Table of Contents

Topping Marijuana Plants – Why, When and How?

Mike Wilson
Mike Wilson
girl scout cookies cropping min scaled 1

Girl Scout Cookies from Blimburn Seeds Bank with topping and a little arms for growing.

Why Topping?

Many growers need to control the size of their plants, whether indoors or outdoors. This is a technique that has been used for a long time among growers. It can be used in both indoor and outdoor crops and helps plants grow and flower more powerfully.

Indoors, controlling the size of the plant is necessary to avoid having an oversized specimen that occupies the entire growing area and does not allow room for more plants. This cultivation technique helps to solve this problem, maximizing the cultivation space and the yield of the plant thanks to the fact that it adopts a more compact size.

For outdoor gardeners, something similar happens. If you do not want to have a Christmas tree, then apply topping so that the plant is more discreet and develops in a great way. This is ideal for guerilla crops, as it keeps the plant more stealthy.

How is topping done?

We must point out that this cultivation technique consists of cutting the upper part of the plant, also known as the tip. We recommend that you carry out this pruning with sharp scissors and with great care. Use a glove to protect your hands and avoid being smoked when you make the cut to avoid accidents.

This type of training allows the plant to grow more horizontally and not vertically. A defoliation helps as the new branches must grow after pruning. So, when they defoliate, they benefit because they receive more and better light, promoting their explosive growth.

Is topping important to the plant and farmers?

Sure. It should be noted that by cutting the main tip of the plant, the size of the plant can be controlled. In addition, it is possible to multiply the arms of the cannabis plant with which its product can be increased.

After pruning, the plant produces two Y-shaped arms. These arms then become the main ones. The importance of topping also lies in other aspects that gardeners value very much.

For instance, by using this technique, the plants have better ventilation, thus avoiding problems with humidity and certain fungi such as mold. This is of utmost importance for outdoor crops in areas of high humidity.

Another important point is that while the harvest increases, the flowers become more compact. That’s why growers who prefer rock-hard, super-tight blooms really enjoy topping.


This is a Guanabana from Blimburn Seeds Bank grown with topping in a 25L pot. Here, you can see how this cultivation technique helps to control the size of the plant, even more so if a large pot is used.

Can it be done indoors and outdoors?

Of course, you can apply this technique both indoors and outdoors.

Plants grown outdoors tend to be large and pine-shaped in sativa and hybrid strains. For this reason, their middle and lower areas often reduce their production. Therefore, using topping helps them develop in a better, more uniform way.

In the following image, you can see a Bruce Banner marijuana plant from Blimburn Seeds grown outdoors by a breeder who sent us this report. Bruce Banner is a hybrid strain of large size and heavy yields that was growing with topping and LST.  Applying these 2 techniques, the cultivators obtained a super productive and discreet plant, growing and flourishing parallel to the ground. This makes the weed plant difficult to be seen from a long distance or to be distinguished from above.

Is it possible to combine other techniques with topping?

Absolutely. If we add techniques such as LST, the cannabis plants will thank you because they will obtain all the solar energy they need, both in growth and in flowering. Also, scrog can be applied in indoor crops so each arm you obtain can be subjected to the Scrog mesh, making their tails robust and full of tight flowers. If you like strains that are full of resin, Topping + scrog + lst will be ideal for your garden.

This is because the flowers that you will harvest will be covered with trichomes and sticky resin that will make you fly higher than ever.


Why not before or after?

This technique is not applied before node 6 because the plant is still immature. Due to the above and due to the stress that this type of pruning generates for the plants, the development of the new lateral branches becomes slow and less powerful. Topping ganja plants is recommended when they have well-developed the sixth node. Besides, if you do the pruning in previous nodes, you have less chance of the plant developing more lateral branches that can be cultivated for big crops. On the other hand, if you prune after node 6, the plant will tend to spike vertically.

Because of that, the horizontal effect produced by this type of pruning will not be as effective.  For the same reason, we say that node number six is ideal for your plants. If you apply this type of pruning during flowering, in addition to the fact that your plant is already spiking vertically, the harvest is affected. This is because the flowers grow smaller than normal and due to the stress generated by this pruning, it can reduce the harvest.


This is a good question. In this case, we can say that sativa and hybrid varieties are the best for topping. Sativa and hybrid cannabis strains, having medium to long growth and flowering cycles, can thrive. For this reason, we have highlighted genetics such as Guanabana, Girl Scout Cookies and Bruce Banner in this article.

First of all, Guanabana cannabis seeds are mostly sativa and as you can see in the images, this genetic tendency allows it to withstand topping and LST to a great extent. In addition, Guanabana weed plants grow large and flourish, delivering incredible harvests. 

Bruce Banner is a cannabis hybrid that adapts very well to indoor and outdoor crops. In this case, we highlight Bruce Banner growing outdoors with topping and LST, both training techniques for cannabis plants. As you can see in the photo, our Bruce Banner wastes power and high bud production thanks to those cultivation techniques.

Finally, we highlight Girl Scout Cookies, this girl adapts well to this type of crop which is why farmers prefer her. Girl Scout Cookies marijuana seeds are mostly sativa and stand out for producing resistant, powerful cannabis plants with excellent punch and bud production. In short, this cultivation technique called topping is very important to carry out. That is why in this guide, we give you the necessary tips for successful topping of your plants.

Blimburn Seeds Bank wishes you the best in your cultivation and that you obtain great harvests thanks to the use of topping.

Strains featured in this article:

Mike Wilson

Mike Wilson is a passionate cannabis cultivator with over a decade of experience in the California cannabis industry. Born and raised in the heart of the West Coast, Mike has dedicated his life to honing his skills as a cultivator, becoming a true master of the plant. His love for cannabis and profound knowledge of its cultivation have led him to explore every facet of this captivating plant, from classic strains to the latest trends in cultivation and advanced techniques.

With a unique perspective on cannabis culture and a focus on sustainability and quality, Mike generously shares his valuable tips and tricks on this platform. Through his posts, he will guide you on the exciting journey of cannabis cultivation, providing expert insights and practical experiences to help you achieve success in your own cultivation endeavors. Join Mike on his journey through the world of cannabis and discover how to cultivate responsibly and achieve exceptional harvests. Become part of his community and unlock the secrets of a true cannabis master!

Read More Read Less

Related Articles

Explore our shop

Blimburn OG Seeds