When pruning your cannabis plants, it’s all about focusing their energy on bud production and not wasting any light. By learning how to lollipop weed plants you will improve the efficiency of the plants growing process. To do this you need to remove the large fan leaves. These leaves are called “petioles” or “lollipops”, and they are little use for the plants because, at this point, the buds are growing as fast as possible from the stems and trunk. If you’re looking to grow big colas, you should consider lollipopping your marijuana plants. So, read on to find out how and why this advanced pruning technique is so effective.
What is lollipopping?
The key to unlocking the full potential of a plant, whether in the vegetative stages or flowering stages, is to stimulate growth with light. This is especially important when growing indoors, where light is often limited to a tiny area. By eliminating competing growth, energy is directed to the main kola sites.
Lollipopping is the act of removing the bottom growth of a cannabis plant during the vegetative stage. This will help promote dense colas throughout your flowering stage and eliminate any extra energy placed into those buds that aren’t quite up to par. Moreover, you can lollipop your plants if you’re looking to extend your flowering period for a more pleasant taste.
During the flowering stage, cannabis will usually grow new shoots and branches lower down the plant, which eventually begin to stretch as they are exposed to light. If you lollipop before the plant is too long, then these secondary branches will be short and grow out closer to the bud sites, giving more room for your buds to develop at the top of the plant and increasing overall yields.
Anyone who has grown cannabis can tell you; proper light management is key to achieving vigorous vegetative growth. Besides getting your plants the right amount of light from the correct type of lighting, you must position your lights at 90-degree angles to the tops of the plants. When plants are fed by many large tops instead of many small tops, each kola site grows more vigorously and produces denser tighter flowers.
Does lollipopping increase yield?
Lollipopping your cannabis plants will force them to produce colas — dense branches of buds that are rooted at the base. Lollipop growing techniques ensure that your budding leaves and stems do not drain the energy reserves from your cannabis plants. These light-sucking leaves impede photosynthesis in the plant’s branches, making these parts more susceptible to rot during the long flowering period. Requiring little time and work, lollipopping is also an excellent technique for novice cultivators who want to grow massive amounts of marijuana buds with very little complications.
It is highly recommended that you consider using other training techniques in combination with lollipopping to increase yield, such as low stress training (LST), topping, Screen of Green (ScrOG) or foliar feeding. For example, by combining lollipopping, LST and topping correctly, you will drastically improve the light distribution and help your plants direct their flows of energy a lot more evenly and efficiently. And you will sure be rewarded.
When should I start lollipopping marijuana plants?
Cannabis growers generally do lollippoping during the vegetation phase, just before the lights are switched to 12 hours on and 12 hours off. This gives your plants time to rest, recover, and grow strong before entering the flowering stage. However, you can also lollipop in flower. It gives a better yield by increasing light penetration into the canopy.
In short, Lollipopping is an economical technique for increasing a cannabis plant’s efficiency of light and space. It can increase yields by up to 20 per cent. Below is our complete guide on lollipopping marijuana plants for tips on planning out your next harvest.
Step by step how to lollipop marijuana plants
There are two different ways to lollipop a marijuana plant: removal and sculpting. Both need you to examine your plant for excessive growth. With some plants, it’s better to trim branches back to the main stem. With other plants, an artistry lollipop is best.
There’s no right or wrong when it comes to creating a method that works for you. Here are some tips to help you get started. If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by the possibilities, here’s a step-by-step guide to lollipopping your plants.
When doing lollipopping on cannabis plants, it’s essential to find tools that best apply the principles of topping and fimming. For example, pair your sharp scissors with trimming scissor techniques to make precise cuts near the cervical tissue. You can use shears if you want significant cuts on your plant. Start by pruning the oldest branches and the bottom branches, which won’t receive enough light to develop.
In my experience the best way to prune your plant is to remove all the branches growing vertically downward that aren’t at least 50% of the height of the plant. Also, remove any leafy green growth below a certain height/in an area where you’re getting close to the light source. As your plants grow taller and produce more flowers, branches will always tend to get shaded out or overshadowed. You don’t have to remove entire branches, but it can also involve pruning.
Don’t leave any leaves in the middle of your plant. This will block light from reaching developing buds and leave all your leaves covered up with nowhere to go! Furthermore, remove dead and yellowing leaves and branches.
Finally, you’ll want to begin lollipopping the branches one by one. There must be no more than two or three nodes at the end of each branch. This depends mainly on the strain, plant size, and overall health. When you’re pruning cannabis plants, time is a factor. If you’re trimming during the early or late stages of growth, we recommend pruning lower on the branches. Remove all growth from the topmost nodes on each branch.
It’s easy once you get the idea. Each branch needs to have 3–4 nodes of growth. Ensure that each node has one growing tip and a couple of buds on either side of it to fatten up your plant. You’ll want to trim away any branches that are not contributing to the overall shape of your plant.
How to lollipop marijuana in a nutshell
- Wait until the plant is tall and it has a few sets of nodes.
Cut off the top two sets of fan leaves and any big growth branches.
- Remove the middle of the plant from the base.
- If you use pruning shears, make it on 3-4 pairs (hubs).
- Space cuts between 3 and 6 inches apart.
- After 2-3 weeks, consider pruning the tops again.
- Use clean sterilized sheers or a pair of scissors.