When is it opportune to prune marijuana plants?

Knowing how to prune cannabis plants can be tricky. Proper pruning techniques are vital to the health of your growing cannabis plants. So, we understand that you’re stressing about over-stressing your plants. Use this guide below for properly pruning cannabis plants through their growth cycle. ⁠


Throughout the growth cycle, leaves that are dying can always be trimmed off. Pruning dying leaves on the plant helps divert energy to other parts of the plant that would’ve otherwise been wasted trying to save the leaf.

At the end of the vegetative state, trim out any lower branches that are receiving little light. Otherwise, these will produce small, larfy immature buds. ⁠

The next step for pruning cannabis plants is to focus on all of the main stalks and branches that remain. Trim out the lower bud sites that don’t receive much light. Referred to as “lollipopping”, this diverts energy to your colas and larger buds that are receiving the most light. ⁠

For the first few weeks of flowering, prune out any bud sites you decide are not receiving enough light and also trim out any large fan leaves that are shading bud sites.⁠

Read also: Finding the Perfect Loamy Soil for Indoor Cannabis Growing

Avoid Over-stressing While Pruning Cannabis Plants

When pruning cannabis plants, over-stressing the plant can be avoided by pruning and defoliating a little at a time. Trim off the highest priority leaves and bud sites first. Then, wait a week or two before pruning again. Do this 3-4 times if desired. Stop by week 5-6 of flower to avoid over-stressing the plants and causing them to herm.

This should be enough time to have shaped your canopy to your liking and have the shade leaves and unwanted bud-sites removed. Dead and dying leaves can still be pruned out at this point, but anything beyond that should be avoided.⁠

Remember, always use sharp scissors or plant trimmers when pruning marijuana plants, washing them with rubbing alcohol before and after use.