Definition - What does Pruning mean?
In cannabis cultivation, pruning is the art of removing parts of the plant in order to enhance its growth. It is an essential process in increasing yields of marijuana and developing the best-quality buds.
There are a few pruning techniques cannabis growers use in their grow rooms. When pruning, growers might cut off dead leaves so that more energy in the plant will be devoted to developing flowers. They might also prune smaller branches and/or fan leaves so that the nutrients and resources in the plant are redirected to form bigger colas.
Hydrolife explains Pruning
A grower prunes when the plant first starts getting bushy. The auxiliary branches make smaller popcorn buds, so when you cut off these the main branches get more water and also more access to sunlight. The main parts to focus on pruning are the lower branches that don't receive as much sunlight as well as the dead leaves and bud sites lower on the plant.
You shouldn't prune more than 2 or 3 weeks into flowering. It is an important process in training the plant to grow great buds.
Pruning is easily done with a pair of sterilized scissors or even by hand. Focus first on removing larger branches, then move onto other branches that are growing into the middle of the plant. Then you can cut off the smaller bud sites. It's important to work in intervals rather than doing all of the pruning at once so that the plant doesn't go into shock.
Some types of pruning are done to intentionally add stress to the plant. When the plant is stressed, it is said to produce higher amounts of beneficial compounds growers seek, like terpenes and trichomes. These compounds are generated in times of stress, so intentionally nicking a plant here and there is said to be beneficial. (See Lollipoping, Super Cropping, and High-Stress Training.)