What is Topping?
Topping is a High stress training technique done during the vegetative stage of your plants’ life in which you remove the top of the plant. This training technique when done correctly will slow the vertical growth of the plant and instead promote lateral growth. The act of Topping causes the plant to redistribute growth hormones to the secondary branching of your plant causing it to bush out more creating more growth sites and in turn increasing your overall yield of the plant.
What tools/items do you need?
- Pruning shears
- Isopropyl Alcohol (optional)
When do I Top my plant?
There are three main conditions that must be met before you Top your plant.
- Life stage
- Health of the plant
- Size of the plant
Topping should only be done during the Vegetative stage of your plants life cycle.
Due to this being a high stress training technique it is very important that your plant is healthy before you Top it so it will keep on growing.
As a general guideline, a good time to Top your plant is when you can count a minimum of 5 to 8 parallel growth nodes on your plant. This will ensure your plant will have ample time to recover and produce a good number of secondary branching that will start to develop after Topping.
How do I Top?
Firstly, we recommend that you disinfect your pruning shears, especially if you have used them on other plants. The best way to do this is with Isopropyl alcohol but if you do not have this you can thoroughly wash them with soap. This is done to prevent introducing harmful infections to your plant.
Next, remove the newest growth of the primary branch at the top of the plant, making sure to leave the two parallel growth nodes below it intact and undamaged. These two nodes will eventually turn into your new primary branches.
Any tips, tricks, or other things to be aware of?
Not all plants react the same way to Topping. Some grow extremely fast and you may need to Top multiple times to control it. Others may grow very slowly and you may need to be more selective and change when you Top. With experience, and as we gather more data, choosing when to Top your plant will become more precise.
Again this is a High stress training technique so be sure that your plant is healthy enough before Topping.
Lastly, it is not recommended to Top an auto flower strain. This is due to the short veg times and fixed flower time. On average Topping an auto flower will not increase the yield and actually has a better chance of lowering your yield.