Plant pruning is an essential tool for keeping your plants healthy and keeping energy focused to the parts of your plant that need it most. Without pruning, the small branches and leaves under your canopy can steal that energy away.
It might seem wasteful to cut off any part of your plant that looks like it is growing fine, but it's actually the opposite.
When your plants are young and just starting their vegetative stage, they're small, and it's easy for light and air to hit all of your plants all over. But that changes as they grow.
As the top of your plant grows taller and wider, it begins to take the majority of light away from the lower portion of the plant. This means that branches, leaves and even potential flower sites can't get the light they need.
Additionally, as your plant grows thicker and forms a canopy, it becomes difficult for air to penetrate and pass through the whole plant. This causes the lower parts of your plants to get stuck in pockets of warm air, with little light, and that's no good.
Pruning your plants is simply just getting rid of the parts of the plant that aren't going to produce flower or benefit the plant going forward as it grows.
You can maintain regular basic pruning practices with just your hands, but to really have an impact, you'll want to use a pair of trimming scissors and have a pair of shears on hand in case you run into a tough branch.
Before you break out the scissors, check your plants for dead leaves, withering leaves, and leaves lower on the plant that aren't receiving light. Remove these leaves to get a better view of your plants throughout to see the branches and flower sites you might want to remove.
Beginning at the bottom of your plant, you want to looks for branches that are growing upward and underneath the canopy of your plant. Due to their growth pattern, these branches will never be able to get the light they need to produce harvest-worthy flowers.
There may also be flower sites that have formed directly on the stem of your plants. You want to snip those off too if they are lower on the plant. By cutting out these branches and lower flower sites, your plants will focus more energy on the tops of your plants, producing bigger, better flowers up top.
While you can (and should!) prune your plants regularly throughout their vegetative stage and early into the flower stage, you will want to cease pruning when they get three to four weeks into the flowering stage.
This is because cutting off portions of your plant when it enters the flower stage can reactivate vegetative growth from the sites you cut. Needless to say, if vegetative growth starts up in your flower stage, it's going to take extremely valuable energy away from your flower sites at the top of the plants.
We got you covered! At Cultivate we carry a variety trimming scissors, shears, gloves and other essentials. Browse some of our gear in the Harvest Solutions section and grab everything you need to prune with confidence!