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How to Apply Topping Technique in Cannabis Growing

Topping technique in a Cannabis growing

Welcome to everyone, new users and very loyal ones, in this new article of our “Cannabis Cultivation Manual” by Annibale Seedshop dedicated to Topping, a Marijuana cultivation technique. After having seen together the main cultivation techniques “Sea Of Green” and “Screen Of Green“, we are ready to venture into this very useful chapter, dedicated to all those who are not satisfied with a “classic Cannabis harvest“!

What is Cannabis Topping Technique?

Topping Technique is an elementary cannabis cultivation technique. Its discovery and use by man come since ancient times.

This is a fairly simple pruning technique that can work for any plant, including cannabis!

As a minimum theoretical knowledge is required, very little material to be used and the risk of failure reduced to a minimum, it is considered by all to be a good technique for approaching an “advanced” cannabis cultivation for the first time.

So if you are wondering why not to continue growing your Marijuana plants in the classic way, letting them grow vertically, and without abruptly interrupting their development with an irreversible cut of scissors, you will surely want to read the next chapter!

Why do Topping Technique at your Cannabis plants?

While it may seem counterproductive, why apply the Topping Technique to your cannabis plants?

There are various reasons for opting for apical pruning. The first valid reason that comes to everyone’s mind is to be able to keep the plant under control in the development of its height, but it does not end here …

In fact, if you ask any experienced cannabis grower this question, they will tell you that you can multiply the weight of your crop. But all this will cost you a lot of patience …

How to top Cannabis plant?

To apply the Topping technique, you will need to have a pair of sharp and clean scissors and denatured alcohol. You will need to clean your scissors with alcohol and a cloth to avoid future contamination and disease to your cannabis plants.

Once this is done, if the plant has already reached its fifth stage of leaves, make a clean cut above the second-third stage. Never apply this pruning technique to a seedling that has not reached the proper maturity to withstand the stress caused by cutting.

What will happen, by arming yourself with the right patience in waiting for the days of recovery from the stress of cutting, will be that the top of your plant, which was once one, will now be doubled.

This is due to the fact that by cutting off the top of your plants, there will be a redistribution of auxin. Auxin is the hormone responsible for growth in cannabis plants, and is involved in identifying the predominant branch. It will be this hormone to choose which branches will have priority to develop over the others.

Normally, this happens with the apical tip, being the highest point of the plant and the one that, logically, will be able to take more sun than the others, thus developing more flowers and having a greater chance of being pollinated, being able to finally keep its own species. With the Topping technique, say goodbye to all this!

After “amputating” the apex of your cannabis plant, the first two younger branches below the cut and the lower branches will take priority in developing, “doubling” the bud (and therefore the harvest). You can apply this technique as many times as you want to as many branches as you want, based on what result you want to achieve.

Differences between Topping and Fimming Techniques in Cannabis cultivation

Have you ever heard of the Fimming technique together with the Topping technique? The Fimming cultivation technique is in fact an unwanted daughter of the Topping technique.

It was discovered by mistake of the inventor (a cannabis grower), so much so that the word FIM is just the acronym for what he probably exclaimed the first time I try to apply the Topping (Fuck I Missed) technique to his plants.

This is because, trying to make a correct pruning with his fingernails, he was unable to completely prune the apex due to inaccuracy. He only noticed it a few days later when, due to the failed pruning, he thought he would find the plant with only one bud … but he found 6!

The substantial difference between a Topping and a Fimming is therefore in the result: even if more complex, the Fimming technique produces as a result the development of several main buds, thanks to the fact that various internodes are cut in its execution.

We will analyze the Fimming technique in the next article, so keep following us to find out more about it!

Tips for correctly top your Cannabis plants

There are not many tips that we can give regarding the correct topping on cannabis plants. This is because, as already mentioned, it is the simplest cultivation technique that we can find in our manual.

It will certainly be essential to have a pair of well-functioning, sharp and clean scissors at hand. Denatured alcohol will serve to keep the scissors as “sterile” as possible, in order to avoid the risk of infections and diseases through the cut that we are going to apply.

If you live in an apartment and want to keep plants that are too tall under control, this cultivation technique is that we recommend until the first week of flowering.. Don’t apply the Topping to the plants in the later stages to not compromise the amount of flowers that you can harvest.

This is why we recommend to apply this technique no later than the last week of vegetative growth, before the change of lights, in order to give the plant enough time to recover from the stress of cutting.

And that’s all for Topping technique in Cannabis grow. Hoping you liked our article, keep following us in the next article about the “Cannabis Fimming cultivation technique”!


Until next time, a greeting from Annibale’s Team!



Davide, CEO, Founder & Geneticist