Apical Dominance, The Best Pruning technique for marijuana plants

Apical pruning’s a simple process – cutting the upper and main plant stems to paralyze their growth and boost the growth and production of side and lower branches; main stem gets weaker, but more branched structure’s boosted – many productive, stronger, fatter side branches (two new branches per pruning).

apical prunning

apical prunning

Where to make apical pruning

For apical pruning, you have to wait till the strain has developed at least 3 nodes; the nodes are the points of the main stem where new side branches grow: if the plant hasn’t still produced 3 nodes, recovering from pruning will be very difficult – paralyzed growth, and pruning has to be made during growth stage (if made during flowering, this stage would get paralyzed and some production would get lost).

Keep it clean

The cut has to be made with sanitized tools and as precise as possible, trying to minimally harm the vegetal material; the cut has to be always made close to the base of the third node, just above the two upper branches – from the third node on, the cut can be made in whichever node you want.

When healing the cut, the plant gets stressed – try to cut it as clean as possible (stress could paralyze vital functions of the crop).

What’s going to happen?

From the cut node on, the plant will boost the growth of two Y-shaped side branches – the main stem will be lost forever; we know what you’re thinking: main stem lost, the heaviest, biggest plant bud lost – as a reward, the plant will produce much more quality side buds, generating a bushy, compact structure full of buds.



Some tips for pruning

  • Pruning produces more branched structures, but slows down the plant growth; you shouldn’t make any pruning in indoor grows – as few as possible, in order to finish the process as soon as possible. If you don’t care about prolonged growth, work on apical pruning at will – covering grow square meters with a single plant (SCROG and SOG methods).
  • Outdoor grows are suitable for countless pruning – huge plants with countless side branches; the size of your strains would be properly controlled – very interesting option when the space’s reduced and you need to keep the plants hidden (you can make it grow the way you want, shaping it at will, like a bonsai).
  • For all these pruning work, you should apply healing paste to help the plant recover without too much stress – when recovering from pruning, the plants are more sensitive to bug attacks, fungi, humidity excess, air, inclement weather.
  • Sativa pruning’s specially suitable for these higher, less-branched structured strains – better structure and more branched, productive plants; good pruning depends on your chosen strain – get properly informed beforehand (some strains aren’t suitable for apical pruning).
  • Automatic strains aren’t suitable for apical pruning – such a short growth stage that they won’t have enough time to get recovered (unsuccessful pruning).

Marijuana plant maintenance: Bending and pruning tutorial

This has been a short overview on apical pruning; when in doubt, just contact us.

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