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How to Top Hemp Plants: And Why You Should

If you have heard about topping hemp plants but are unsure how or why to do it, you have come to the right place. In the following article, we’ll take a closer look at how to top hemp plants and why people are using this training technique in commercial hemp operations.

How Do You Top Hemp Plants?

Topped hemp plant
Topped Hemp Plant:

Once the hemp plant has 5-7 leaf nodes, it’s robust enough to top. However, you need to be aware that topping your plants can place stress on them, so make sure they’re in peak physical condition before you begin. We recommend topping during the vegetative growth period to give the plants enough time to recover before entering the flowering stage.

Generally, you want to cut your hemp plant above the 5th leaf node. This gives it the best chance of recovering from topping. Secondary topping is also an option, but it’s usually only done by professionals with a lot of experience in topping plants.

  1. Clean and sharpen your pruning tools – Start by thoroughly cleaning your topping tools and ensuring they’re sharp. Sterilizing your pruning tools before cutting is a good habit to get into.
  2. Pick the spot you’ll be cutting – Pick out the spot you’ll be making your cut and do it using one clean and firm motion to ensure a clean cut.
  3. Monitor the plants – Topping can be stressful for hemp plants. After topping, monitor the plants and watch for signs of stress. Don’t top again until the plants have fully recovered.

Why Do You Top Hemp Plants?

If you don’t top hemp plants, they can grow quite tall with one main stem. When you top your plants, you allow the plant to create multiple stems and reduce the overall height of the hemp plant, which is hugely beneficial when you’re growing indoors or in a small greenhouse. If you want to reduce the size of your plants for a large commercial indoor grow operation, topping is the way to do it.

Apart from the height reduction, topping your plants can also lead to a significant increase in yield from your outdoor or indoor crop. This is because topping allows more main stems to grow on your plant and also allows more sunlight to get to your plant, which helps with plant growth.

What Are the Benefits of Topping?

We had a look at why people top plants above, but what benefits do you get from this training technique?

  1. Increased Yield – By removing one main stem and introducing two, three, or four main stems, you could increase the total yield of flower you get from that hemp plant.
  2. Increased Growth – Topping allows your hemp plant to focus its energy on the main stems rather than all the other minor branches. When you top your plant, you usually remove minor branches and leaves, which allows more sunlight to get to the plant and can stimulate more growth.
  3. Reduced Height – If you’re growing indoors or in a greenhouse, you can reduce the overall height of your plant and allow them access to more light which helps with the growth of your plant.

Quick Summary

  • Cut off the top of the hemp plan carefully in between the nodes. This creates two main colas at the top of the hemp plant, and LST could be utilized to make more if required.
  • New colas should be evenly placed.
  • Topping can reduce the overall height of the hemp plant during the vegetative stage.
  • May slow down plant growth for 1-2 days.


Now you should have a clear idea of not only how to top your plants correctly but why so many professional growers are doing it. This is an easy technique to master and can greatly boost the yield of hemp plants.

Fortuna Hemp offers superior products, services, education, and resources to help consumers and growers. If you have any questions about training hemp plants, please don’t hesitate to contact us for more details. Our friendly and professional team is standing by to assist you.

What are your best tips on training hemp plants? Please share your knowledge in the comment section below. While you’re here, shop our collection of feminized CBD hemp seeds.

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