Lollypopping is the process of removing unwanted branches that will not receive enough light to produce good buds. Some growers always do it and others claim it removes leaves that feed the plant and is therefore bad.
Some growers believe because it removes leaves it is bad for the plant. Personally I believe just the opposite. It is good for the plant because it sends energy to the parts of the plant that will produce the best buds.
I have made a video showing how I lollypop my plants and explain why I think it is not only beneficial but also important for yields and quality.
Gelato 33, Black Banana And Tropicanna Cookies Get Lollypopped
Lollypopping – Here’s A Few Reasons To Lollypop Cannabis
First I feel it is important for over all plant health. Getting rid of excess branches allows better airflow through the canopy and can help prevent powdery mildew and other diseases. Also most bug problems start on the lower branches first and then move up the plant.
Lower branches do not get enough light to produce quality buds in most cases. They are like vampires LOL! They suck away energy from the tops rather than feed them.
To the naysayers I simply say virtually every horticultural plant is pruned or thinned in some way to promote better fruiting and ripening. Grapes, apples and most other tree fruit or vining plants produce more flowers and fruit than they can ripen. That’s how nature works. Produce an over abundance because many wont make it.
If you have ever grown tomatoes you know they will set far more fruit than they can ripen and unless you thin them you will wind up with mostly green ones. So is it bad or wrong to want red ones? I dont think so!
Growing in a tent or a warehouse is far from natural. Growing in a pot is also not natural. For one thing even our best lighting can not match the sun. Plant roots are limited in a pot too. So it stands to reason with less available light we need to limit production.
A Few Reasons Not To Lollypop Weed
Dont lollypop if you enjoy small airy buds. No lollypopping for those who like to spend needless extra hours in trim jail. Dont do it if you are lazy or just want to let nature take its course.
In this picture you can clearly see there is much less light below the first screen. Nothing down there is going to get enough light to produce anything. This is on day 7 and not only will the plants will stretch for another 2 weeks but the canopy will also get thicker allowing even less light to get through.
Please notice that nothing above the first trellis net was removed. This is entirely different from leaf stripping. Most buds are small and can be rubbed off by hand. Also not many branches were removed and those that were small and spindly already from low light levels.
When Is The Best Time To Lollypop Your Plants?
I train my plants throughout veg. Normally the plants in the video would have been clean when they went into flower but on this group I waited until day 7 of flower. It definitely made the job harder.
I like to use the one node and flip method popularized by the Jungle Boys. This method works best if you use netting. I pick 4 to 8 branches and remove everything below the top 4 nodes. Pretty much all side or secondary branches come off. You need to establish a trellis height before you do this. Ideally you will have 1-4 nodes above the screen on each branch you save.
These plants are pruned like this right before going into flower. It serves double as a lollypopping and leaf stripping technique. All your buds will grow in the light this way. Argue with me if you want, but if you have seen what the Jungle Boys produce this way there really is no argument.
You can selectively remove small branches in veg that will not compete with the main leaders. It takes some judgement to figure out which ones will stretch enough to get through the trellis and which ones wont.
The sooner you get rid of unproductive growth, the sooner your plant can put its energy into growing branches with good flowering sites. If you guess wrong and leave too many you can always remove them later.