How to Prune Marijuana Plants to Get Maximum Yield – Bonza Blog

Pruning is a gardening trick that enables us to pick huge, beautiful cannabis buds come harvest time. Hence, it’s an essential skill that all marijuana growers must develop.  In essence, it’s cutting off small parts of the plants in specific time to redirect its energy on regrowth. 

One very easy way to prune is to remove all the dead or yellow leaves that we see in the plant. Since these parts are useless, getting rid of them allows the plant to focus nourishing the healthy ones. As a result, the plants become stronger and produce denser buds.  

While the principle sounds easy enough, actually doing it can be tricky. For example, it’s highly possible to overprune the plant which often weakens it. Also, this technique can have disastrous outcomes when done incorrectly or at the wrong time of the grow cycle.  

To avoid the risks, some cannabis growers never prune at all, allowing nature to take its course. But if done right, it can be extremely rewarding. Ultimately, it can help us maximize the potential yield and enjoy the richest buds right from our very own garden. 

To help us get started, this article will discuss everything we need to know about pruning. The important thing is to practice it in a controlled and moderate way. So, get ready to learn this vital skill and start pruning marijuana plants like a pro.

How to Prune Cannabis Plants Like A Pro

A garden that receives a lot of light and nutrients will grow without control. To optimize the situation, we shall nip off certain branches or leaves. This will help the plant decide where to place its energy. Hence, the art of pruning requires a certain knowledge and critical thinking. The following sections serve as a guideline to make the technique a lot easier and more accurate.

  • Know When to Start Pruning 
Know When to Start Pruning

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The best time to start pruning is when the marijuana plant begins to take a bushy shape. In general, this takes place in the second week from the time the first leaf sprouts. Take note that the Sativa strains grow faster than the Indicas. So, wait another week before pruning an Indica strain.  

For best results, try training the plant so that it becomes bushier. This method encourages the plant to form a canopy, making it easier to see which parts are unnecessary. 

Aside from yellow or dead leaves, cut off a quarter of the new shoots every week. Take care not to touch fully grown leaves since they make most of the sugar and receive most of the light. 

The plant will continue to grow until the third week after flowering starts. However, stop pruning on the second week to give the plant time to recover. If we keep on pruning after this period, the stress from the cutting will force the plant to go back to the vegetative stage. This will seriously hurt our yield as well as the quality of the buds.  

  • Know What Parts to Prune 
Know What Parts to Prune

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One of the toughest parts of pruning is determining which structure of the plant to remove. As a rule, we want to maximize two things: airflow around the plant and the area where leaves catch light. As a result, this will allow the plant to focus all its grow power on the most functional parts.

Therefore, we must follow a pattern where the leaves of the plant will concentrate on the top. Specifically, we want to cut off the branches at the lower part of the plant where it receives little light.

As mentioned, we would also want to remove dying or dead leaves since they can’t utilize the light. Finally, for the same reason, nip off shoots that grow low on the main stalks.

  • Know How to Prune Correctly 

Now that we are aware which parts to prune, let’s start learning how to execute it. As with any other skill, it usually takes a lot of practice to master it. And since it’s easy to make mistakes on the first try, make sure to practice on inferior plants. We can apply the technique on other plants once we feel more confident and sure. 

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How to Prune a Marijuana Plant in 5 Steps

  • Step 1: Prepare the Tools 

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To start, get a pair of garden scissors or clippers and make sure that they are sharp. The shaper they are, the cleaner the cut and the faster the healing. Keep them clean as well to prevent infection which can potentially kill our plant. Also, keep different sizes of the scissors to make it easy to cut bigger branches.  

  • Step 2: Remove Big Branches 

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Removing the bigger branches first will make it easier to work on the smaller details. Naturally, it might feel like we are hurting our chances of getting a good yield. But clearing out as much space as possible is part of the process. So, don’t worry too much and just take the time to get comfortable with this step. 

  • Step 3Clear Out the Middle 

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Branches that grow in the middle of the plant are not as strong as the ones on top. So, clear them out as well. 

  • Step 4: Work on the Leaves and Bud Sites 

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Once the big branches under the canopy of the plant are out of the way, start working on the leaves and bud sites. For the leaves, always start with the yellowing or dying ones.  

Oftentimes, we will also need to remove the leaves that have branches shooting out of their base. To promote huge bursts of growth among small leaves, always remove the ones that are higher up. 


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We also need to nip off bud sites at the base of the plant or at the bottom of the canopy branches. Because of their location, they can never catch enough light. Therefore, they won’t be able to fully develop and contribute to the yield.  

  • Step 5: Give Time for Recovery 

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As mentioned, it takes time for the plant to heal the wounds of the cutting. So, give it a few days to recover from the shock. In the meantime, make sure to provide proper care by continuing to provide its basic needs. Within a week of the pruning, we can notice the vigorous growths of new shoots and leaves.  

Pruning Boosts Yield and Quality of Weed

If we want to fully commit growing our crop, we must grab the opportunity to grow as much weed as possible. This means not only providing its needs but also taking steps to help it thrive. Pruning offers the chance to improve our harvest by leaps and bounds. So, why not take it? 

While practicing this technique can be loaded with risks, the rewards are beyond great. As long as we follow the steps closely, we reduce the likelihood of errors. Moreover, the key is to understand that we are working with the plant to help it reach its fullest potential. So, don’t be afraid to try it out and allow the confidence to develop.  

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