Topping at 3rd Node: Unlocking Potential of Cannabis Plants

Welcome, fellow botanists, to another nugget of wisdom from the depths of the Dutch Seeds Shop vault. Today, we’re veering off the beaten path of traditional cannabis growth, venturing into a realm of manicure sets, tiny scissors, and – dare I say – “string bean spaghetti branches.” Yes, folks, we’re diving deep into the art and…

Topping at 3rd Node: Unlocking Potential of Cannabis Plants

Understanding Topping

In the world of cannabis cultivation, topping is the equivalent of a trendy haircut that accentuates your best features. 

It’s the process of snipping off the growing tip from the main stem of a cannabis plant. 

The goal is to stunt that “Xmas tree style arrangement” and coax your plants into a flatter canopy, with evenly distributed light leading to an abundance of uniformly developed colas. 

It’s the trick up the sleeve of many cannabis growers, defying the plant’s inherent apical dominance – the natural tendency of cannabis to favor one main cola.

Why Topping at the 3rd Node?

Why Topping at the 3rd Node

Like you wouldn’t give a toddler a mohawk, the topping should be done at the right time. 

In cannabis cultivation, this happens when the plant has developed three nodes. 

This way, the plant is mature enough to recover but still young enough to adapt its growth pattern. 

You’ll go from a Charlie Brown Christmas tree to a bushier plant faster than you can say, “Pass the Dutch!”

The Topping Process

Here’s how the topping process goes:

  1. Identify the 3rd Node: Find the spot where three pairs of leaves have sprouted on your plant. That is your 3rd node. Remember, those embryonic leaf pairs (cotyledons) don’t count!
  2. Prepare Your Blade: Ensure you have a sharp, clean blade. Tiny scissors from a manicure set will do just fine.
  3. Make the Cut: Aim a few millimeters above the side branches at the 3rd node, ensuring not to damage the small shoots emerging there.

Recovery and Growth

After the “haircut,” your cannabis plant will need a few days to recover. 

But don’t fret, as it will bounce back stronger, starting to split its energy between two new main colas. 

You’re doubling your cannabis growth with one snip!

Recovery and Growth

Maximizing Results: Topping and Beyond

But we’re not stopping at topping! 

Let’s amplify the benefits of topping by combining it with Low-Stress Training (LST) and other growth techniques.

Low-Stress Training (LST)

LST is the comforting shoulder rub to topping’s high-stress hair snip. 

You can gently bend and tie down branches to improve light exposure and encourage your plant to grow horizontally. 

The result? More bud sites, higher yields, and a plant that could steal the show at the Cannabis Cup.

Other Training Techniques

The cannabis growth realm is a buffet of techniques for you to experiment with, such as:

  • Super cropping: The art of gently crushing stems to promote side growth.
  • Lollipopping: Removing lower growth to focus energy on upper bud sites.
  • Fimming: Similar to topping, but instead of removing the whole growth tip, you only remove 70-75% of it.

Considerations and Tips

While topping and training sound like an episode of Game of Thrones, they’re pretty manageable. 

Remember: it’s about making small, incremental changes rather than huge ones. 

And continuously monitor your plant’s recovery to ensure it’s not under too much stress.

Personal Preferences and Experimentation

Personal Preferences and Experimentation

Cannabis cultivation is a dance between art and science. 

It’s about finding what works best for you, your plants, and your setup. 

Your cannabis preferences may lean towards invigorating sativa strains, reaching for the sky like Jack’s beanstalks, offering an uplifting, creative experience.

Alternatively, you might favor squat, bushy indicas, ideal for relaxation and unwinding after a long day.

Whichever it is, there’s a training technique that fits you perfectly. 

So put on those gardening gloves and let your inner mad scientist loose!

With this guide, you’re armed with the knowledge you need to venture into the world of topping and other cannabis training techniques

It’s all about experimentation, learning, and, most importantly, enjoying the process. 

After all, cultivation is as much about the journey as the yield. 

So go forth, brave botanists, and may your harvests be plentiful!


How many nodes before topping?

Typically, growers wait until their cannabis plant has developed between 3 and 5 nodes before topping.

How many nodes before flowering?

Cannabis plants usually develop between 5-7 nodes before transitioning to the flowering stage.

Is topping or fimming better?

Both topping and fimming are helpful for different purposes. Topping creates a bushier plant with more colas, while fimming creates more bud sites.

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