The internet is a buzz with a variety of different ways to grow and train your plants, either to try and get bigger yields, grow specifically sized buds or just to completely fill the canopy. Some people like to make interesting plant shapes too, such is the joy of growing cannabis. Today we’re going to look at lollypop cannabis growing.
It’s basic pruning method lollypopping, which everyone can take advantage of to help direct more energy into the most valuable parts of the plant in the flowering stage.
It’s simply removing undesirable growth on the low parts of branches, so you end up with fat, chunky flowers and no hairy whispy flowers at the bottom.
How to Get Started
If you’ve topped your plants in the vegetative stage, you will most likely have some lateral side branching, resulting in more potential flowering tops and a more even canopy.
Down each of these branches are several internodes. At least half of them at the lower end will not get the light they need to grow into buds worth trimming up at the end – we call these light, airy buds “larf” or “popcorn”. These crop parts are OK if you are keen on getting a secondary hash or oil yield from your hard work and if you’re not too worried about dropping your usable flower yield.
But remember, anything left on the light lacking parts of the plant is going to steal growing power away from those bigger buds at the top, which won’t get to reach their full potenŧial in the way they would have these lower parts been removed.
So that’s what we need to do. But how do we know which ones are the right ones to leave on and which ones to snip off?
Lollypopping Cannabis Best Practice
Generally, if you are aiming for a canopy, even you want to draw yourself a canopy line, imaginary or real. The most straightforward way of doing this is to use a real bit of string, as this helps you keep things as straight as you tie the line. If it’s a big job, I recommend this as it will save time, guesswork and look much neater lollypopping than the “well it looked straight as I was doing it” technique. Or, if you have installed a net, that’s your canopy line.
I suggest putting another one in 12 inches above before the plants grow into that space, as it is more challenging and more stressful for you and the plants if you leave it until later.
Once this is in place, you can assist yourself further by asking yourself a couple of questions for each bit of growth on each stem. It should quickly become second nature as you work your way through.
Does the branch reach the canopy level? No? OK, cut it off. It won’t make the grade, will produce a weak measly bud because it won’t get the light. Let the power be pushed where it will do the most benefit.
Is this branch strong enough to grow a decent-sized bud? Yes? Leave it on. No, snip that sucker off (yes, we actually call them suckers).
We are going for that Fresh Fade Friday at the barber look, short on the back and sides. All the hairy fluffy new growth at the bottom of every stem needs to come off too. This is where the name lollypopping really comes from, as you are making them look like lollypop sticks. If you keep them tidy all the way through the flowering stage, then you will end up with some actual fat looking lollypops. What is not to like about that?
The Benefits of Lollypop Cannabis Grows
There are many added benefits to doing things this way that by taking the minimal extra time and attention each week will save you hours of time in the trimming process. You will remove the job of trimming all the annoying tiny buds at the bottom because they never had the chance to grow. Your top buds will be fuller, denser and will have revealed more of the true expressions of the strain. You will (strain depending) end up with a better leaf to calyx ratio, further reducing your trim time and complication. We are on our way to Instagram perfect pictures!
With so much excessive useless plant material removed from the grow space, it allows for better air circulation. Improved air circulation reduces the risk of mould and mildew infections and removes prime habitats for pests that could potentially damage your crop. It also gives you the feeling you are working as a bonsai master with the world’s favourite happy plant. When we talk about hobby growing, this is it: getting to spend lots of time with your plants and learning about the way they grow and seeing the difference from seed to seed and strain to strain.
In short, lollypopping will lead you to results of fatter, more swollen buds and reduce the time it takes to harvest your plants at the end, whilst helping negate the risk of pests and pathogens during the flowering phase.