Photography by Natasha Ricke from @Cannabis.health.wellness.
Pruning and training cannabis may just be the most important hands-on bonding experience between you and your cannabis plant. During the vegetative state (pre-flower) your plant will benefit from a little helping hand.
Here at Blessed Coast Farms, we spend days on training our cannabis plants. We feel it’s quite possibly the best way to maximize yield without adding a nutrient or bloom booster. It’s also a natural pest preventative and you get sweet bonding time! We would like to share a few training techniques with you.
First is bottom branching, this is when you take off all of the small lower branches that will not produce well. Simply cut them off with pruning scissors. Depending on how large you’re letting your plant get, you can take off quite a bit of these lower branches. We then remove anything small in the center of the plant that will not receive light once the plant gets larger. The nodes closest to the stalk can be removed to create air flow. This lets more energy go to the larger more prominent branches and flowers.
Next, is topping, this pruning technique creates an equally spread out canopy. By snipping off the top nodes to each branch, it promotes the nodes below the top to grow. You can top multiple times while the plant is in its vegetative state.
Then big leafing or leaf removal is where you take off dead or yellowing leaves to prevent disease and control pests. By removing dead or dying leaves you are removing potential sickness and bugs. One of the best organic pest defense is to simply remove their home. Large ‘sugar’ or ‘sun’ leaves that grow towards the top of the plant can also be removed in small numbers at a time. By removing select larger leaves, the sun will be able to reach its rays all the way down to the lower buds creating better yields.
Finally, there is trellising, this procedure helps spread light evenly throughout the entire plant and helps sustain structure once the buds become heavy. When trellising, it’s common to use netting or bamboo stakes in training the plant’s branches to grow horizontally. When the branches are spread open, the buds receive more sun and are able to grow larger. Continue cleaning the dead leaves from your plant and removing large sun blocking leaves throughout flowering stages.