Plant pruning is an essential tool for keeping your plants healthy and keeping energy focused to the parts of your plant that need it most.
If you don’t prune your cannabis plants, the small branches and leaves under your canopy can steal that energy away. It might seem wasteful to cut off any part of your plant that looks like it is growing fine, but it can actually be the opposite.
Why Prune Cannabis?
When your cannabis plants are young and just starting their vegetative stage, they’re small and it’s easy for light and air to penetrate every part of your plants. But that changes as they grow.
As your cannabis grows taller and wider with vegetative growth, the canopy that develops can start to take the majority of light away from the lower portion of the plant. This means that branches, leaves and even potential flower sites can’t get the light they need.
Additionally, as your plant grows thicker and forms a canopy, it becomes difficult for air to penetrate and pass through the whole plant. This causes the lower parts of your cannabis to get stuck in pockets of warm air with little light, and that’s no good.
Pruning your cannabis is simply just getting rid of the parts of the plant that aren’t going to produce flower or benefit the plant going forward as it grows.
How to Prune Cannabis
You can maintain regular basic pruning practices with just your hands, but to really have an impact, you’ll want to use a pair of trimming scissors and have a pair of shears on hand in case you run into a tough branch.
Before you break out the scissors, check your plants for dead leaves, withering leaves, and leaves lower on the plant that aren’t receiving light. Remove these leaves by hand to get a better view of your plants throughout to see the branches and flower sites you might want to remove.
Next, beginning at the bottom of your plants, you want to looks for branches that are growing upward and underneath the canopy. Due to their growth pattern, these branches will never be able to get the light they need to produce harvest-worthy flowers and be cut out.
There may also be flower sites that have formed directly on the stem of your plants. You want to snip those off too.
By cutting out these branches and lower flower sites, your plants will focus more energy on the tops of your plants, producing bigger, better flowers up top.
Don’t Prune Later in Flower
While you can (and should) prune your plants regularly throughout their vegetative stage and early into the flower stage, you will want to cease pruning when they get three to four weeks into the flowering stage.
Cutting off portions of your plant later in the flower stage can reactivate vegetative growth from the sites you cut. Needless to say, if vegetative growth starts up in your flower stage, it’s going to take extremely valuable energy away from your flower sites at the top of the plants.