Cannabis apical pruning: When and how to apply it?

Do you have problems with the excessive vertical growth of your plants? The apical pruning it can help prevent overgrowth with just a few simple cuts. Do you want to know how? We explain it to you!

What is apical pruning?

The apical pruning, also known as pruning topping It is applied when we cut the tip or eye of the main stem. This pruning can be applied to both indoor and outdoor cannabis crops, although it is normally carried out when the growing space is limited.

This technique allows to stop the vertical growth of the plant. When apical pruning, the plant tends to become wider and busier. When you cut the stem it will start to grow in a Y shape, so there will be 2 main stems.


Why is apical pruning applied? Very easy. When the pruning result is done correctly, bud production can be greatly increased.

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When to do apical pruning in marijuana plants?

Ideally, apply the apical pruning when your plant has 4 to 5 knots, since at this stage of development the stems are strong enough and can recover better to the high levels of stress caused by the apical pruning.


When to do the apical pruning will also depend on the season in which you have planted your plants.

Whenever we plant in spring it is necessary to prune to control size and get your plant to have a discreet size. If it is planted in autumn we should not prune, since when flowering in a small size we could affect the production of buds.

The cannabis plant meets the requirements for pruning after approximately 30 days in its vegetative phase, so you must take into account the type of strain, since they grow at different rates.

  • Development phase: At this stage you should not apply apical pruning, since the plant would not support it.
  • Flowering phase: You can cause irreparable damage.

You should wait at least 2 weeks to prune the new stemsIn this period of time, the plant will be able to recover and will have overcome all stress, returning to its growth pattern normally.

How to do apical pruning in your cannabis plants?

In order to apply apical pruning you must make a clean cut at stem tip using scissors or a sterile scalpel. The cut must be at least 5 cm above the lateral branches This way you will avoid accidents with the rest of the branches.

Please note the following.

  • Cutting scissors must be very sharp.
  • Use sealants or cicatrizers, in this way you can recover faster, do not forget fertilizers high in nutrients to avoid pests and fungi in your plants.
  • This practice is not recommended in varieties autoflowering, since their life cycle is very short and they may not recover.

You can prune a second time when the plant has recovered. This second cut will not be in one, but in 2 main stems, and if you apply a third pruning it would already be 4 stems.

Difference between apical pruning and FIM pruning

The pruning FIM is quite similar to apical pruning, both are high stress techniques for the plant.

The main difference between these two types of pruning is their main purpose. With apical pruning we want a main stem to divide into 2. We want our plant to not grow vertically, but horizontally.

On the other hand, the pruning FIM it is done to duplicate the main stem.

With this technique, up to 4 tails can be produced, so we are looking for a leafy plant with many branches, mostly recommended for micro producers.


LFIM pruning is not as effective in stopping growth. If you don’t have a problem with the size of your plants and you want a plant with many main stems, this is the best technique.

While in the apical pruning The cuts are made in the main stem, for the pruning FIM You must cut right where the two leaves that make up the new shoot are born.

like the pruning topping, the fimming should be done after the third or fifth knot.

Another similarity of these two types of pruning is that both are only recommended to be carried out in the vegetative phase

Limitations of both types of pruning

These prolong the vegetative phase, so if you plan to apply them you should prepare for a long vegetative phase of 4 to 6 weeks.

Something you should keep in mind is that your plant may need tutors where it can lean, since some tips can tend to weigh a lot.

The apical pruning is one of the best ways to grow bushier crops, so You shouldn’t hesitate to apply it correctly if you want to prevent your plant from growing too much.

We hope that this article has helped you to learn more about this type of pruning and the difference between apical pruning and FIM pruning.

Have you ever applied apical pruning? And the FIM pruning? How about the result? Worth?

Tell us about your experiences.

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