So, you're thinking about training your cannabis plant to increase yields. Look no further! We have all the information you'll need.
Lollipopping is a type of high-stress training that involves removing the lower growth, so your plant resembles a lollipop. This helps the plant focus its energy onto the upper buds, which makes for a larger harvest.
Before we get into all the details about lollipopping a cannabis plant, lets look at the difference between high-stress training, and low-stress training.
Whats the Difference? High-Stress Training vs. Low-Stress Training
High-stress training is something that causes high stress to the plant, such as cutting off a branch or a leaf. Think about it like an operation, its major, something is removed, and time will be required to heal.
Examples of high-stress training techniques are topping, fimming, lollipopping, and super cropping.
Low-stress training is techniques that cause less stress to the plant. Think of these procedures as plant yoga. You are simply bending and reshaping the plant without removing anything or causing major changes. You could also think of these techniques as being similar to braces on your teeth. All you're trying to do is slowly bend the plant into a desired shape.
Low-stress training includes the techniques screen of green and the tie down method.
Both high-stress training and low-stress training are designed to improve yields. Some strains respond to certain techniques better than others, it all takes research, and trial & error. If you are interested in reading more about other high and low stress techniques, click here.
Lets get into more details about lollipopping!
What is Lollipopping?
Lollipopping is a high-stress growing technique used to increase yields. This technique is named after the way the plants get shaped like lollipops after being pruned.
This technique is most effective when it's done 2-3 weeks into flowering. It's also responsible for the circulation of auxin (a growth hormone in plants). It promotes stem elongation, inhibits the growth of lateral buds and helps in maintaining the apical dominance of the plants. This helps focus the plants energy to the top buds, which will result in a better harvest.
Lollipopping is preferred by indoor cannabis cultivators as it's inexpensive and saves a lot of space for the growers. It also takes bare minimum tools that are handy to carry out this procedure. All you need is a pair of sterilized scissors.
It's important to note that it's best to only carry out one stress technique, as too many can actually make the plant too stressed, and not grow to its maximum potential. Some stress, such as lollipopping, can make the plant more productive during flowering. It's all about finding that perfect medium.
We recommend removing no more than 50% of the lower growth when lollipopping. This ensures you don't stress out the plant too much. It's also best to carry out this technique 2-3 weeks into flowering. If this technique is carried out too early, there is a chance the popcorn buds will regrow.
Where on the Plant to Lollipop
Lollipopping is a process used for better and greater yields. However to carry out the process meticulously, one has to recognize were to remove growth from in order to successfully lollipop a plant.
The lower third of the cannabis plant is the "lollipopping zone". This portion receives less light and is the largest source of popcorn buds. Popcorn buds are simply small buds the size of popcorn. They are considered lower quality which is why many people remove them so energy isn't wasted on them. Below is an image of popcorn buds.
Though lollipopping may seem to be a harsh process, it proves to be beneficial in the long run.
Suitable Time for Lollipopping
It's best to carry out this technique 2-3 weeks into flowering.
Some growers favour an extreme trimming technique known as schwazzing, which includes stripping the cannabis crop of almost every leaf as soon as the bloom phase begins should be done during the start of the bloom phase. Some growers also recommend to carry out the same process three weeks later.
Pros of Lollipopping
Some of the advantages of carrying out this process are:
● A good amount of light is essential for the growth of cannabis plants. When the plants are not pruned properly, the areas that receive lesser light have lesser growth eg: the lower parts of the plants. Therefore, in this process the lower portion of the plants are pruned so that the plant concentrates all their energy into producing potent and bigger buds on the top. This is beneficial as the upper buds will receive more energy, making them larger.
● This technique can create more space in your growing area
● For the plants that grow in moist areas, the removal of the lower leaves that are closer to the ground reduces the risks of pest and mold infestation.
Cons of Lollipopping
Some of the disadvantages of carrying out this process are:
● This method of lollipopping cannot be applied universally to all kinds of cannabis plants in all kinds of environments. Some strains and set-ups do better or worse with this method.
● The process of trimming all the lower branches is a tedious process as the growers. Take your time while trimming them off, you want to ensure you do not damage the main stem when removing them.
● Many growers do not like the technique of lollipopping. They believe that lesser leaves mean less area for photosynthesis which in turn means the removal of energy source for the plants.
● If you are inexperienced in trimming cannabis plants, you may take off too much of the plant, or take off the wrong areas of a plant. As a result, your plant may get too stressed and result in a lower yield.
Lollipopping is proven to increase yields when done correctly. All training techniques take some time to learn, but they are not mandatory by any means. You can always let you plant grow naturally. However, it's fun to experiment and see what works best for you and your plants.
At Grobo, we are always here to help. Grobo is a hydroponic automated grow box that makes growing easy. With over 1500 seed recipes to choose from, and plenty of educational content, we are sure you will be growing healthy plants in no time.
Let us know in the comments if you have tried lollipopping or a different training technique!