To top, or not to top? That is the question.


New member
I am considering growing some Critical Skunk, and I would like the opinion of those of you who have grown this strain. Should I let it grow in it's natural state, or should I top it? If topping is suggested, how many times is recommended? Also, how long of a veg for an indoor grow with a 1.5 meter height limit? Thank you for your input.


New member
I have not grown critical skunk but i have grown several varieties with similar genetics (skunk/afghan). From my experience the skunk dominants tend to triple in height during stretch. If you have the luxury, I would clone each plant and bloom the seed plant and see what they do, odds are you will find a plant that is critical mass dominant and stay compact enough to grow naturally in your space. If you can't take the time, topping can help control height, but expect them to get bushy and take up a little extra horizontal space. Another option is LST or maybe a scrog, a little more involved and a longer veg time but you can accomplish quite a bit in a small space. Hope this helps some more than none.

Joe King Park

Active member
I Never Topped Until I Had A Accident And Stem Broke

Two Shark Shit; One Topped ( Accidently Snapped Off The Top Of One :eek: ). The Topped One Is Bulkier And Is Producing More Buds. Both Plants Share The Same Pot So Get The Same Feed. Maybe I'll Top My Next Flowering Plant;)
P.S; I've Also Included Some Images Of Bent Plants In Case You Can't Bring Yourself To Top Your Beautiful Plants;)



New member
Very nice examples JKP. Ive yet to find a strain that doesnt respond well to any of these methods, though I have not yet tried scrog. Im just estimating but I think the plants I top yield somewhere around 50% more than the plants I dont.

Joe King Park

Active member
Bend Her Til She Sheds A Tear

Very nice examples JKP. Ive yet to find a strain that doesnt respond well to any of these methods, though I have not yet tried scrog. Im just estimating but I think the plants I top yield somewhere around 50% more than the plants I dont.
Thanks For The Compliment LCV Organics :) . I Practice SCROG Techniques But Don't Use A Screen Or Twist Ties, Etc .
Basically I Bend The Plants Til They Shed A Tear. When Bending A Branch At90 Degrees It Will Cause The Stem To Collapse And Normally A Drop Of Moisture From The Plant Will Ooze Out. Once Recovered The Branch Will Remain Bent, Opening Up Your Canopy So New Flower Sites Will Develop. Yield Will Also Be Better By Bending And Not Topping. This Technique Is Also Great For Bringing Stretched Plants Back Into Line By Bending.
Every Year I Grow A " MommaBent " Plant ;)
The Bend Will Form A Large , Brittle Knuckle That Must Be Staked And Tied To Support Weight And Prevent The Knuckle From Snapping
Heres A Grapefruit That Did'nt Get A Good Start In Life ( All The Branches Had Fused Together:confused: And I Ended Up Cutting The Branches Vertically Which Fixed The Plant:)
As Always I Think An Image Or Four Is Better Than My Attempt To Explain Verbally:rolleyes:
Peace, J.K.P:)



i grew it out and all pheno's were very squat and wide so i wouldn't top unless you like very wide plants, mine mainly doubled but nothing went over 3x stretch and that was even rare...aromatically the best plant i've ever grown and it was so covered in trichs the leaves were frosty...not the most potent but otherwise a 10/10 in all other catergories


New member
toppings can sure do good especially sativa dom. plants which can grew too tall for some space
Yeh, I think it depends on the strain and your growing conditions. I ran matched pairs of identical clones from a few favorite strains last year to do an A/B comparison on how topping influenced yield. I picked clones that we're pretty much identical height/size and topped one but not the other and ran them side by side.

I was a bit surprised to find that, in these cases, the untopped plants out performed the topped plants in yield. It was a small, but clear advantage for the untopped plants. (One of these was a low yielding kush type plant and the other was a skunk/haze cross that is also a light yielder).

I have had good results with topping in the past, often of indica dominant plants I think ... but these results convinced not to top any of my current keeper clones.


New member
topping or no

I agree with Badrabbit that not topping will outperform topped plants in same time frame. That is why with long plants do as Joe King Park always promotes with long plants, and I agree, Bend them and support them, especially if there are height restrictions indoors. supporting wires hanging from the cieling above also useful IME.

This plant has essentially been topped,that is harvested and then revegged and now into 12/12. flowering for 3rd time. some branches here are being suspended by poking a wire through the foil.


I top them early and often, usually at node 3 and node 6. No shit. They may be tiny little seedlings but they recover and produce nice 'candelabra' shaped plants.


New member
I have topped every branch of a mango haze to try and keep it to about 6 foot, fighting a losing battle with that 1 :)

i topped the critical mass when it was young and it is 2 large donkey dicks heading to 6 foot.

Elmer Bud

G`day Yogi

Crit Skunk I`d top 2-3 times .
Critical and Skunk are both susceptible to mold . Better to lose a cpl of branches of small buds . Than the majority of the plant if the crown gets moldy .

Don`t top after you see pre flowers . Veg is over and the plant wont recover as well .

Thanks for sharin

EB .


Active member
I topped my mothers and put them into 12/12 after recovering and now regretting it.
Branches went up at 30 degrees or less and fan leaves are thick and over lapping.
Like I mentioned, I top early, 2-3 " (5-7cm). They recover very quickly and fill out great. Last grow I did let them go without topping and the yield was low (sativa dominant hybrids).

I did a limited experiment and found some strains would stretch below the topped node and others would stretch above the node. It was a fat leaf/skinny leaf thing. I do not remember which was which at the moment.