushyness, they desire in their plants.

05-10-2005, 03:12 PM
excellent read espcially for us indoor growers who could use a better yield

green girl
05-21-2005, 06:04 PM
I find "topping" is a term used very loosely! :) I really prefer the term "pruning" when the plant is in vegetative lighting! When I switch the plant to flowering, I also switch from pruning to bending. Pruning - removing specific leaves from the growing plant to promote branching - also sends a chemical signal to the plant to perform a certain action, that is not promoting bud growth. Bending (tokiary) encourages the plant to continue bud growth and slows the upwards plant growth. When the upper buds are ready to harvest you can begin topping. Cut off the upper layer of buds at the top of the plant that are more mature than those lower on the plant. Somethimes yuo can only cut off only a couple of inches of plant. Once in a while you can get lucky with taller (8-10"), but you don't get the super colas when you top. The first pic is the before & after comparison of the topped NL plant. The second pic is the same NL plant at second harvest.

05-21-2005, 06:56 PM
funny my buds always mature bottom up not top down.......

green girl
05-21-2005, 09:44 PM
I guess there is a height factor at work. It would be interesting to see the differences in bud sizes and structures.

05-22-2005, 09:01 AM
I was wondering.. When you just take the top buds and allow continued growth, what about flushing?
How is the taste if you haven't flushed the plant first?

05-22-2005, 10:29 AM
I was wondering.. When you just take the top buds and allow continued growth, what about flushing?
How is the taste if you haven't flushed the plant first?

Flushing is all a matter of opinion, I for one am a FIRM believer in flushing as I go for taste as well as potency, If you like herb that tastes like monkey shit then by all means, dont flush, BUT, If you like smooth tasty buds that burn clean with a nice white ash then try flushing, and save all your buds untill they have been flushed properly. Just my 2 cents...

05-22-2005, 10:40 AM
I have always flushed except for my very first grow where I didn't know better.
Like CF I enjoy that nice smooth smoke, no choking and coughing.. Or nasty taste.

05-22-2005, 12:28 PM
B T W.. I always top (prune) and end up with nice bushy gals.

green girl
05-22-2005, 01:32 PM
Flushing! I give the plants just water for 1-2 weeks before topping (I dont always remember :p at this stage - ah well), then back to fertilizers for 2 weeks then flush again for 2 weeks for final harvest.

05-23-2005, 05:03 AM
I take it then that most of your plants would be in 12/12 for approx. 3 months then?
(2 months flowering, take the top buds then one more month before final harvest of the whole plant)
Seems like this is a very good way of adding quantity & quality!

05-27-2005, 02:48 PM
Hey Folks,

I have a female Whitewidow in the mid stages of flowering and i topped it with the 2 main fan leaves and i got a nice tight lil by lil i mean about 2 inches long cluster with lotsa hairs just starting to show and i dried it in my dehyd. and i was very much amazed at the nice tangy citrus flavor of the top it was a pleasure to medicate with as it was really very potent.
I made sure that there was a group of smaller buds below the top and they have already split and are 3 inches in length. My problem is that iam about to start my rippening nutes and that includes KoolBloom and i expect this plant to show many many buds as i have counted 15 in the lower stalks and they are all nice and hairy. I will flush my plant with FloraKleen for 3 days and then with just water for at least 1 week b4 harvest.
This is my 1st shot at WW and i cant wait for the white appearance as it is just starting to change. I feel it will be a great med strain judging from the lil bit i had the other nite.May The Gods watch over us All! oha wehatana meste!darnpj

Pothead Pete
05-27-2005, 03:31 PM
I skipped this"flushing"....I thought how important can that be? Well I for one am now a firm believer in flushing my plants at least a week....preferably two before final harvest. I use Advanced Nutrients Final Phase for the next to last week and then go just plain, aerated, ph'd water for the last week. I really get a different taste for each strain and my meds are true burning. By that I mean a nice white ash, and most importantly no popping or cracking of your medication while you consume it. And who wants to injest all of those chemicals if you don't have to, either organic or not? Not me. Just my two cents. Didn't mean to go off topic here....sorry. I am growing twenty plants in 7 gallon buckets ....so all this topping and bending is highly impractical for me because I am in such a small area. Basically the whole 55 inches wide by 14 ft long is covered in pots. It is really hard to water them too. I can hardly wait to move where I will be implementing some of these very interesting techniques that you guys have brought up in this thread.God Bless!!! Pothead!!! :cool: :cool: