Cannapedia Encyclopedia of cannabis strains


Pros and Cons of Trimming

It’s widely believed among cannabis growers, particularly beginners, that trimming is absolutely essential when growing your own plants. In reality, trimming isn’t as essential as people seem to think. It can however come in handy during many different phases of growth, specifically the later ones. Plus, it has many uses. When growing cannabis, trimming is about as essential as it is when growing tomatoes or roses. The process itself is also largely the same.


Some trimming techniques do however encourage growth and may lead to a healthier garden and a richer harvest. These are the main reasons why growers decide to employ trimming:

  • to force the plant to grow in certain directions and to reach optimal size
  • to make sure that plants get enough light and air, if there are many plants close to each other
  • to encourage the growth of specific parts of the plant to ensure larger yield

In the case of very young plants, trimming is generally not necessary. Many beginner growers have however heard of advanced trimming techniques, such as “topping” (i. e. cutting the top parts of the plant) or the bending young plants, which only leads to confusion. Such techniques can encourage the growth of cola, or dominant buds. These trimming techniques are meant for more experienced growers, though.


Basic Tips and Tricks

In general, if a plant is around 25 centimeters and has five leaves, it’s still too young for any trimming. The general piece of advice is to trim the plant only after it’s grown out of the seedling phase and to wait until it can be moved into a larger (final) container. Trimming can be damaging to young plants.

Plants that have been moved and that have been in the vegetative state for at least two weeks can be trimmed, bent or modified with the FIM technique. This will cause more cola to appear in the upper part of the plant. There’s no need to go any further on the leaves until the plant starts to grow out towards the end of the vegetative period.



As soon as the plant starts to flower, trimming techniques can really come in handy. Firstly, they can aerate the part of the flower close to the main stem. This will prevent the creation of fungi or mildew. Secondly, they can lead more energy into the higher parts of the plant, which is where the buds are forming.

In plants sized 90 centimeters and larger, it’s advisable to trim the entire lower third. That way, the upper two thirds can create larger buds. Unfortunately, not even the best artificial light (and even sunlight) can really get to the lowest parts of the plant. The buds here are usually the size of popcorn. There’s a lot of to be desired in terms of lushness and potency. That’s why it’s better to cut these parts off completely as early as possible. That way, the energy created here can be used by the higher sprouts, which is good, because it’s exactly these sprouts that produce cola in large quantities.