Should You Lollipop Outdoor Plants

Although lollipopping is a straightforward procedure, you should still use caution. You should lollipop your plants right before they start to bloom. Additionally, we advise trimming to remove any extra branches, albeit you should move cautiously and with a strategy.

  • When pruning your plants, start with clean, sharp scissors. For example, our curved trimming scissors work well for making exact cuts close to the nodes. Invest on a pair of shears for larger, thicker branches. Remove any apparent foliage first. Obviously, the initial few branches around the base of your plant won’t receive enough light to properly develop. First, get rid of these.
  • We advise following Kyle Kushman’s pruning recommendations and cutting any branches that don’t break at least half as high as the plant after you’ve addressed the most visible issue areas. These branches won’t grow properly because of the plants’ stretching during the first weeks of blossoming. Although pruning is frequently employed in conjunction with lollipopping when appropriate, eliminating entire branches is not always essential.
  • Start cutting down branches that are growing in the centre of the plant next, especially those that are growing beneath the canopy. Not only will they probably not receive enough light, but this interior foliage also hides several potential locations for large buds. You should also remove any branches or leaves that are decaying or turning yellow at this time.
  • When you’re ready, start lollipopsing each branch on your plant individually. Nodes should only be left three nodes or less from the tip of each branch, according to some growers. But a lot relies on the strain, the size, and the state of each plant specifically. Additionally, the moment you’re pruning matters. For instance, if you’re cutting late and your plants are smaller, we advise clipping below the top 4–5 nodes. In any instance, cut off the growth that extends to each branch’s highest nodes.

We advise waiting 23 days after you’ve lollipopped each branch before turning on the lights for your plants. Additionally, keep in mind that excessive pruning can hinder their growth. If you’ve never tried lollipopping, start out slowly and progress to the best pruning technique.

When should plants be “lollipopped”?

The majority of growers concur that the ideal time to begin lollipopsing is during the third week of flowering. The majority of cannabis strains will start to show several bud sites along shoots after a few weeks in the bloom period. Some strains of marijuana will stretch more than others during this stage. Plants will use up less time and energy growing fluffy buds if the lower bud locations are removed early in the bloom.

Does lollipopsing lead to a higher yield?

Simply explained, pruning is the act of using shears or scissors to remove growing branches from your plant.

The dominating shoot of growth will simply be pruned in its most straightforward form. However, there are more intricate methods of pruning that can produce impressive-looking plants with a ton of flowering sites and enhance production. Let’s get going.


A very simple method of pruning called topping produces effective effects. With each pruning, it virtually doubles the number of bud sites on your plant while allowing access to light where it would not otherwise be available.

You can end up with four or more colas rather than the one dominant one! You can top as often as you like, but after a while the benefits start to fade.

Does topping really increase yield

Some believe that topping does not actually enhance yield because topping results in smaller colas. However, studies have shown that topping your plants increases the cumulative output significantly. Therefore, topping does indeed boost yield.

The result is significantly heavier, more productive plants since there are many colas, each with sufficient illumination.

How to top your plants

Once your plants are about 10 inches tall and have at least four sets of leaves, you should start topping them. To be sure, look for evidence of secondary growth close to lower nodes on the plant. These are a sign that your plant is ready for a topping.

The top shot can then be readily cut off by grabbing it. Ensure that this is the newest, most recent increase. You will notice two new growths at the base of where you topped within a few days.

Your plant will initially go through a period of shock. Once it recovers and these fresh shoots have formed a few nodes of its own, you can top once more. It will first grow slowly. This can require a week, or perhaps longer. Please give your plant some time; this is a very stressful situation.

You should now have four colas. If you have enough room for a large plant, you can keep topping, but your colas will get smaller as you go. To identify the sweet spot that produces the maximum yields, you can experiment with various topping techniques.


Topping and fimming, often known as the FIM method, are quite similar. This tactic may seem odd, but it can also boost your yield.

With topping, you make a complete cut, while with the FIM approach, you only remove 2/3 of the growing shoot. Every time you fim your plants, four new shoots of growth appear.

You may repeat it, although it takes a little longer to recoup than after you top. Therefore, the interval between fimming your plants needs to be extended.

It is up to you as a grower to decide whether the FIM method or topping produces superior results. With both, you can effectively achieve the identical outcomes, but FIM has the advantage of doing twice as much work in a single cut.


When pruning a plant, a technique called “lollipopping” is used to remove only the lower growth.

When topping and fimming, you concentrate on pruning the fresh growth spurts to encourage new bud sites. Lollipopping aims to maximize present bud sites while eliminating others.

The reasoning behind lollipopping is straightforward. Your plant’s lower branches do not receive the same quantity and quality of light as its top branches.

As you probably already know, flowers won’t ever reach their full potential if they don’t receive enough light.

Therefore, before flowering, some growers will just remove all bottom growth! The plant can concentrate all of its energy on the top of the plant, where blooms really receive light, by chopping off these branches. The outcome is shaped like a lollipop, hence the name.

Does lollipopping increase yield?

By lollipopping, several growers have enhanced yields. We have enough knowledge of plants to understand the reasoning behind this kind of pruning.

Even cooler is the fact that topping or fimming can be added to lollipops. You don’t lollipop till just prior to blossom, as you’ll discover further down. In order to boost yield, you might prune in several ways early in the vegetative phase.

How to lollipop your plants

Making lollipops is easy. The optimal time to do it is between 18 June and 12 December, just before switching from veg to flower. Unlike with topping or fimming, you don’t really need to worry about it throughout the vegetable.

You must take a step back and loop your plant’s canopy. It is simple to determine which sections get and do not receive light. You can cut all of the leaves below a line you draw across your canopy.

Cutting the lower bud sites off the branches they are keeping is one error growers make. Don’t disconnect cannabis sites that you don’t need to disconnect!

Do you need to prune your outside plants?

Whether you grow cannabis indoors or outdoors, topping your plants can help them yield more, which is what every grower strives for. Topping, which is an accurate cut at the node, is the first thing to grasp. While it sounds simple, the time of topping is crucial. When to top a plant relies on the health of the soil, the health of the plant, the lighting, the size and age of the plant, and the growth objectives. Topping forces a plant to grow laterally rather than vertically.

Topping cannabis plants is a crucial step to maximize the overall quality of the harvest if you are new to cannabis production. By shifting the developing propensity from vertical to lateral, it is a tool that aids in controlling the plant’s overall shape.

The result is that the cola on the supporting branches grows thicker and stronger. However, topping is not the only element involved in generating high-quality, significant yields. Health of the soil, hydration, and light are further considerations.

Should I remove the fan leaves in the vegetables?

The good news is that the average grower can use several more conservative pruning techniques without running the significant danger associated with schwazzing.

For instance, you can prune your plants in the early stages of growth as they begin to grow bushy. When deciding whether to remove fan leaves during veg, keep these things in mind:

  • You can prune the leaves near the bottom of the plant that get little light.
  • In order to maximize light penetration throughout the canopy as opposed to only the tops, fan leaves that cast shadows over budding sites should be clipped.
  • Remove any fan leaves that are turning inward toward the plant.
  • In order for the plant to concentrate on the bud sites near the top, lower-lying bud sites may be eliminated.
  • Pruning should be done on any dead or dying leaves.

Similar to how you do it during veg, you can remove fan leaves during flowering. Remove any huge leaves or dead or dying fan leaves that are blocking bud sites.

You should prune in intervals, leaving at least a few weeks between each session, is one thing to keep in mind. Daily pruning can leave your plants in a constant state of shock that might prevent rather than promote growth. You’ll often see a growth spurt in the weeks after pruning.

Do I need to deleaf the flower?

Pruning, deleafing, and pinching are effective methods for controlling plant growth. Cultivators can aid in ensuring that their plants grow as efficiently as possible by managing the production of branches, leaves, and shoots.

The time of the activity and the amount of plant material removed are the main components of these approaches. If carried out too soon, growth may stall and plants may find it difficult to recover. It can delay flowering and make the plant more vulnerable to foliar diseases if done too late.

Here is a quick summary of these three methods:

The apical meristem, or primary growth point, of a plant, is removed by pinching. Less than an inch of leaf material makes up this portion of the plant, and the growth is so delicate that it may practically be pinched off by hand. A short flick of the wrist removes the expanding tip by simply exerting pressure between the thumb and index finger.

If you like to use spring-loaded trimming scissors, it is best to have a few on hand so you can disinfect them with hydrogen peroxide or isopropyl alcohol between plants. By doing this, the possibility of spreading dormant or active infections across plants is diminished.

To switch the plant’s focus from vertical to lateral growth, pinching is used. Unpinched cannabis plants often develop in the style of a Christmas tree, with one huge growth tip appearing at the top and each succeeding pair of branches getting longer as they move toward the plant’s base. The plant’s shape is altered by pinching, going from a triangular to a more rounded habit with several branches of equal size. This is done for a variety of purposes, including:

Height limitation

Indoor growers have a limited ceiling height, particularly those that employ multi-tier systems. To fill the trays and make sure there is no empty area beneath the trellis netting, pinching a plant can aid spread growth horizontally.

Disease control

Pinching can lessen the effects of a botrytis infection for producers who work outdoors and in greenhouses. Large, baseball bat-sized flowers can collect moisture and foster the ideal setting for the development of mold spores because of their density. Smaller, more numerous blossoms produced by pinching a plant can be less prone to botrytis infection.

Producing vegetative cutting

A robust, multibranched mother plant with the ability to generate hundreds of vegetative cuttings can be produced by pinching a plant and then pinching the offspring shoots a few weeks later. The most fruitful stock plants will be created through early and frequent pinching.

A forceful pinch, often known as pruning, eliminates a lot more of the plant than a delicate pinch. Pruning can assist a plant’s energy be directed in a different direction, although it’s typically done to make a plant smaller.

Stock plants can get quite big if they weren’t formed properly or weren’t clipped at the right moment. Large, crowded plants are difficult to maintain and are more likely to harbor pests. Pruning will aid in regaining control over unruly stock plants, but it typically necessitates a severe cut to the plant’s main stem. This can lessen its size overall by more than 50%.

Trimming scissors cannot cut the thick stems and branches removed during pruning, thus heavy-duty bypass pruning shears are used instead. Shears are a much more effective than a serrated knife or pruning saw for the grower to create quick, clean cuts. These are hazardous for usage by employees and expose more newly exposed tissue to the risk of infection.

Similar to trimming scissors, it is ideal to keep a number of bypass pruners on hand so that they can be alternately sanitized. I have witnessed the spread of botrytis stem cankers on numerous times when a cannabis crop was pruned with the same tools on every plant.

Deleafing is the process of removing the cannabis plant’s big fan leaves. Deleafing is frequently carried out without the use of tools, but it’s crucial to make sure that each petiole’s base is cleanly broken. “Runners,” which resemble hangnails, happen when a leaf is removed along with a strip of the epidermal layer of the stem. Unintentionally removing a leaf can have this result, leaving the surface of the stem vulnerable to diseases.

Additionally, deleafing can aid in lowering the risk of illness. Both powdery mildew and botrytis only require a brief time of high humidity; neither one requires free-standing water for spore germination. A thick canopy can hold onto moisture and produce the ideal environment for spore germination. Strategic leaf removal will promote proper ventilation and reduce the spread of disease.

During the flowering cycle, deleafing is most effective. This strategy, used between the 20th and 40th day of blossom, will provide good airflow across the canopy and assist guarantee that the majority of the plants’ energy is focused on flower creation.

It’s important not to remove too many leaves, though. The unforeseen consequences of completely stripping the plant may include plant development halting or hermaphroditic blooms becoming more irritated. Photosynthesis will drastically reduce for a plant without leaves, and stresses are known to cause hermaphroditic flowers on female plants. If the grower doesn’t change their irrigation volume and frequency in response to the decline in leaf mass, a bare plant is also more vulnerable to overwatering.

It will take some experience to learn how to pinch, prune, and deleaf a crop, but once a cannabis gardener masters these skills, they may enhance the productivity of their crop with a few well-placed snips.

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The company Ryan Douglas Cultivation, LLC, which Ryan Douglas founded, assists new cannabis cultivation companies in entering the market rapidly and affordably. He is the author of From Seed to Success: How to Start a Successful Cannabis Growing Company Quickly. Here you can view all author stories.