How to lollipop cannabis plants
Lollipopping weed is not a new thing. In fact, lollipopping is a general practice to those that have been in the marijuana growing industry for a long time. Nonetheless, the question on how to lollipop marijuana keeps popping up every day. It appears something is tricky somewhere. Perhaps, some weed growers are yet to grasp the nitty gritty of this delicate, subtle, yet fascinating weed growing technique.
For instance, many may want to know, what is lollipop marijuana and when to lollipop marijuana. Are there any other things you need to keep in mind when you are learning how to lollipop marijuana? These are pertinent issues worth your scrutiny.
What Does Lollipopping Marijuana Mean?
Lollipopping is a practice. It is not a thing such as a sweet or chewing gum or a plant. When used in weed farming, lollipopping refers to the act when a cannabis grower removes the branches and leaves of a weed plant that do not access much light or light at all.
In most cases, the removed parts are those that are at the bottom of the weed plant. When the farmer removes the ‘unwanted’ parts, they leave the other parts that can access light at the top thus the aim for lollipop marijuana is to allow the upper parts of the marijuana plant to access light uninterrupted.
This weed lollipop tutorial will be of help if you want to increase your weed harvest no matter where you cultivate your marijuana whether outdoors, indoors, or even in a greenhouse. Besides, you will get to understand the best time to lollipop your cannabis plants, the advantages, and the disadvantages of lollipopping your weed.
When to Lollipop Cannabis
“There is time and season for everything. A time to sow and a time to reap,” so says the old adage.
There is no right time for lollipopping. However, an experienced weed grower can, upon examining their marijuana decide to lollipop their weed. Some of the signs that your marijuana is ready for lollipopping include:
You notice the lower part of the plant is not growing compared to the upper parts. It is natural that if the soil has enough nutrients, you will notice uniformity in growth. After all, you’d expect the lower branches and leaves to sprout and grow first and faster than others. However, in the event that the lower parts are not as healthy as the upper parts, it is a good sign that lollipopping should be done.
The parts at the bottom of the weed plant are showing a different shade of color. Generally, when weed is grown in a fertile and conducive soil, the stem and the leaves have a deep green color. However if you notice a change in the color between the lower and upper part, it is reason enough to think of lollipopping.
Lastly, if you notice that the lower part of the plant is not getting sufficient light, it is clear indication you need to lollipop your weed. In most cases, whether you monitor your plants during the day or during the night, you will be able to see if all the parts are getting the same intensity of light. If the upper leaves have grown bigger and health and are not creating room for the lower leaves to get the light, you can decide to remove the lower leaves.
How To Lollipop Your Weed Like A Pro
Though simple, lollipopping needs special attention. If you lollipop your marijuana haphazardly, you will damage the living plant and the final yield will not be pleasing. As mentioned in the above section, for best lollipopping, you need to start doing the exercise immediately your weed starts to produce flowers.
You should also consider it a good option to remove unyielding and unhealthy branches. However, you need to do the latter with a lot of caution, lest, you will damage your plants.
When you are ready to lollipop, ensure you have the right tools. A clean and sharp shears will be among the few tools you need to assemble. Curved trimming scissors are also a good option when you want to achieve better results. However, if the plants are thick and strong, you may need to use shears especially if you are pruning branches at the bottom.
You should start with the trimming of weak branches that grow just below the topmost part of the weed plant. That way, you will see if there is still need to continue removing the branches and the leaves at the bottom.
By starting with the branches and or leaves at the middle, you are trying to see if the created space will allow light to travel to the remaining parts. Besides, this foliage tends to cover many sites.
In the end, you need to prune each branch if need be. Some experienced weed growers decide to remove everything on the plant except three nodes. However, the decision on how many nodes to remain on a plant depends on a number of things including the marijuana strain, the overall size of the plant and the health status of each plant in the garden. Therefore, it should not surprise you when a weed grower decides to leave two nodes here, three there and four over there.
Advantages of Lollipopping Weed
I am sure by now you have a clue on some of the benefits you’ll get by lollipopping your marijuana.
The first advantage is you will improve the quality of your weed drastically.
Secondly, you are likely to increase the branch and leave quantity. It may be seen that lollipopping removes certain parts from a weed plant but the truth is the remaining branches and leaves become health and grow big.
Thirdly, lollipopping reduces the chances of microorganisms invading your crops.
Fourthly, you will have a good harvest at the end of the season.
After reading through those four advantages of lollipoppig, I doubt if you still have any other concerns that I did not touch on. Nonetheless, it is important to note that not all marijuana strains are good for lollipopping. Autoflowering marijuana strains or any other strains such as ruderalis that take a short span to mature do not necessarily need lollipopping.
Lollipopping is an important practice whether you are growing cannabis indoors, outdoors, or even in a greenhouse. If done correctly, you will limit the exposure of your crops to microorganisms, enhance healthy status of the remaining parts and increase the yield in the end. It is not necessary to lollipop autoflowers and short-term strains.
How do you lollipop weed? We give you anything you need to know on lollipopping marijuana in our guide!
How To Dramatically Boost Yields With Cannabis Lollipopping
Cannabis plants have a finite amount of energy. As a grower, you’ll want to help them direct energy to the areas producing the best possible bud. As it turns out, lollipopping is one of the best ways to do just that. It’s a pruning technique that’s meant to enhance the buds at the top, pairing well with other techniques like ScrOG and mainlining.
Lollipopping is a pruning technique that helps your cannabis plants focus their energy on their biggest bud sites, usually around their canopies. It’s easy, low-stress, and it can help you produce heavy harvests of some exceptional buds. Read on to learn more about lollipopping your cannabis.
THE BENEFITS OF LOLLIPOPPING
Cannabis plants, like any other, generate energy from the light, water, and nutrients they take in from their environment. This energy, however, is limited. Lollipopping, as it’s referred to among growers, is all about helping your plants focus that energy on developing buds in the right places. More specifically, it shifts focus towards parts of the plant that receive the most light.
Untrimmed or untrained cannabis plants grow like Christmas trees. By the time they’re ready to flower, it’s likely they’ll have developed a dense canopy that allows very little light to break through. This means, of course, that light won’t reach the bud sites toward the bottom. Left untouched, these lower nodes will produce small, airy “popcorn” buds that lack potency, flavour and aroma, and bag appeal.
Lollipopping involves removing growth up to a certain point on each branch of your cannabis plant to maximise efforts towards the topmost bud sites. By lollipopping, you not only help direct light to the right nodes, but optimise the limited energy stores of your plants. The end result is a heavier harvest of big, dense buds with maximum potency and flavour.
HOW TO LOLLIPOP YOUR CANNABIS PLANTS
Lollipopping is a simple technique, but you should still exercise caution. You’ll want to lollipop your plants just before they begin flowering. We also recommend pruning—removing unnecessary branches—as well, although you should proceed slowly, and with a plan.
- Start with sharp, clean shears to prune your plants. Our curved trimming scissors, for example, are great for making precise cuts close to the nodes. For bigger, thicker branches, invest in a pair of shears. Begin by removing obvious foliage. The first few branches near the bottom of your plant obviously won’t get enough light to develop fully. Get rid of these first.
- Once you’ve taken care of the most obvious problem areas, we recommend following Kyle Kushman’s pruning advice and removing any branches that don’t break at least 50% of the height of the plant. As your plants stretch during the early weeks of flowering, these branches will get shaded out and never develop properly. Lollipopping doesn’t have to involve removing entire branches, but pruning is often used in tandem as necessary.
- Next, start removing branches growing in the middle of the plant, specifically those underneath the canopy. Not only will they likely not get enough light, but this interior foliage also covers up a lot of sites that could develop into sizable buds. Also at this stage, you should remove any branches or leaves that are dying or yellowing.
- Finally, you’ll want to get to actually lollipopping each individual branch on your plant. Some growers recommend leaving no more than three nodes from the tip of each branch. That, however, depends a lot on the strain, the size, and the health of the individual plant. The time at which you’re pruning also comes into play. If your plants are smaller and you’re trimming late, for example, we recommend trimming below the top 4/5 nodes. In any case, remove all the growth leading up to the topmost nodes on each branch.
Once you’ve lollipopped each branch, we recommend giving your plants 2–3 days to recover before flipping your lights. Also, remember not to over-prune as this can stunt their growth. If you’ve never tried lollipopping before, start slow and work your way up to an ideal pruning strategy.
LOLLIPOPPING VS DEFOLIATION — UNDERSTANDING THE DIFFERENCES
Defoliation is not the same technique as lollipopping, but many growers get the two confused. While they both involve removing leaves, lollipopping focuses on the bottom part of a plant. Essentially, it’s all about removing growth that doesn’t get enough light. This process allows plants to focus energy on developing buds at the top of their canopy, where light is abundant. Visually, lollipopped plants have bare stems with no foliage towards the bottom, similar to a lollipop stick.
On the other hand, defoliation is all about improving light exposure and airflow for all parts of the plant. Rather than giving exclusive preference to buds at the top, defoliation gives all buds a chance. If you want to try it out, we recommend reading deeper into the defoliation process and the benefits it can offer.
COMBINE LOLLIPOPPING WITH SCROG AND MAIN-LINING
To really improve the size and quality of your yields, we recommend coupling lollipopping with other training techniques.
Main-lining, for instance, is the key to controlling the natural apical dominance of cannabis plants. It involves using a combination of topping and LST to create symmetrical plants with a Y-shaped, manifold-like main stem. Every time you do this, you multiply the number of colas your plant develops and help evenly direct its flow of energy to all of its branches.
This, in particular, is a technique that goes extremely well with lollipopping. When combined, these two techniques not only maximise the light in your grow space, but also enhance your plants’ energy for bud production.
Besides main-lining, lollipopping also works exceptionally well with ScrOG. Remember that ScrOG is all about developing an even canopy by weaving growth through a mesh screen. By coupling ScrOG with main-lining and lollipopping, you’ll be helping your plants direct energy evenly and efficiently towards this canopy.
START LOLLIPOPPING TODAY!
If you’re approaching flowering time, we highly recommend trying the lollipopping technique before flipping your lights. Remember, though, you should start slow and with reserve. If you’re new to this technique, consider trying different degrees of lollipopping and pruning on different plants of the same strain, then compare your results during harvest time to find that sweet spot.
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