cannabis plant illustration

The plants are getting ready to flower. Soon. For now, it’s time to give them a trim.

What You’ll Need Now

Trim and Transition

Plants grown outside tend to naturally focus their energy on flowers that are fully exposed to light and air. Opening the canopy with a light de-leafing exposes additional flower sites, which can encourage larger buds. And more of them.

Defoliation (de-leafing)

Around the first week of August, consider a de-leaf. It’s easy. Starting at the bottom of the plant, remove the large fan leaves at the base of the branches, as well as the lowest branches that may be blocking bud sites. This increases airflow in the canopy and focuses the plant’s energy on flower production.

The leaves are sugar-producing factories, feeding the plant with energy produced during photosynthesis, so it’s important to not to over-trim.



There are many ways to prune your fast-growing plant. Removing lower branches or inner leaves that are dying off due to a lack of light will focus the plant’s energy into the remaining foliage. Each cultivar may respond better to certain techniques. Careful experimentation will guide your way.

Yes, the plant benefits from a trim, but every cut has the potential to invite unwanted bacteria and other pests. So, make sure to keep your pruners sterilized with rubbing alcohol between uses.



Pruning the top of the plant will force the first few side branches below the cut to grow stronger and upwards towards the light. Aim to cut just below the top set of leaves. Topping is great for home growers, and for small spaces like balconies, keeping the plant height in check.


Overwatering is a common challenge for new growers. Water every 2-3 days, or as needed if the weather gets hotter and the leaves begin to droop.

*Grow Guide Glossary

Canopy: The portion of the plant above the soil that includes the stems, leaves, and flowers.

Legal Note: In Canada, the Cannabis Act permits adults to cultivate up to four (4) cannabis plants per household (not per person). Some provinces and territories (including Manitoba and Quebec) have applied added restrictions on personal cultivation. You are responsible for knowing what is legal in the province or territory where you live or visit, and online. 

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