Lollipopping is a plant training technique that is achieved by removing the bottom 1/3 of the plant. This technique is very similar to the way apple farmers prune their apple trees. By removing the lower branches, the upper portion of the plant will receive more attention, thus creating bigger fruits. In an indoor garden, this technique also helps increase airflow and helps decrease the chances of getting pathogens, diseases or un-wanted pests like fungus gnats. Lollipopping goes hand-in-hand with the Scrog technique, where gardeners can utilize the top canopy and completely rid of the bottom section.
Step 1: Before lollipopping a plant, make sure it is ready to do so. This means the plant should be in the vegetative growth cycle, approximately 1-2 weeks before flowering begins. Plants should be very thick and bushy, usually between 2-3 feet high, and 2-3 feet wide. You should be able to cut 1/3 of the way up the plant, and still have a thick, full top canopy.
Step 2: Most experienced growers will simply rip off the bottom foliage by hand. This can easily be done with no ill harm, but using a sterilized pair of scissors will cure any doubts. You should remove any branches, nodes and leaves 1/3 of the way from the bottom of the plant. Cut everything as close to the main stem as you can, to insure the plant will close that section off and focus on top growth.
Step 3: The branches that you remove that contain nodes are perfect for cloning! Lollipopping is often a win-win situation for most growers that start from cuttings. If you do not need clones, these branches are great for recycling into a compost pit.
Step 4: Enjoy! If you have any questions, or have information you’d like to add to this section, we’d love to hear it!
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