In this article, we will be talking about what exactly lollipopping is, of course, everything necessary about this exciting technique.
If you want to avoid less potent and underdeveloped buds anywhere in your harvest, then lollipopping is something you would like to incorporate into your cannabis growing.
The lollipopping method describes removing buds and leaves on the plant’s bottom. These buds receive much less light when compared to the upper buds of the cannabis plant and therefore tend to be somewhat underdeveloped.
When the lower bud sites are removed, this redirects the plant’s energy solely to the top buds, which makes them more potent and generally more prominent.
While lollipopping on photoperiod plants is generally considered a good idea (ideally right before changing the light setting to 12/12), lollipopping autoflower varieties can sometimes lead to smaller yields.
Even though it can result in a diminished yield with autoflowers, the remaining buds’ quality will be superior.
Continuing this guide, we will discuss the main benefits of lollipopping, when it’s the ideal time to do it, and exactly which buds need to be trimmed.
Why Is It Called Lollipopping
Removing lower bud sites from your cannabis plant will result in a plant that has a bare lower section, and all the action is happening on the top.
Since the plant only has a few upper nodes, it is reminiscent of a lollipop.
Why is Lollipopping Performed
When cannabis is grown in indoor conditions, the range of our grow lights is quite limited.
Since they are closest to the light, the top buds always receive sufficient light, which makes them grow both big and potent.
Lower bud sites aren’t so lucky, as they are both partially shaded by the upper part of the plant and frequently out of range.
Side lights can diminish this difference, but there is still a big difference between upper and lower buds.
All this makes lower bud sites inferior to the upper buds, as they remain small and are usually also deficient in trichomes.
Once the buds are dried and cured, lower buds are usually much less potent, and their aroma and flavor are less than ideal.
Lollipopping takes care of this issue, as all of the plant’s energy is redirected to the upper section of the plant.
The lollipopping technique is usually accompanied by another training method known as pruning, which entails removing some of the lower branches shaded by the upper ones.
Lollipopping and Autoflowers
The lollipopping method works great for indoor photoperiod plants as they have unlimited time to recuperate from any stress.
Since autoflowering strains are a completely different breed and develop quite rapidly, performing lollipopping on them can diminish the overall yield quantity.
It’s important to point out that if lollipopping is done on autoflowering plants, the remaining upper buds will have a fantastic flavor and intense potency. But, for some growers, this isn’t enough, as they also require sufficient yields.
If you want to determine whether you should lollipop your autoflowering strains, doing a side-by-side grow is the best way to do it.
Leave one plant to grow without lollipopping, and perform the lollipopping technique on the other.
This is a perfect way to figure out if there’s a significant difference in yields, and it also gives you a chance to determine the quality of the buds.
Lollipopping and Outdoor Growing
Most growers don’t think that cannabis plants grown outdoors don’t require lollipopping because outdoor plants receive light in a completely different way.
The most crucial difference is that the sun changes its angle constantly throughout the day, which means that its beams fall on the plants from various angles.
Because of this, lower parts of the canopy receive much more light when compared to indoor growing with fixed lights.
Despite all of this, there is still a noticeable difference between upper and lower buds, but there isn’t a real need for lollipopping.
Outdoor plants require other types of training, mostly pruning, as growers need to prevent the air of lower segments of the plant from becoming stale.
How is Lollipopping Performed
As a rule of thumb, most cannabis growers opt-out of trimming the lower third of the plant when they are lollipopping.
Some cultivators even remove an entire lower half of the canopy, but this is generally considered too aggressive and can lead to a diminished yield.
Lollipopping can also be viewed from a different perspective: determining how many upper nodes you want to keep.
The number of nodes for growers with an adequate grow lights system is typically between 4 and 5, while for growers with modest lighting systems, the number of nodes is usually 3 or 4.
Finally, the ideal time to perform lollipopping is just before you change the light duration to kickstart the flowering stage.
It would be best if you gave your plant sufficient time to recuperate from the lollipopping stress, so it’s best to do it a couple of days before the 12/12 switch.