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Pruning cannabis plants to achieve maximum yields

Clipping marijuana leaf from cannabis plant at indoor garden ready for harvest

Pruning is vital to increase the quality and yield of your cannabis plants. It’s an informal interaction between the gardener and the plant, so it helps you to look closely at the plants, so test their quality.

It might be strange to cut off the bits of your plant, but these sections won’t yield better buds because they won’t get the correct amount of light — they’ll get shaded by buds and vegetation rising overhead.

The cutting off of the branches would enable the plant to devote its energy and wealth to the higher buds that receive a lot of suns. You may want to prune the yellow or dead leaves on the plant — they have little value and would drain the plant’s energy.

Pruning often provides clear room in the centre of the field, enabling air to move more quickly and enabling light to enter deeper, keeping the plant alive and stable.

What to look for when pruning

Quality buds develop where the plant receives a lot of sunlight and airflow, particularly at the top of the plant. 

• Low-down branches that get little sunshine 

• Leaves that are drying out due to lack of light 

• Low-down buds that do not obtain any light 

During the early stages of development, the plant is small enough that much of the leaves can get plenty of sunshine. Start pruning your plants as soon as they begin to take a bushy form, and top them to encourage this thick growth.

As the plant expands and bushes away, it will begin to take form and establish the canopy. It should offer you a sense of where the quality buds are going to develop so that you can start pruning away the unwanted portions of the plant.

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At this stage, until around 3-4 weeks into the flowering process, you should vigorously prune your plants. When far into the flowering process, you want to avoid pruning — it will allow the plant to start generating vegetative growth again, which would reduce the size and consistency of your yield.

How to prune your cannabis plants

Grab a pair of pruning shears, typically several Chikamas or Fiskars, for quick work on small branches and leaves. Hold an extra pair with more power nearby to carve off bigger branches.

Keep the clippers/scissors sharp and clean — this will maintain the plant safely and prevent infection and injury.

Next, remove large parts from the plant; This will help you to clear as much space as possible before you start a more detailed work. Start with the branches at the bottom of the plant. They will not get adequate sunshine and can never become wholly formed buds.

• Cut off branches rising in the centre of the plant under the canopy. These branches will get shaded out, and not even complete buds can grow.

• Prune any low, dying branches or leaves.

In the days following the pruning, your plants should undergo a growth burst — open space will allow extra light to reach the plant.

Pruning allows you to control the plant and direct the energy of the plant. Remember, pruning is an excellent opportunity to be present in your garden and see how your plants are doing. Take this time to observe your plants and check their overall health, look for pests, nutrient deficiencies, and soil problems.

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