How much, or should I, top my plants?

I’ve got several photo Sativa plants growing outside in 5 gal. pots using live soil. They range any where from 20" to 28". The taller ones are really skinny little buggers and I was thinking about topping them to get two results. 1.) They are really tall right now and as I understand it they’ll really shoot up in growth during the first phase of flowering which hasn’t happened yet. 2.) Because they’re so tall, I’m assuming (uh oh) that most of the energy is being used to reach their max height and not necessarily width.
My concern is that I may have missed the window of opportunity to do an effective topping. The plants are about 2 1/2 months old and most of the research I’ve done on this subject recommends topping at around the fifth node and at this point they’re well beyond having 5 nodes. I I were to whack it at that point, I would be removing more than %50 of the total plant which seems like it would induce a lot of stress. Maybe too much. So my question is twofold. Is it too late to do any topping and if not, what percentage of it should I cut off? %50, %20, %75? TIA for anyone that can help a first time grower out.

I’m not sure of the answer on how much to remove but if it was me whatever I removed I would be cloning into another pot if you can as it is basically another plant :thinking::thinking::thinking: . Hopefully someone who knows the answer can help you out and good luck :+1:t2:

Need pictures to make any kind of recommendation.

@DarhkGrows That’s a great idea but I’m limited to the number of plants I can grow.

@HMGRWN Shouldn’t be a problem getting some pictures. Just need to know what you need to see. Entire plant? Just the top? The widest part?

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Entire plant.

@HMGRWN @Storm
As requested. This plant is about 22" from top of soil to top of plant. Has 10 nodes now.


Hard to say. Stealth issue? If not I would let her go. Can always supercrop her later. She will fill out. Side branches will spread. Topping is great indoor for extra colas but man outdoor plants produce well all on their own. Looks healthy and happy. See where she goes i say and supercrop if have to.

@Storm Not a stealth grow but the area I live in limits how many plants can be growing at one time. Kinda sucks but at least they’re allowing something without having to face a firing squad :balance_scale:


If only can have a few…grow them out …:grin:

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Agree with @Storm .

That plant has nice structure for an outdoor grow.


Alright, I’ll let them keep going on their own as suggested. Thanks for all the responses.


How tall are you, assuming 6 feet tall with 3 foot arm reach. That would be 9 foot, so top her at 9 feet.

@sunasun That sounds like it would be way too late either by the stage of growth it’s in or because I’ve already cut it completely down for harvesting.

Why did you harvest it before it started flowering?

@sunasun haven’t harvested it yet. Didn’t mean to confuse you. You suggested topping it when it gets 9 feet tall. If it gets that tall, I probably won’t touch it but I think the time it would take to get that tall will go way beyond the time it would take to be mature enough to harvest…

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Oh, I thought you were growing outside. They grow quick outside here.

@sunasun It looks like you are responding without reading what I’ve typed. None of your responses make any sense to me. I don’t mean to be rude but, sometimes I call it like I see it.

Ditto :thinking: