Clearing out inside branches for bigger colas

I am wondering the process as to clearing out inside branches along with low level branches to help produce big colas on the main branches. Will it hurt the plant? And which branches are best to thin out,even the small branches growing from main trunk branches. I do not want a lot of popcorn buds,just big colas.
Any info as where and how would be appeciated

I just did this. I removed every but the main usable flowers. Everything else I stripped for samples and I am happy!
All fan leaves and bottom smaller branches sapping main colas. I know a few will disagree but it worked wonders for me. I did it at week 3 and now week 5 of flowering.

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Can you send pic ?

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I just read an article in the Jan/Feb 2010 edition of Urban Garden that’s called The ‘Sweet Zone’ - Pruning Indoor Plants for Larger Yields.

the “Sweet Zone” is defined as not too near and not to far space under the grow lamp that receives the most light energy without being so close to the lamp that the heat from the lamp interferes with the plant’s health and metabolism. The aim of the indoor gardening game is to shape and position your plants so that many growth tips / fruiting sites are basking in the ‘sweet zone’

Whenever a plant grows (roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits) it takes energy. The rate of a plant’s development is limited by the amount of light (energy) it receives. This energy is distributed throughout the plant in order to grow and bloom. The aim of pruning is to focus this energy to where it’s most needed - the fruiting sites in the ‘sweet zone’

then it talks about the ‘clean-up’. if left “un-cleaned”, a light loving plant grown indoors will generally produce many small, low quality fruits and flowers, especially on the lower branches. The best time for the clean up is immediately after the initial stretch in flowering, but before the plant has shown much sign of fruiting. If too much is pruned off too soon, the plant will stretch even more and become somewhat leggy. If you clean up too late, you will be removing green matter that the plant has already invested a lot of energy into, some of which will be small fruits or flowers. The later you prune into the flowering stage, the more the plant is focusing its energy on generative growth instead of fruits. A good rule of thumb is to “clean up” the plant in the second week of flowering just as the first smalls signs of fruit appear and after the plant has stretched a little.

There is a fine line between pruning off too much and ending up with a very sparse canopy and a loss in yield, and leaving too much on an lowering the size and quality of the fruits.

Generally, I’m trying to prune off all branches lower than halfway up the plant. As the plants start to flower you should be able to crouch down and peer right through your garden underneath the dense canopy, but i’ve heard of people keeping only the top 3 nodes and cleaning up the rest.

not only will this focus the light energy on the tops making bigger, better quality fruits, but it also allows for better circulation throughout the garden.

while this article was not written about marijuana specifically, it’s logic is sound to me.

Hope this helps



I did it to mine as well! So at week one of flower I took off all fans and anything less than 3 inches long off the stocks. I also did it to another one but trimmed again at week 3 and that one looks to have tops twice the size of the other. Good luck and happy growing!


You took ALL the fan leaves @ryry?

Yes I did except for the little fans at coming out the very top. It looked like I was growing sticks for a little bit but now it’s full of big stacking tops!

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I did the same. It works I’m sure of it.

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To each their own this is a new method that people are scared of but new things work. Everything works in different ways.


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Yea no doubt. Just wondering.
I personally do a heavy prune as well, but I make sure to leave some fan leaves.

I can’t really say that it works “better” than not pruning though, I’ve never grown a plant without pruning, so I can’t really compare.

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not great pics, but here they are

they keep falling over in the wind, now think how bad it will be when fully budded.
What do you think.


I think you should stake that bucket down some how lol. Or long stakes around plants and tie some string around them to help support the branches at least they could be a little safer from falling.