If you’re new to growing, you’re probably unfamiliar with the process of topping. Basically, this method cuts your plants main stem, allowing it to branch out into two. Instead of cloning, it’s more like turning you plant into Siamese twins, which could potentially double your yields.
For most legal states, there is usually a limit of having 3 mature plants so maximizing the yield of your harvest matters a lot. Since topping widens your plant, you will also require more space so unless you have an adequate sized tent or are growing outside, topping may not be for you. For the average 3 x 3 or 4 x 2 tent, I would not top if you have more than 4 plants unless you have a strain that’s known to be small.
So now with all that said, let’s go into detail of how you do it. The most important aspect of topping is timing when you need to cut the plant. I usually wait until the plant develops at least 4 complete sets of leaves that branch out from nodes. The highest set of leaves that branch out will have about 5-7 fan leaves. This will probably be around the 4 to 5 week mark and you’ll also see a pom pom of frilly leaves sprouting on the top center of the plant.
The next most important factor is making sure you know where to cut. If you look at this footage, you will see the pom pom of stringy leaves in the center, then the main stem right under it. Right below this stem is two smaller frilly pom poms hanging out on the left and right.
It is the stem in between all 3 of these pom poms that you want to cut and it is imperative that you cut it clean in the center. If you cut too close to the top, you may hit the FIM point, better known as bleep I missed.
Now “bleep” I missed! If you cut too close to the top this can result in the main stem quadrupling instead of doubling. Warning: You must know all about maximizing nutrients and lighting or else you’ll just end up with smaller popcorn sized buds.
Now back to topping, the stem you just cut will no longer grow moving forward, and each of the two smaller pom poms will turn into main stems. You could see on the right hand side. I have a plant that is topped. (you could see right through its center)
Compare this to a normal plant and you will see the normal plant is whole in the center. Eventually the topped plant will expand almost like 2 plants on the sides and you could use a trellis to further separate the plant out to let the plant absorb more light.