when is it too late to lollipop

When is It Too Late to Lollipop? – More Yields, Less Planting

Hey! Are you forgetting something?

Like, why did you come here at the first place? Isn’t it because you forgot to lollipop your plants? Well, yeah that was due weeks ago, dude. But we understand if you’re wondering if it’s too late or not.

So let’s check out, when is it too late to lollipop?

It is subjective to each plant. The lollipop technique performs the best during 2-3 weeks of flowering. But to determine beforehand, when it’s too late, that depends on the strains of cannabis. And obviously the condition of your plant. Some can be lollipopped at 6-8 weeks and be fine, or not fine.

Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We’ve got a lot more to unravel right? So, without further ado, let’s jump right in.

When to Lollipop And When is It Too Late?

The process of lollipopping is a ‘high-stress’ technique of growing. It is used to boost the yields of weed plants. It is usually done at the bottom ⅓ rd of your cannabis plant. 

As they rarely get any lights into them. However, some lights are more effective than some other. Like CFLs and Fluorescent lights hardly can penetrate through the leaves.

On the other hand, HPS, LEC and LEDs are much more efficient in this category. I usually use this 315w LEC Grow Light. Also, I use another LED light from MAXSISUN which is more cost effective.

Source: Big Buds Magazine

So, what were we talking about? Ah yes, Lollipopping your plants.

Lollipopping autoflower is a common technique, used by growers of indoor cannabis. The philosophy of this technique is, “less is more”. 

One of the most common question of every noob cannabis grower is when to lollipop autoflower?

Lollipopping during flowering, specifically between the 2nd to 3rd week is the ideal time. During this time, lollipopping is the most effective.

Now, let’s address the reason you’re here. How late into flowering can you lollipop? As we mentioned at the start, it differs from plant to plant. It depends on your plant’s strain and physical conditions.

But here’s a vague example to help you out. 

Suppose, you were thinking of lollipopping late in flowering phase. If the buds and shoots at the bottom have grown, let them be. Wait for the buds at the top to bloom. 

Harvest them. Then, if your lower buds are fluffy, lower your light to help them mature. If not, trim them. 

I’ve always used the trimming scissors from happy hydro. However recently a friend suggested the VIVOSUN gardening hand pruner. And man o’man, they are so comfortable and easy to use.

Therfore, it’s hard to determine how much time you can take to postpone lollipopping. Hence, you should get it done within 2-3 weeks into flowering.

Why You Should Lollipop Your Autoflower

Lollipopping is an inexpensive and space-saving technique. Unlike using different led lights to grow plants of different numbers. 

Now, this might have you thinking. ‘Should I lollipop my autoflower?’

The answer depends on what you expect out of your plants. Here’s a brief overview of what you get from lollipopping.

This technique provides the following –

  • Maintenance of apical dominance
  • Stem elongation
  • Reduces lateral bud growth
  • Assists plant in focusing its energy on top buds

So, this technique takes the plant energy to the top buds. As the lower buds do not get enough light, they are trimmed by this method.

Source: Herbies Seeds

If you want to get a heavy harvest out without planting much, this method is for you. It is also highly effective if you live in a damp climate.

Pros and Cons of Lollipopping

Often times we adopt methods without knowing the good and bad. But we promised the details. So now, we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of lollipopping.


There are few benefits of lollipopping. Some of them are given below-

  • Makes more space in your garden or growing area.
  • While growing, areas with less light get lesser growth. Those are the parts at the bottom usually. And lollipopping is about pruning the lower buds. This allows the buds at the top to receive more energy.
  • Reduces chances of pest and mold infection for those growing in moist areas.  
  • Improves harvest quality and quantity.
  • Effective lollipopping can convert B grade stash to A grade buds.

For a cannabis grower with a budget, this method is a great option for harvests. 


Along with advantages there are also sone drawbacks. The disadvantages of lollipopping are given below- 

  • It’s not a universal method for all kinds of cannabis.
  • The trimming process is tedious.
  • Inexperience in trimming can cause accidents. Such as trimming off too much of your plant. Or areas that should not be trimmed.
  • If your cannabis strain is auto, it can decrease overall yields.

So, if you’re strain is a type of autoflower, you need to be more careful. Care should be taken for growing autoflowers indoors.

2 Methods for Lollipopping Your Cannabis Plant

By now you know when to lollipop weed plant. But is it clear to you that how to lollipop?

Most growers usually lollipop their plants with their hands. If you’re uncomfortable doing that, this segment is for you.

Removing lower buds is all that lollipopping stands for. You have to make sure to remove the leaves without cutting the shoot.

Also, you should remove any popcorn bud site. Or else they’ll regrow within a week.

Here are 2 ways you can lollipop your cannabis plant –

Method 1: Top-Down Lollipopping

In this method, you are to remove the entire bottom growth of your plant. This will aid in enhancing the potential of your plant.

  • To do so, about 4 nodes down the top, take the stem between your fingers. 
  • Then, slide down your fingers, and catch smaller branches and growth.
  • The stem should not bend, and the plant shouldn’t be damaged. 
  • Next, remove the branches and remove any remnant offshoots.

Method 2: Bottom-Up Lollipopping

If you’re not confident in doing the first method, you can try the bottom-up method.

Go up from the bottom of your plant. Cut off small branches and growth with a scissor. So that the top 50%-70% can flourish.

Common Mistakes of Cannabis Growers

Since each plant has a different structure and condition, mistakes are bound to be made. 

Here are 4 common mistakes made while growing cannabis:


If your plants look droopy and have chlorosis, this might be the cause. This will cause the root zone to suffer. Thus, halting the growth.

Source: GrowDiaries

If not resolved, gradually pests and diseases will take over your plant. To avoid this problem, try to maintain a regular feeding schedule.

Here are some plastic cans for easy watering indoor.

Heat Stress

This happens for both outdoor and indoor cannabis. The edges of the leaf will appear brown and yellow.

For indoor growers, simply change position of the lamp to avoid this problem. You can also use a light meter to test the condition.

Nutrient Burn

This refers to when your weed plant has been overfed with nutrients, e.g. potassium, nitrogen and phosphorus.

These plants need to be fed in appropriate doses. Not more nor less. Hence, they’ll exhibit stress symptoms.

Source: Homegrown Cannabis Co.

Most common symptom when leaves start becoming brown. From tip and along the leaf. The tips will later bend and become a crispy claw.

Light Burn

Occurs due to prolonged exposure to LED and HPS lights. It might also cause your cannabis hairs unable to turn red.

Symptoms appear on top of the plants. Leaves become brown, yellow and has visible spots.

To avoid this, check on the buds closest to the lights.

We hope this segment helps you prevent rookie mistakes. 


Should I Remove Fan Leaves During Flowering? 

Definitely you should remove fan leaves during flowering. But in the right way. Removing fan leaves will open more access for light and air for the lower canopy. With proper thinning, you can remove up to 40% of the mid and upper foliage. 

Will Pruning Increase Yield?

Yes it wil increase yieldl. Pruning is an essential garden maintenance task. If cannabis plants are left ignored, they grow as big as a Christmas tree. Which also means, growth will be uneven. So is the yield. By pruning out the lollipop zones, your plant puts more focus to the top. Thus producing higher quality yield.

Can Cannabis Plants Get Wind Burned?

Yes, cannabis plants can get wind burned.. Intense wind can cause your weed plant to get stressed. For indoor plants, this may occur when fans are placed in wrong positions. But this is not common in outdoor plants. Symptom will include, leaves curling into creepy green finger-like claws. 


That’s all we have. We hope we could help you figure out when is it too late to lollipop.

We have a tip for you. Combining lollipopping with mainlining and ScrOG can boost energy directed towards the canopy.

Hope your greens produce the best harvest!

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