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Fimming vs Topping

When you grow cannabis plants, you want buds as much as possible.

And, for that, you put every effort to get so.

You put your money, tools, growth fertilizers, and whatnot.

Well, if you don’t top or fim your plants then you might not get the desired or deserving result from your garden even after this much effort.

This is how important knowing about fimming or topping is.

Don’t worry, if you are completely new to these terms. In this guide, I am going to share everything about fimming and topping.

At the end of this, you will be able to get more output from your garden.

So, let’s get started:

Fimming vs Topping Cannabis Plants – What it is?

Let me start from the very basics:

Fimming and topping are the two techniques that help your cannabis plants to produce more yield.


It is very simple.

But before I tell you that, let me dig deeper for a better understanding for you:

When your plant is growing and you don’t do any of the techniques, the complete energy of the plant goes in one direction i.e., upward.

And, this leads to a very thin plant without many side branches ultimately leading to less yield.

Because when there will be a single stem without much lateral growth, you might get a few colas on the top.

And, to avoid this scenario, this is where the topping and fimming techniques come into play!


Talking about topping first then under this, you cut the apex of your plant so that the complete energy of your plant does not go in one direction.

After cutting the apex, the plant hormones get distributed in a balanced way and help in the lateral growth of the plant.

This leads to more branches, more colas, and ultimately to more yield.


Historically, fimming is not a professional technique. It was developed mistakenly by a grower.

Though it resulted in heavy yield which made this mistake cum technique famous among the other growers.

This is why people know this technique by the acronym “F**k I missed!

While fimming also works in the same fashion as the topping.

The key difference is instead of completely cutting, fimming removes only 75% of the tip, leaving some foliage still attached, unlike topping in which the whole tip is removed.

And, both techniques help increase the yield of the garden drastically.

While keeping in mind that these are high-stress techniques (HST), and therefore, there are several factors which you need to take care of.

I will discuss those further.

However, first, let’s get to know how you can top or fim your cannabis plant:

How to Top Cannabis Plant?

As of now, you know the basics of topping and fimming.

It is the right time to know how you can top your cannabis plants to boost the yield.

Here is the step-by-step guide which you can even follow along:

Step 1. Get your tools

Prepare your tools. Get a pair of pruning scissors or a razor blade. Get a chair to sit stably and focus on the task.

Before we move further, make sure to clean your scissors. Use 9 parts of water with 1 part of bleach to disinfect the tool.

This is important because it will help your plant to avoid any bacterial or fungal infection.

Step 2. Finding the right spot

Before you remove the tip, make sure you find the right spot. Although in the topping, you have to remove the apex, still, you need to be careful while selecting the nodes.

Step 3. Top your plant

Once you found the right spot, just top or remove the apex of your plant. Make sure to avoid any mistakes. Be careful.

And, once everything is done in the right way, you will be able to observe your plant healing from the stress, and within some more days, you will get a heavy plant.

Factors to Keep in Mind While Topping

Apart from the steps you follow for the topping, there are some other factors which you need to take care of:

  1. Stage

Topping in the right growth stage of your plant is a must.

Because if you do so in the wrong growth stage, your plant might suffer. Ideally, you should top your plant in the third or fourth week of vegetative growth.

Or, in an observing way, when you see 4 to 6 nodes, then it is a good time to top the plant.

Some growers do this early and it is a huge mistake.

Because you need to know after this training technique, your plant needs time to recover from the stress.

And, once your plant will have around 5 to 6 nodes, it will have more area to do photosynthesis and will recover faster as well.

Therefore, wait for the right stage to come and then move to the training technique.

2. Strain

Depending upon strain type, you should use the training technique.

It is because if your strain is capable to produce a higher yield even without the training then you should avoid it.

It is because some strains can even reduce the yield with training if not done in the right manner.

Some weed strains are thin and grow like a Christmas tree but still produce impressive yield. In that case, one need not put any stress training on it.

Additionally, if you are not aware of the strain knowledge then still, you can put a trial and error method to see if your gardening results are improved by these training techniques.

3. Method

Use the right method to do the topping.

Avoid mistakes.

Because many newbie growers blindly follow the training technique without doing it in the right way and hope for a larger yield, which never happens.

Instead putting HST in the wrong way can even drastically reduce the yield.

Therefore, before you put any technique on your plant, make sure to get to know about it and do it in the right method to get the most out of it.

Pros of Topping:

  • Topping gives you a better yield
  • It helps the plant to be bushier
  • Lateral growth increases

Cons of Topping:

  • Takes at least 2-week time for recovering
  • Need to put more water, nutrients after this training

How to Fim Cannabis Plant?

Fimming your cannabis plant is almost the same as the topping.

The major difference is that in fimming you don’t remove the tip completely. Instead, you just remove 75% of the tip and keep some part of the tip there.

This technique also helps the growers to achieve larger yields. And, as said before, it is a technique developed by error, still, growers with limited space use it for better results in the garden.

Now, let’s move to the steps:

Steps 1 and 2 are the same as in the topping.

Get your tools, disinfect them, and find the right spot for fimming.

Once you got the place rightly, just fim over there.

If done correctly you will be able to get the results within some days or weeks depending upon the recovery time of your plant.

Factors to Keep in Mind While Topping

Like topping, there are some factors as well in case of fimming, which you should keep in mind:

  1. Timing

With the fimming technique, timing matters the most.

You don’t have to fim your plant when it has started flowering or is quite young to tolerate the stress.

Ideally, you should wait for the appearance of 5-6 nodes in your plant. This will ensure that your plant can tolerate the stress that you will be putting on.

Therefore, make sure to fim on the perfect time, when your plant is healthy and can tolerate the training stress.

2. Method

In the case of fimming, the strain does not matter like topping.

Because in this training, you are just removing some part of the tip, instead of the whole apex.

Though that doesn’t matter you can do it in any way. Rather, fimming needs attention and care just like topping.

Even though it doesn’t put much stress over the plant, still, it is needed to be done correctly. Otherwise, there will not be any improvement in the yield.

Pros of Fimming:

  • Boost in the yield
  • Lateral growth of the plant increases drastically
  • Stress is low
  • Plant recovers rapidly
  • Create four colas at main while topping creates only two

Cons of Fimming:

  • No error should be there otherwise it will not work
  • Fimming can be stressful for young plant

Tips For Topping and Fimming

In these techniques, removal of some parts is involved, and that puts stress on the plant. If your plant is healthy, and the technique is performed in the right way, your plant will recover rapidly.

While on the other hand, it can also affect negatively the plant’s health, and yield.

Therefore, here are some tips to make sure you get the most out of these techniques:

  • Don’t perform either of the techniques when your plant is immature or too young. Some growers do either of HST in hurry to get the larger yield, and this leads to a negative impact on the plant. The thumb rule is that you can wait until there are 4-6 nodes on your plants for topping and 3-5 nodes for fimming.
  • If your plant is growing faster and producing leaves every day then it is ready for stress training. You can observe that in your plant.
  • Don’t top or fim in the flowering stage.
  • Always disinfect the cutting tools. Because cutting some part of your plant can open up the way to fungal and bacterial infections. And to avoid that, make sure to use the disinfectant.
  • Always check the right spot before cutting in case of both fimming and topping.
  • Avoid cutting between the nodes in case of fimming.
  • Do a little bit of homework about your strains before implementing any technique.

Which Technique is Best? Topping or Fimming?

Talking about most of the growers, then they opt for the topping technique.

Because it is more reliable and gives better results if done in the right way.

However, that doesn’t matter you should also go with that. Rather, you can choose as per your requirement.

Limited space growers often choose fimming because it is more beneficial for them.

Another reason for fimming is that it puts less stress on the plant. Therefore, even in limited space and resources, plants can recover quickly.

While as of topping, it removes the whole part of the tip in the plant that leads to more stress and therefore, should be done when the plant is completely mature and can tolerate the stress.

Summing up, fimming and topping have their pros and cons.

Depending upon the need of the grower, one can opt for either of the training techniques to get the desired results.


  1. When to top cannabis plants?

When your plant is completely mature or can tolerate the training stress. The right way to do this is to observe when the plant has 4-6 nodes in case of topping and 3-5 nodes in case of fimming.

2. When to fim cannabis plants?

Although fimming puts less stress comparatively topping but still, you should perform this training when the plant has around 3-5 nodes at least.

3. Which technique is better for me?

Topping is popular. While fimming is opted by mostly limited-space growers. Talking about benefits then, both of training have their own. Ultimately you have to decide which training method can benefit your plants the most.


Fimming and topping are the training techniques, which are quite helpful to boost the yield of your garden.

Finally, you know how to perform, pros, and cons of these techniques. Now, you will have a better knowledge about increasing the yield of your garden.

You can surely choose either of these techniques from the next cultivation. However, make sure to perform the technique without any error to get the most out of it.

About Joe George
Hey guys, I am Joe G and I provide educational indoor medical home grow guides that demonstrate indoor gardening practices on a budget as organically as possible.

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