Pruning and topping your plant to increase yield

There are many types of advanced gardening techniques that can be utilized like topping, fimming, super cropping, low stress training and S.C.R.O.G. that the grower can use.
Pruning your cannabis or tomato plant will result in a higher yield and less pests than letting them grow wild on their own. Helping to control where your plant is exposed to light and allowing for adequate airflow under your canopy are key aspects to maximizing your yield. Knowing when, where and how to prune your plant will assist you in getting the most out of your gardening experience.

Regular maintenance
Remove any dead leaves from your plant, especially around the base near the soil line. This keeps bugs from setting in.
Remove the lower leaves from your plant. If the lower branches of your plant are not getting enough light, they will not produce much yield. Cut them off and allow the plant to focus its energy on the flowers closer to the light they need. This is often called lollipopping your plant.
When removing plant material, ensure you are using a clean sharp blade. Your plant can get sick if the cut is not clean, just like you can!

Topping Cannabis
Topping is removing the central stem at its tip, to promote the remaining branches to form 2 new central tips instead of just one. This is accomplished by cutting off the newest growth at the highest point on the plant. Done between the 4th & 5th node, be sure to use a clean & sharp blade. The removed tip is discarded and the wound left untreated. You will see the 2 remaining branches take centre stage as the two branches below them also stretch into prominence. You have now just more than doubled your yield, congrats!

The tip you are going to snip

Perfect sharp scissors

You have done well

Just toss the remaining tip

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Hey Stephen,

Thanks for sharing, I have a couple of questions! Bear with me as I am a newbie :slightly_smiling_face:

  1. You mention both pruning and lollipopping. They sound pretty similar, are they the same thing? or are there distinct differences between the two?

  2. Is it really this easy :smile:!?!? You also mention the “4th and 5th node” could you explain what these are please?

Thanks for your help! Awesome post, I would love to see more growing tips so I can learn as much as possible before I get my Grobo! :grin:


Hi Scott,

I will be sharing more tips and posting more pics here as we begin filling out the content of AG, thanks for the great questions!

  1. Pruning is a general term that applies to several different techniques, some subjecting the plant to a little stress (LST - Low Stress Training like tying down a branch) and some to a high degree of stress. (HST - High Stress Training like Supercropping) Pruning is also defoliating or removing leaves or branches from the plant. It’s a general term that applies to more than one simple procedure. Lollipopping is a type of pruning. You are basically defoliating the plant by removing the lower branches and leaves that are no longer ‘in the canopy’ of light. When they are small and not getting full light, you won’t be happy with their final product. Often called popcorn bud, it’s not like the nice fat colas we are aiming for. Remove them early and your colas will thank you later.

  2. Topping is really that simple, and one of the easiest and quickest ways to increase your yield. I like to top my plant after it’s 4th set of leaves have emerged. If you look at the plant from the side, you can count how many levels or sets of branches it has. Once I see 4 sets, I top the emerging 5th set.

I’ll be adding more details about fimming, supercropping and LST soon!



Great tips, Stephen!

I’m pretty new at growing anything, so I had no idea of even basics like removing dead leaves near the soil line or removing the lower leaves from the plant.

Great tips, keep the coming! I’m sure I’ll be using your tips a lot once I get growing.


Add more to this Stephen, reading up as much as I can when it comes time soon to top my plant. Could you continue more on dimming or supercropping. I’ve read up elsewhere on it but it would be handy for people to see it here as well.

Just pruned ours the other day! Looks like we’re going to get a good yeild :grin:

Sorry, new to the boards, but I do have a q so I’m laying it down here: a few of the lower fan leaves have been yellowing over the past few days – since the last water change. We also just replaced the pH sensor. Thoughts?



Awesome update and glad to see you on the forum! I recently just started my grow last Saturday, I’ve made a small adjustment to my coco pod depth.

I’m sure someone will have some input to help to with your question! I’m still a noob myself in the growing aspect so I’ve only read articles as to what possibly could be taking place, but will let the Grobo team take this one!


Hi Jess,

Great to see you here, thanks for sharing!

Yellowing leaves can be natural, but there are several conditions that don’t help. Check out this article for more info on possible causes for yellowing.

I’d rule out pH going forward, as our new solution is rock solid.



Thanks, Stephen! Keeping an eye on the plant over the past few days, a few of the lower fan leaves are definitely yellowed and I wouldn’t be surprised if they drop, but I think you’re right – all looks normal to me, and other leaves are a healthy green :slight_smile:


Hi Jess,

Any chance you can provide us with an update of how your grow experience is coming along since we last heard from you?


A post was merged into an existing topic: Community Grow Photos

Looking good! If you don’t mind me asking, what strain did you settle on?



Purple Kush Feminized
Question: If all is well and all is green and growing is there a reason to take off the lower leaves?
I plan on topping it soon but need a little more growth.

I have some Purple Kush fem seeds from Canuk that I haven’t found a recipe for yet. What recipe are you using for your Purple Kush? How long until harvest? Thanks in advance.

Hi Trip23,

I’m only aware of the Auto Purple Kush Fem from Canuk, is that what you are referring to? Quite different than a photoperiod dependent feminized recipe. I’d use the Cannabis -Auto-Generic recipe, 71 days.


Yes, that’s the one! Also, I have from Canuk some Citrus Skunk Fem seeds. Do you have a recipe in mind for that strain? Thanks again!

Hey Trip23,

Make sure you use an auto recipe for your auto seeds! For the Citrus Skunk I’d run the Cannabis-Hybrid-Generic 101 day schedule.


1 Like

Hey Stephen,

I only have the Purple Kush seeds that are auto and I’m on my first grow (WW fem from Canuk - day 12), which brings me to my next question…how do you know if it’s Indica or Sativa because I can’t tell by the description? Does it make a difference if you have one and you’re using the recipe for the other? Thanks again.

Hey Seahawkpi,

I see I missed responding to your pruning question. “If all is green and growing is there a reason to take off the lower leaves?”

It is really up to you as a grower, but I like to remove the lower growth to allow the plant to focus on the top bud nodes, not the small ‘popcorn’ buds that occur in the undergrowth. This also has the effect of reducing bud infections by removing the oldest leaves and increasing the air flow under the canopy.