Wondering if you should lollipop your autoflowers? The quick answer: it’s a risky move, but it can pay off. Lollipopping—trimming the lower leaves and branches to direct nutrients to the top buds—is a hot topic among autoflower growers. But what are the pros and cons? How do you do it without stressing the plant?
In this article, we’ll tackle these questions head-on, exploring the technique’s benefits and downsides. We’ll guide you through the proper way to lollipop, how it impacts yield and potency, and whether or not it suits your growing setup.
What does lollipopping autoflowers involve?
Lollipopping is a pruning technique where you remove the lower branches and foliage, leaving only the topmost leaves and buds. The end result resembles a lollipop, with a bare stem leading up to a canopy of thick growth at the top. The rationale behind this technique, especially with autoflowers that have a shorter growth cycle, is to redirect the plant’s energy to the primary colas and upper bud sites. By eliminating the lower growth, which often receives inadequate light and can result in underdeveloped pop corn buds, the plant can focus its resources on the main canopy, producing bigger and fatter buds.
Can autoflowers be lollipopped?
Absolutely, autoflowers can be lollipopped, but exercise caution. Unlike photoperiod plants that have a longer growth cycle, autoflowers have a shorter lifespan only spending a few weeks in the vegetative stage and 6-8 weeks in flowering, this makes them more sensitive to stress and gives them less time to recover. However, because lollipopping is a technique that is started during the early flowering stage you will have at least 6-7 weeks of recovery time from any stress. Therefore its not as risky as topping and fimming which are done during the veg stage of growth and could stress the plant as it approaches the flowering stage.
Pros and cons of lollipopping autoflowers
Firstly, the benefits. Lollipopping refocuses the plants energy and nutrients toward the top buds, leading to larger, denser buds. Now, the downside. The technique can stress your plant, and if done incorrectly, it could potentially reduce your overall yield.
How to lollipop autoflowers?
When to Start Lollipopping Autos
Timing is everything with lollipopping and its even more important when you’re doing it on autoflowers. Start the lollipopping process during the early stages of flowering. This allows the plant plenty of time to recover and refocus its energy on bud development.
Where to Cut Your Plants
Cut the lower one-third of the plant, removing small branches and leaves that don’t receive much light. Be precise; sloppy cuts can lead to disease.
How to Cut the Leaves of Your Autoflowers
Use sterilized pruning shears for clean cuts. Slice at a 45-degree angle to help the plant heal faster, and avoid tearing the leaves, as this can cause undue stress.
Remember, lollipopping is a technique that comes with both risks and rewards. Proper execution is key for success.
How late into flowering can you lollipop autoflowers?
When it comes to lollipopping autoflowers, the recommended timeframe is the early flowering stage, generally within the first two weeks. Any later than this and you probably won’t see the added benefit because your plant will not have enough time to recover and redirect its energy to the uppermost buds.
How much does lollipopping increase autoflower yield?
The impact of lollipopping on yield varies. While it can lead to larger, denser buds by directing energy to the upper canopy, there’s no guarantee of a dramatic increase in yield. Results are strain-dependent and influenced by other factors like nutrients and light as well. In general lollipopping creates impressive looking buds because plants that have been lollipopped have one huge fat, dense cola. However, in my experience as a grower, if you are going for just big yields then scrog or tie and bend LST is the best approach for autoflowers.
Lollipopping vs defoliation for autoflowers?
Both techniques aim to improve light penetration and airflow. However, lollipopping is more aggressive, involving the removal of lower branches in addition to leaves. Defoliation, on the other hand, generally involves only leaf removal.
Can you lollipop alongside SOG and SCROG?
Yes, lollipopping can be combined with Sea of Green (SOG) or Screen of Green (SCROG) techniques. When done correctly, lollipopping can complement these methods by promoting better light distribution and focusing energy towards top colas.
Is there any point lollipopping autoflowers outdoors?
Lollipopping is often associated with indoor grows, but it can also be beneficial outdoors. By removing lower growth, you improve airflow and reduce moisture retention, which can help to prevent mold and pests. However, outdoor plants are generally less controlled environments, so exercise caution and consider the specific needs of your plants.
There you have it—lollipopping your autoflowers can be a game-changer. Whether you’re growing indoors or outdoors, this technique can improve light distribution and potentially boost your yield. Just remember, timing is key and your plant’s specific needs should always be considered. Ready to give it a go on your next grow? Don’t forget to like and share this article!