Lollipopping Cannabis: How to Do It Right!

by Nebula Haze

Lollipopping a growing cannabis plant means to remove most growth from the bottom of the plant that aren't getting light, while leaving untouched all the vegetation and bud sites at the top of the plant. This marijuana lollipopping tutorial will teach you how to increase your yields using this technique!

"Lollipopping" means removing bottom growth (which isn't getting light) so that plant focuses on bud sites at the top

This plant was grown naturally and it looked like this right before it was put into the flowering stage. It is a perfect candidate for lollipopping.

Example of an untrained cannabis plant that was allowed to grow naturally in the vegetative stage

Soon after the plant started making buds, the grower noticed the bottom buds weren't getting any light, and as a result they weren't getting bigger. In order to help the plant focus on the top buds, the grower removed all the lower bud sites and leaves ("lollipopped the plant").

Example of a marijuana plant that was lollipopped during the flowering stage to help top buds grow bigger, and avoid the plant wasting energy on the bottom buds

That cannabis plant just before harvest. As you can see, every part of the plant is completely filled with buds, though notice how even though it's been lollipopped, all the biggest buds are at the top. 

This cannabis plant was lollipopped, and as a result it got bigger yields. However, you can still see how it favors top buds, as those easily grew the biggest!

Buds that don't get light never fatten up properly. In fact, the whole idea behind defoliation in the flowering stage is to increase the amount of light that gets to bud sites.

Buds lower down on the plant stay the small even if they get direct light from the sides. This is why many growers train their plants to grow flat (all the buds become top buds!) in addition to lollipopping. 

Learn the trifecta – how to train, defoliate and lollipop like a pro!

Tip to Lollipopping Cannabis for the Higher Yields

I have had the best results lollipopping cannabis right before the switch to the flowering stage. Growers often don't need to lollipop in the vegetative stage unless you haven't trained your plant and it's gotten very tall or out of control. 

Growers call the technique "lollipopping" because you're making the bottom bare like a lollipop stick 🙂 But keep in mind that removing too many bud sites can definitely hurt your yields!

Remove all the leaves below the line on these marijuana plants (lollipop them)

This grower stripped all the buds sites from the bottom of the plant while lollipopping, resulting in shortened colas. I've done this, too! His yield would have been bigger if he'd allowed those bud sites to continue further down on each stem!

Example of a cannabis plant that was lollipopped two heavily before the switch to the flowering stage, resulting in reduced yields

To prevent the problem with the plant above, avoid removing or damaging future bud sites whenever defoliating. It's easy to accidentally damage bud sites when they're just tiny pre-flowers like this one, so be extra careful when removing leaves!

Be careful not to accidentally remove bud sites when defoliating a cannabis plant in the flowering stage

Example of removing a cannabis leaf - when defoliating, always avoid damaging the growth tip and the bud site!

Experiment with different amounts of lollipopping to see what's best for you! However, keep in mind…



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