Trimming, or pruning, is the physical act of removing the unwanted parts of a plant such dead leaves, crossed branches, and diseased parts. When pruning is done, it increases the aesthetics of a plant, helps the plant grow more, and helps the plant attain good shaping. Pruning is also used to train a plant, restrict growth if required, increase the quality of fruit.

Other benefits of pruning include:

  • Increased airflow
  • Increased flowering
  • Lessened disease spread
  • Higher growth or development

When to trim, or how many times to trim, depends on the plant variety and the particular growth cycle of a given plant. It is crucial for a cultivator to get advice from horticulturalists or expert landscapers before pruning.

The two basic cuts in trimming are:

  • Heading back cut: From back to an intermediary
  • Thinning out cut: From back to point of origin

Regarding cannabis, trimming must begin several days before harvesting once the larger fan leaves are removed. It is essential to remove both the fan leaves and dying foliage before harvesting.

The most common trimming techniques include:

  • Hand trimming
  • Machine trimming
  • Wet trimming
  • Dry trimming
  • Cut short above the nodes
  • Stem or branch out
  • Growth of lateral buds