There are different pruning methods for your marijuana crop: apical pruning, bottom pruning, FIM pruning, RIB pruning and other techniques like Super Cropping and Low Stress Training. According to the type of plant and characteristics of our space, we can choose the best technique. Pruning helps us maximize space in our grow area, take advantage of better irrigation and light, and obtain better performance production.
You should remember that pruning helps us get good results if we have germinated feminized or regular marijuana seeds. On the other hand if we have auto-flowering cannabis seeds, pruning results will be lacking.
Many pruning techniques can be combined and given that each method has different moments of application, you can use one or another depending on what interests you. For example, if you have germinated your marijuana seeds in the spring, your plant will grow tall rapidly and it will be necessary to prune. On the other hand, if you planted in autumn, when the flowers begin to come out, it may not be necessary to prune since you will have smaller buds.
In order to use any of these pruning techniques it is fundamental that your utensils are sterilized in order to avoid the transmission of any illnesses, viruses or bacteria. Clean all tools that you will use with alcohol in order to prune your marijuana plant: scissors, pocketknife, knife, cutters, etc.
The apical pruning techniques is one of the most well-known and is used by the majority of marijuana growers. It consists of cutting the apex, the upper portion of the central stem so that it can form into two principal axes, each of which will grow a respective central bud. Additionally, with the apical pruning technique you can control the height of your plant, which is something that can be very useful according to your grow space or if you don’t want it to exceed the size of your garden, etc.
It is recommendable that you practice apical pruning in the growing phase so that the sprouts reach a good size. Don’t be rash when beginning to prune—wait until the plant has at least three nodes and has developed well. In a few days you will see that the new stems are creating new flowers.
The bottom pruning technique consists of pruning the lower-most parts of our cannabis plant in order to augment production and give more energy to the upper flowers, thereby avoiding having a lot of small, sparse flowers. The best moment to do this kind of pruning is the beginning of the flowering phase, before 20 days of flowering has passed. According to the size of the plant, we recommend that you cut between 5 and 8 stems in order to encourage and concentrate growth of the flowers at the top of the plant. Additionally, not as much light makes it to the lower parts and the flowers don’t gain as much volume.
This type of pruning also helps us to avoid possible plagues. Many insects, fungi and mites form in warmer, more humid, and leafy areas. Pruning this zone helps us to reduce the density of the plant, therefore reducing humidity and facilitating ventilation of the plant.
FIM Pruning (Fuck I missed)
FIM pruning is a technique that came about by accident. An American who was using the apical pruning technique forgot to cut a bit of the upper part of the stalk. That is where the name “Fuck I missed” comes from.
What he discovered was an impressive result. In contrast with apical pruning, which doubles the central stems, with this technique 4 to 8 sprouts can grow. The result is unpredictable but you can be sure that it will be very productive. In order to use it, you make a cut of 2/3rds of the upper node instead of cutting the whole sprout. If you don’t do it right and cut all of it, you don’t run any risks since at least you will be doing apical pruning, and the central stem will divide.
RIB PRUNING (Right, I burned it)
The initials of this technique are “Right, I burned it”. That is what this technique is based on which is used in the flowering phase, when you are already 20 or 30 days in, according to the species. The ideal way is to do it halfway through this phase.
This method, just as FIM, was also discovered by accident, when the plants wouldn’t stop growing and the flowers reached the light and burned. Surprisingly, it was found that the plant’s reaction during its hormonal phase is to repopulate the zone with more energy. So, here the key is to burn the pistils of the buds. It is more advisable for indica marijuana plants.
SUPER CROPPING TECHNIQUE
Super cropping is not considered a pruning technique because it doesn’t have anything to do with cutting any part of the marijuana plant. It has to do with encouraging horizontal growth, dividing some stems in order to inhibit their excessive vertical growth and in order to increase performance.
You should be careful not to break stems when you do the division. It’s all about delicately dividing until they crunch. In some days the plant will have formed a callous in this area and the stems will become stronger creating more buds and improving production. You can do it during the growing phase and beginning of the flowering phase.
LST or LOW STRESS TRAINING TECHNIQUE
The low stress training technique is designed to maintain horizontal growth, increasing performance at the same time as you increase discretion when it comes to your neighbors. All of this can be achieved in a subtle way without being aggressive with the plant, nor pruning.
The strain’s hormones, instead of moving to the central and high points, will be dispersed amongst the different stems of the marijuana plant in order to create quality buds. This technique is about guiding the central stalk where you want it to grow, parallel to the surface in order to encourage a horizontal shape.
Wait until the plant has 4 or 5 nodes in order to be sure that it is developed enough. You can use a string or flexible wire but above all, don’t damage the stem.