How to trim marijuana

How to trim marijuana is new part in our series on how to grow your own marijuana.


In this how to trim marijuana guide, you will learn there are actually two stages in marijuana trimming. Most novice marijuana growers do not know you must trim your plant as its growing. By not trimming your plant, it could have a dramatic impact on growth and invite molds and mildews to grow on your flowers.


Stage 1: Vegetative trim

The first stage of trimming is done during the vegetative stage. As your plant grows you will notice that the bottom leaves will start to die off. Trimming the bottom leaves off or “suckering” will make a difference in how you plant directs energy. A dying leaf will take twice the energy as a healthy leaf to survive. These energy robbing leaves have no value and can be removed, assuming the plant is healthy and reaching a plant stage, and passed the infant stage. A good way to tell if your plant is ready, the stalk will have grown a tan colored skin on it. This means the stalk has hardened and matured.

When your plant is ready, use an extremely sharp pair of scissors or a razor blade to do your trimming. Before you use your tool for trimming, be sure to use alcohol to sterilize it. A clean, sterilized tool is important. This reduces plant stress and keeps the plant from going into shock. Shocking a plant will halt growth until it recovers. Clean, sharp tools will allow the plant to heal quickly.

The first leaves you be trimming are the leaves with three segments on them, and may be already turning yellow it color. These leaves must be removed from the stem. You will be removing up to three nodes or leaf sections up from the bottom. Be careful not to remove too many leaves, this could cause the plant to struggle for light. Green healthy leaves should be left for the second trimming.

Stage 2: Flower trim

IMG_20140630_112353_571The second trim will happen when you start your flowering stage. After the first sign of flowering, you will trim your plant again. This time focusing on the inner and outer leaves. You now can trim the bottom again if needed, and any large fan leaves covering the light from reaching the pre-flowers. Indica strains grow short and dense causing the leaves to smother the flowers and could cause mold to grow on them. Sometimes lowering humidity is not enough to prevent molds. Sativa strains grow tall and the leaves and flowers have more room between them, and may not be necessary to trim during the flowering period. The other area that is important to trim is the inside of the plant. Trim away any large fan leaves from the main stem, leaving the top section to grow out. Again cutting away too many will starve your plant of light.
Further trimming may be needed as your flowers grow. New leaves may rob your buds of light and energy. Removing these leaves gives the proper airflow for your plant and will keep temperatures in check.

[quote_right]Some growers swear by this method of trimming for bigger flowers and overall yield.[/quote_right]

As shown, carefully cut your leaves as close to the flower as possible. If you accidentally cut the bud, it may stop growing.
The flowers on a marijuana plant grow mostly in the dark. Be sure absolutely no light enters your grow space during this time. It is extremely important. Any light during the dark time can cause your plant to change sex or could switch back to the growth stage and cause disaster to your flowers. Do all trimming during daytime cycles.

Depending on your grow area, you may have to trim the very top or kona of the plant. Cutting the very top of your plant will cause the top to double or produce two top buds. This is beneficial to the lower buds on the plant, but, also cause the two top flowers to be smaller. Sometimes this is necessary because of grow room limitations. Keep a safe distance from the bulb at all times. Trim the top at the first node by cutting out the center.


These trimmings can also used to make hash. Although they do not have many tricoms on them, why throw out good hash. Trim and dry cure them as you would buds and store until you are ready to make your hash.

So, remember to give your flowers plenty of light and energy to grow. You will have a plant at its full potential for a rewarding ending when all the work is done.

Additional questions on how to trim marijuana? Leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible!