How to Properly Prune a Marijuana Plant

In the grand scheme of things, growing marijuana isn’t terribly difficult. It’s one of the less demanding crops you could grow. In fact, as long as you give it light, water, and nutrients, it’ll pretty much take care of itself.

Having said that, quite a few experienced growers are quick to point out that the more time and effort you put into your cannabis plants, the more they’ll give you in return. If they’re left to their own devices, they may produce a supply of mediocre buds. If you take good care of them, though, they’ll most likely generate higher yields of more potent buds. 

Keeping Your Marijuana Plants in Good Shape

One important aspect of cannabis gardening that often gets overlooked is pruning. After all, if you’re trying to grow a nice, bushy marijuana plant with plenty of buds on it, cutting away part of the plant may seem counterintuitive. That’s not necessarily true, though.

If you prune a marijuana plant the right way, you’ll see a noticeable difference in the health of the plant as well as the volume of buds it produces. On the other hand, pruning incorrectly could lead to quite the opposite results. Take a look at the following information to help you carry out the process effectively.

Why Should I Prune My Cannabis Plants?

Before you begin snipping off portions of your plants, it’s important to understand why pruning is beneficial. For one, it clears away dead or unhealthy growth. Plants distribute food, energy, moisture, and other essentials throughout their leaves, branches, and other components.

That includes leaves and branches that aren’t thriving. In many cases, the ones that aren’t healthy get more of those elements than the ones that are flourishing. This detracts from the resources available for the healthy portions of your cannabis plants and can hamper bud growth and potency. 

Secondly, pruning can help ensure all the viable branches of your cannabis plants get plenty of light. Those at the bottoms of the plants or in other areas where they can’t get enough light aren’t going to grow properly. If they happen to produce buds, those buds will be smaller and less potent than the ones that receive ample energy from the sun or your grow lights. 

How to Prune Your Plants Properly

Now that we’ve covered the reasons to prune cannabis plants, we can move on to the proper technique. First, don’t start trying to prune the plants too early. Wait until they have several nodes and are starting to bush out in the way marijuana plants are known for. Be sure your pruning shears are sharp and clean. If they’re too dull, they can do more harm than good to the plants. If they’re not cleaned before use, they could spread plant pathogens.

From there, snip away any dead or discolored leaves and branches. Consider removing branches at the bottoms of the plants because those are the ones that won’t receive the light needed to produce healthy buds. Then, you can remove larger branches that may be blocking light and airflow from other portions of the plant.

Water the plants well and give them a dose of nutrients after pruning. That’ll give them plenty of energy to heal from the procedure. Don’t prune your plants immediately before or during the flowering stage. 

Seeing the Fruits of Your Labor

Pruning marijuana plants can be a nerve-wracking experience, especially when you’re new to the process. Snip with care, and focus on the branches that don’t appear to be thriving or could prevent the rest of the plant from flourishing. In the end, you’ll have a bountiful harvest of potent buds to show for your effort. 



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