The hormone auxin is responsible for the vertical growth of any plant. Topping the plant by totally removing the shoot that was present causes the plant to stop producing Auxin and to focus its energy on lateral growth. Topping the plant just once will lead to a V-shaped main stem and causes growth of two identical new shoots at the same time. If you top the plant again after that you create more of these V-shaped branch sites with two identical stems growing from each site.
When Is The Best Time To Top?
The best time to top your plants or perform any real plant training is during the vegetative stage. The reason for this is to allow the plant to recover: Doing this during flowering can cause problems with hermaphrodites due to stress too late into flowering. Determining the best time to top depends on how bushy or low you want the plants to grow. If you consider it takes 7-10 days for the new shoots to emerge and begin to grow, then you will need 2 weeks of recovery time each time you top. It also makes it more important to better shape the canopy as everything else grows.
Double The Shoots
When growing Marijuana, the more buds the better and topping plants can really change the outcome of a grow from one big cola with strong side branches to many main colas with no side branches as everything is considered a main shoot. Below is an example of how many times you can top the same plant and create a high number of new shoots. Of course if you are going to follow this guide, then you must consider recovery time or new growth to correspond with the remaining canopy.
- Topped once will create 2 new shoots
- Topped twice will create 4 new shoots
- Topped three time will create 8 new shoots
- Topped four times will create 16 new shoots
Longer Veg Periods after topping
Based on following the guide above you must consider much longer vegging periods to allow the plant to recover and fill out. A grower should top their plants in accordance with their grow space, assuring plant size and therefore yield is optimal. In order to grow a plant that has been topped several times it is advised to veg for longer than usual. The plant will also be very busy producing new hormones every time you pinch the plant out and top, so the longer you can allow the plant to recover before the flowering stage the better. Really big plants are grown in veg for around 70 days before flowering and in this time many new shoots grow and are trained.
Topping For A Scrog
Growing Marijuana in a “screen of green” setup is a main reason why many growers top their plants and a can lead to huge yields from one plant. If a grower continues to top each of the new tops and also the lower new shoots, the canopy can become too heavy for the rest of the plant and then a form of support is required. Using a screen allows all of the multiple new shoots to grow evenly through the allocated squares of the net. Incorporating this scrogging and topping technique can help the bedroom grower grow one plant that uses all of the lighting and yields heavy as a result.