Harvest top buds first?

A question from a fellow grower:

I wanted to know, do the top buds mature faster than the ones in the middle or bottom. So can I pick the top ones first and then the rest after the grow more, or do I have to yank the whole plant at once.

you will stress your plant and might kill it anyway

The top grows faster than the bottom due to light not being obstructed on the top. The lower branches are protected from the light somewhat, and do not get mature as fast. As livewire61 said, the stress on a plant is enormous when you cut the top cola off and is likely to kill the plant.
Alternatively, you can drop lights from the corners that have their bulbs near the lower branches. That will give the lower branches more light and impact the size and density of your grow.
You might want to look at LST (Low Stress Training) to get your lower colas in open light and they will grow better. I have a grow blog called “First Auto Grow - Blueberry” in the grow section. I talk a lot about under lighting (I call it Drop Lights) and their help in firming up flowers. Hope this helps !
Jerry - TxGrowman

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Hey thanks, I did not cut the tops, I decided to let it do it’s thing. But you mention lighting bottom. Mine is an outdoor plant in the ground, here is a quick look at her.

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Actually you can harvest the ripe buds when they are ready and let the rest mature later, no different than harvesting fruit from any other plant. Many people do harvest their bud like this because the lower buds not getting as much light will take a bit longer. However, just like other plants, it is better to plan and have all your tops getting equal light so as to have them develop more evenly, that would ensure the best yield and potency for all buds.

Keep in mind, the above answers about stress are partially correct, and the plant can and will stress whenever too much of itself is removed.

Happy Growing,



Looks like you might have some nute burn or PH problem. Do you ph your water?

No no you can cut the cola off to let more light at the bottom buds without killing the plant. Someone else just asked the same question. And this is what Stoner say’so

Science Officer
With experience you should be able to grow a plant that is best suited to your growing environment.

I personally prefer one big plant in a ScrOG, and this ensures a pretty even canopy of tops and pretty uniform maturity or ripeness, as determined by the trichomes.

I would prune more developed tops if they were clearly ready and the others could use more time.


So with that said yes you can.

B Safe

I haven’t done anything special at all, I planted seed and water from hose, this is what I got.

Why don’t you download the grow Bible and read some.

I have the bible already, but being first timer, I like to ask ppl that have been there already also, the more info, the more informed, you know. Thanks



They look great looks like about 2 weeks maybe 3


Look’n mighty fine there my friend…Sweet!!

B Safe


I grew Cush, aka Green Crack with a 800w LED. I flushed in weeks 11 & 12 flower, harvested top buds and colas.
I lowered the lights, hit each of 3 plants with nutes day 1only, and began watering every other day.

Middle buds tripled and lower buds doubled in 3 days.

While 6 screened drying racks cure, i expect to double my yield in the tent in less than 10 days.

Lower lights…


is it cool if like week 6/7 i take off all the bigger leafs that are covering up my under buds, just cuz the toppic came up

I just put mine in good soil and watered every three days.


Basil on the left, White Widoww can ibis in center and Jack Herber on the right. Nearing harvest on Sept 14th

The color differences aren’t real- some trick of the photo. The dark green is pretty consistent across the plants

Bruce banner autoflower.

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The taste and potency of your cannabis plants depend on when you harvest them. You have different options to find out if your plants are ready for harvesting. Some options are more reliable than others.

Harvesting your cannabis a little early will give you a less intense flavor and effect than letting your plants age a little more. Harvesting your cannabis too late will give you a very powerful flavor and a narcotic effect.

So it’s up to your preference, and you will have to experiment with different times to see what works best for you.

Find out more about when to harvest cannabis here.