20/09/2022

Is topping good for autoflowering cannabis strains?

Autoflowering cannabis strains becomes very popular. Have you ever considered topping them? Is it good or bad idea?

What about topping autoflowering cannabis varieties? Many growers often ask about this and are often met with a negative response. It’s usually not recommended. We take a look at situations where it is appropriate to trim the autoflowers and some advice on the process of the topping.

Why is topping not recommended for autoflowering cannabis plants ?

The main argument is that the HST (High Stress Technique) always stops the growth of the plant for a while, and because the life cycle of autoflowering cannabis plants is limited, this slowdown can overshadow the benefit of topping. This statement is true, of course, but over the last few years the automatic strains have moved on.

What are growers trying to achieve when they top autoflowering cannabis strains?

Growers use a top dressing when they want to make the plant more bushy and prevent it from growing taller. This is because they often have limited space for height and want more tops, which means a bigger crop.

In any case, if growers do not want to go into trimming but still want to try a technique, they usually use the low stress technique. or LST.

For example, bending is very popular as you see at the picture below.

tie and bend technique

The SCROG method is also very often used when growing autoflowering cannabis plants indoors

method of Scroging

When is it a good time to trim autoflowering cannabis strains and when is not?

When you want to trim autoflowers, it can be difficult to know the right moment. Topping is usually done when your cannabis plant has 4 levels. Avoid any kind of HST if the plant is not vital or if it is a variety with very short vegetative time (2-3 week). Today you can find on the market automatic strains with even 40-60 days of vegetation. Those autoflower varieties have big yields and HST techniques are allowed for them.

Topping autoflowering cannabis varieties – few useful tips

  1. Always use clean scissors/blades. It is also imperative that the tools are properly sharp. You don’t want to cut something with a dull and dirty knife. The plant will already be under so much stress and faulty tools could make it worse.
  2. Learn all about the variety you are growing. For example, Banshee is vital and tries to put most of her energy into her tops, so she is good for topping.
  3. If you are not sure you can top your plant, don´t do it and try some of LST techniques (low stress training).

Summary on topping of cannabis automatic varieties

Today, what matters most is the variety of autoflower you grow. The faster the variety, the less chance there is that it will have a vegetative phase long enough for topping to have a positive effect. Try to find out the length of the vegetative phase of the autoflower you are growing. Never use topping on a plant that is under other stresses, such as nutritional imbalance, or if it has experienced any stress in the recent past. In this case, the plant’s period of stunting may be longer and hermaphroditization may occur.

topping cannabis plant with scissors

If your plant is healthy, vigorous and the variety is not naturally branched, and it is also a variety with at least one month of vegetation, topping is appropriate.

Published by Jan Veselý

20/09/2022
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