Interested in learning how to lollipop a cannabis plant for your indoor garden? A few snips and cuttings of your lower branch sites is a low-stress training method that can go a long way toward producing huge yields with super resinous buds up on top.
Bigger Buds, Better Airflow, Stronger Pest Management
Cannabis plant health depends on the light, water, and nutrients it receives to produce energy for foliage, bud, and trichome growth. Lollipopping is a simple and effective training method that helps direct as much energy as possible to its most productive (and upper) branches.
Without proper pruning of the lower half of the plant, plants can form a very dense canopy that becomes a barrier of light for lower branch sites. Branches in the lower half of your plant tend to receive less light penetration than the top ones.
Still, these lower branches can take energy away from bud and trichome growth. Lower branch growth in the “dark zone” is unlikely to even grow wispy popcorn buds known for their weak potency, flavor, aroma, and looks.
Essentially, lollipopping involves the removal of these lower branches with limited potential for bud growth. Now that the top nodes don’t have to share energy with the “freeloaders, they can achieve their true potential.
On top of improving bud growth and quality, lollipopping cannabis plants is an effective way to manage pests and diseases. Any foliage that directly touches the media or is near gives pests and diseases direct access to the entire plant.
Finally, lollipopping can improve the airflow within the plant by removing the excess foliage that restricts air movement. Proper airflow gives your plants the right levels of CO2 while reducing the risk of excess humidity and mold.
Flipping the Switch: Prep Work
Lollipopping is an art form that takes time and patience to perfect, especially when finding just the right time to start removing the lower branches. Avoid starting the lollipopping process during most of the plant’s vegetative stage. Allow it to get strong enough to handle a few snips but right before the initial bud growth.
For best results, start lollipopping your cannabis plant a few weeks before you induce its flowering period. Some growers wait to lollipop until the last week before they switch their light cycles. Lollipopping slightly before the flowering stage gives plants just enough time to recover and yield with a vengeance.
How to Lollipop Cannabis
Lollipopping cannabis isn’t rocket science. While a fairly straightforward method, there are ways you can go wrong. Follow our pro tips to start lollipopping your cannabis plant today.
- From the bottom up, start by making clean cuts close to the nodes with sharp and sterile shears or scissors, depending on the thickness of your branch. Typically, the top part of the plant (the first 18 to 20 in.) produces the best quality buds. Remove branches below the top half leaving behind a lollipop-shaped plant with a big, wide, and round up top and a thinned-out lower half.
- Look for big fan leaves inside the canopy that grows back in towards the plant. Cut these away to improve light penetration and air flow.
- Once you’ve cut most of the lower part, you can open up the plant to check for cut small, lollipop growths within the middle/center of the plant. Cut these off, since these small branches aren’t likely to produce buds.
- Between each plant, clean and sterilize your scissors to minimize the risk of spreading disease or pests.
- How much you remove and how high you go up the plant depends on your grow set-up and light system. Consider the light penetration of your indoor lighting.
Lollipopping to Greatness
As you can see, lollipopping your cannabis plant just before it’s flowering period can supercharge its bud and resin production on the most viable branches. Don’t waste your time with larfy popcorn buds that barely get you high. Start your lollipopping journey today.