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When and How to Prune Marijuana Plants

Depending on why you want to prune your plants, you’ll need to do it one way or another, or at a certain time or another. That’s why it is necessary to know when and how to prune marijuana plants with which you can get the best of the results. At GB The Green Brand, your favorite growshop, you’ll get everything you need to prune your crops.

Why to prune marijuana plants

Marijuana plants are pruned with the aim of promoting healthy growth. This practice is done because when pruning, we remove parts that are damaged, unproductive, or that block the light that the plant needs for a proper development.

Thus, the plant concentrates its energy on nourishing and strengthening its leaves, buds, and branches, which encourages better airflow and light exposure. This way, denser buds filled with cannabinoids can be formed.

Pruning should be done in a controlled way, as if done in excess, we can harm our plant’s health and development, weakening them.

When to prune marijuana plants

We should prune our marijuana plants during their growth stage, before the plant is mature and ready to flower. For that, we should take into account the following key points:

  • The plant should be about 30 cm (1 ft) tall and have multiple sets of leaves.
  • Avoid pruning mature plants entering their flowering stage, as it may delay flowering.
  • During flowering, this process should be carefully done without cutting in excess.
  • If there’s a need to remove damaged or unhealthy tissue, it can be done in both vegetative and flowering cycles.

How to prune marijuana plants

To successfully carry out pruning, you’ll only need to have a pair of sharp and clean shears on hand, which can be sterilized to prevent pathogens from infecting the plant. Again, these pruning scissors should be sharp to make a clean and quick cut, so that plants can heal faster without undue harm.

When learning how to prune marijuana plants, it’s important to consider different methods of pruning, as well as the following aspects:


To take a marijuana cutting, you’ll need to cut a length of stem, trimming it neatly just below a few nodes to bury it in the middle of the rooting medium. This way, the roots will sprout from the buried node, so it can continue to grow.

cannabis cuttings

Cut as shown in the picture. Remove the branch from the node you’re burying, make a 45-degree cut on the buried part, and place it directly into a rockwool cube, jiffy pellet, or any aeroponic propagator. With proper care, you’ll have roots in a short time, typically within a few days.

Getting two central stems

To get two central stems and avoid the production from spreading around, we’ll need to cut above the two branches of our preference to let them grow. This cut should be made right where the new two twigs come from, leaving about a centimeter or less than an inch in the trunk with the new two stems.

cannabis central stems

The previous picture shows how the two sprouts come out from the trunk. In a few days, the wound will be sealed and the new central tips will have the main attention of your plant. This way, the maximum yield will be concentrated in that part as it will recognize the two branches on the top as the central stems.

How to get a wide and short plant indoors

To perform this kind of prune, we’ll have to take some precautions, as we’ll have to take the cut in the fattest part of the trunk, making a wound that must be covered.

This way, our plant will have a wide amount of buds all over the plant, producing a blanket of flowers of around 40×40 cm (1.3×1.3 ft) to fill a 4-tier tent of a square meter (or inch) or 9-tier tent of 120×120 cm (4×4 in).

wide and short plant indoors

Then, the bud production will be distributed from the smallest to largest flowers. The cut must be made at the height of the bottom branches, getting a “candelabra-like” plant, and the shorter branches must be at the same height as the longer ones. In regards to the trunk’s wound, we’ll have to cover it with a pruning sealer for cuttings or candle wax, so we prevent dirt or plagues from infecting our plant.

Considerations about how to prune marijuana plants

Pruning consists of cutting a part of the plant so it will focus its energy on other areas to better absorb light. This doesn’t mean that we can perform a cut anywhere. Leaves play a very important role in the plant’s development.

If we remove leaves, they will lose lots of strength, as they act like a nutrient reservoir in case plants need it someday. If a leaf is not receiving enough light, the plant will absorb it and the lead will dry until it turns yellow and falls.

pruning cannabis plants

Another thing to avoid is pruning during flowering. Plants need a few days to recover from prune-induced stress, and it takes a while to decide where the new branch or central stem is going to grow from. Likewise, you must avoid this practice right after your marijuana seeds (either feminized or regular) have germinated.

You can prune to change your plants’ shape, but never prune at the top to allow more light to reach the bottom, as the top is always more productive than the bottom even if you want it to get more light. The logical thing to do would be to prune the bottom so that the top can produce even more.

Now that you know how to prune marijuana plants properly, the only thing left is to choose which pruning method you are going to perform to obtain the finest results.

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Erik Collado

Con más de 10 años de experiencia en la industria del cannabis, sus experiencias y aprendizaje son la base del éxito de GB The Green Brand.

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