Axillary Bud

Definition - What does Axillary Bud mean?

The term “axillary bud” refers to the growth of a flower bud from the axil of a leaf. The cannabis plant usually forms either a leaf or a new branch at the axil, but will form a buds here sometimes, too.

Flower buds on cannabis plants also grow at the terminal point of the branch, as well. Trimming apical buds (terminal point buds) encourages branching and the formation of more axillary buds.

In the majority of flowering plants, flower buds are classified and described based on their various positions in a plant:

  • Terminal bud - located at the tip of the stem
  • Apical bud - located at the top of the plant
  • Axillary bud - located in the axil of the leaf
  • Adventitious bud - all other buds malforming on trunks or roots

Hydrolife explains Axillary Bud

Cannabis is grown for several reasons. Some varieties are grown for access to CBDA (for use in medicinal oils without THC) as well as for fibers (hemp). Other varieties are grown for their THC content. In these plants, the primary point of interest is in the flowers, or buds. Cannabis plants have two budding locations. They can bud at the ends of their branches, which is called apical budding. They can also bud at the juncture of a branch and leaf, which is called an axillary bud.

Of the two types of buds, axillary buds are the more important. A plant can only have one apical bud per branch, which reduces the yield considerably. However, it is possible for each branch to have multiple axillary buds, which increases the yield considerably. Trimming the apical bud locations (branch terminals) is a means of controlling growth and development.

It limits the length of branches and removes the apical bud, but encourages the development of new branches from axillary bud locations, and increases the number of buds the plant can bear as a whole. Known as topping, this process can be used in conjunction with other growing techniques to increase fullness and productivity of a cannabis plant. However, root system development and overall plant care are just as important to bud development as topping.

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