marijuana seedlings branching

Cannabis Plant Anatomy: Nodes And Internodes

The importance of knowing how to read the signs your cannabis plants are sending you the grower is invaluable. We focus on nodes and internodes to assist you interpreting those marijuana messages.


In the wild, the cannabis lifecycle begins when a seed germinates and begins to burrow into the soil with a root. A stem will develop, and a sprout with a pair of leaves will emerge. During the seedling stage, the baby plant is literally finding its feet. Only as the infant plant begins to transition to vegetative growth does the cannabis grower begins to notice nodes and internode spacing. More so, as the vegetative stage progresses.

In ordinary decent grower terms, nodes are the intersection or joint between branches and the main stem or between a branch and new secondary shoots. While an internode is simply the gap between nodes. So far so simple. However, thoroughly understanding the nodes and internodes and knowing what to look for can be enormously advantageous to the cannabis grower.



Indica cannabis plants are characterised by their short stature and densely branching structure. This is because they develop more nodes with tight internode spacing. In contrast, sativa cannabis plants are far taller and less branchy. Stretching is common to sativa varieties. Typically, plants develop fewer nodes with large internodal spaces between sets of branches. Of course, hybrids will exhibit a mix of both indica and sativa traits. Some will lean towards the indica side, others to the sativa side.


Usually, after weeks 3-6 of vegetative growth, cannabis plants will begin to display pre-flowers. For the grower with a keen eye and knows what to look for, this is invaluable information – especially if you happen to be cropping regular seeds with the potential for 50% males.

Pre-flowers emerge from the nodes of both male and female cannabis plants. Close eye-ball inspection of the higher nodes close to the top of the main stem is the easiest way to identify emerging pre-flowers. Essentially, you are looking for two very fine white hairs protruding from a tiny growth on the node. These hairs are really pistils emerging from a calyx just like what happens later in bloom with the flowers.

On the other hand, if you see a bump that resembles a cluster of grapes, this is a red flag for a male in the grow-op. Moreover, in rare cases or if the plants have been stressed, some may display both male and female pre-flowers. Intersex plants are commonly referred to as “hermies” by growers, short for hermaphrodite. Just like males, they too must be removed to ensure a pure sinsemilla harvest. The diligent grower regularly checks for growth on the nodes even if he/she is cultivating from feminized seeds, just in case.


Stretchy growth and large internodal spacing are not always due to genetics. Wide temperature fluctuations and lights either too weak or too far away from plants can cause plant stretching. Cold nights and hot days will induce stretchy growth. To keep internode spacing to a minimum and avoid branches snapping later it’s critical to maintain consistent environmental control of the grow-op. Outdoors, this is more challenging, and plants may need to be taken inside at night if temperatures plummet.



In order to prune for yield or trim plants for a tidy, you need to make the right cuts in the right places at the right time. A clean cut is one made close to the node with a sterile scissors. The the most common pruning techniques to increase yield are Topping and Fimming; make sure you apply these high yield pruning practices during vegetative growth. During bloom, trimming should be kept to a minimum to avoid stressing plants.

Both the Topping and Fimming methods involve removing a portion of the apical bud or main stem. Topping is a clean cut made to the tip, entirely removing it. Fimming is not so clean and tidy, and pinching is probably more appropriate than using a scissors. Simply pinch off 75% of the main growing tip between your fingers. Whichever method you choose to apply, the number of colas will be increased as the shoots emerging from the nodes below the cut will become the new main colas.


Taking a cutting or cloning your marijuana is the best way to preserve winning grow-op genetics. Generally, the oldest most mature branches make for the most successful clones. These are to be found closer to the bottom of the plant rather than the top. Plants grow up so that the newest freshest tips are towards the top and rarely root well when clipped for clones.

Cuttings are mostly taken during vegetative growth. Although, monster cropping requires taking cuttings from plants 4 weeks into the bloom cycle and re-vegging the cuts. Regardless, the method is the same and growers enjoy the greatest success cloning from the bottom up.

It’s important to know your marijuana inside out. In this blog we examine the role nodes and internodes play in cannabis cultivation.

HELP,stretching with no side branching ,PEAKSEEDS-Northenberry


help, stretching with no side branching ,northenberry
HELP,stretching with no side branching ,PEAKSEEDS-Northenberry

I have 10 peakseeds northernberry started from seeds I bought from peakseeds. I have 100% germ rate and all survived well to the veg stage. Now the plants are just stretching and not growing out sideways at all .The are still in veg under a 400mh in 8″ pots but there is to much node spacing, 4″ and no good spots to take clones from. rather I have 2ft plants with huge fan leaves and a nice top on each but I need to get the plants to fill out rather than get taller..I noticed the stems are very thick with ribs like celery and also hollow , this fact makes it difficult to bend versus other strains I have grown that
dont have the hollow ribbed stems. when I try and bend them they just fold over and snap, I hate when this happens. I am a firm believer in bending to get the plants to fill out but these are not cooperating at all.I have over come this problem before in other strains by cutting the top off completely but I really hate to cut the tops and prefer to spRead the hormones via bending over like and ostrich in the sand. I had to take some garden wire and start at the base of the plant main stem and start wrapping in a spiral around the stem up to the very top of the plant, so to support the stem when I arch it over to get the tip lower then the majority of the plant so the hormones can start new growth lower on the plant. I haven’t seen much happening though.I will include a few pics once I take them tonight. I really need help to get these plants into a state where I can pic a mother and sex and flower the rest. Some of them are showing some pre-sex trait but honestly my biggest problem is to much vertical growth and no side branching.
has any one had this problem with this strain or others and over came it.

I need to take some clones so I can sex them and honestly there is not any where other than the top to take any from and I dont like to cut the tops ever, prefering to bend and creat multiple tops.

pics to come tonight.

envoirment info..
light : 400mh 18″ from tops, no burning issue with light or nutrients
feed: veg formula , advanced nutrients sensi a+b 1500ppm ph 6.4
Supplements : piranha,voodoo juice, humic acid, seaweed extract , B52 B1 , postaium silicate . all at regular levels from the advanced nutrients down was phosphoric acid and all were measured using oakton meters for ph and TDS.
soil: promix with added perlite,cococoir, shrimp compost, black earth. all additions are at low levels of about 10/1
temps:72 day 65 night light cycle 18hr
air: fresh air intake daily no CO2
pot size: 3rd week of veg in 8″ width 8″ hieght pots , round, but will be transplanted to 3gl or 5 gln soon. just trying to wait till sex shows before I do the transplant to save effort in cultivating to many males..
circulation: 12″ rotating fan..

leaves:nice color of dark green , 5 fingers, long fat fingers, no curling, mostly are fan leaves as there is very little branching or donor sites for clones, [this is the problem]

stem: nice lighter green color, ribbed like celery stock, thick and hard to bend other than the top 5″, hollow and collapses easily if bending is started past 35 deg angle, it will crack/snap like romane lettuce when pushed to far

height: 2ft plus , they have big fan leaves but are really bean stocks with large node spacing and only little finger nail size baby leaves at each node other than the actual top.

final thought: these should be very good plants as they have all the characteristics of great genetics like nice thick stems and huge fan leaves and nice deep green color .They
are just not branching out rather turning out more like a single stem cola variety which I would prefer not to have. they have great vigor and are very uniform in the traits they possess but I dont think they are turning out like they should be. please check out the pics that I post to this post.

the pics were taken and hour after I did a neem oil and safers endall inoculation so there is leaf curling that looks rather bad in the pic but with in 2 days they bounced back and are back to normal.. please take a look at the fact there is very little growth from the nodes and NO side branching at all.. You will notice the use of garden wire around the stems, this was a measure taken to give the stem strength during bending and or to repair a stem which has broken from a previous bending attempt..
so please give me some feed back on how to get these plants to sprout some branches . Just one more thing , I also have used ADVANCED NUTRIENTS PRODUCT CALLED V.H.O. its a growth stimulator used to promote branching in veg stage for mothers and crop plant . I have used it with good success many times before but it is not working with this strain. I only did 2-3 applications at 500ppm so I didnt over do it for sure. but have gotten good results with this strength and even higher but its a good ppm to start with on new plants.

I have included 3 pics of the peakseeds northernberry for example
as well as 1 pic of an average plant I have veg and has just been put into flower 2 days, I used various bending methods to achieve the multi stem and tops on this plant and it not a particularly good example of what I like to grow as I just grabbed the closest plant to me when taking a pic to show how I usually grow a plant in veg.

is it possible I cant get this strain [peakseeds northernberry>to do anything but a single cola style, It doesn’t seem to be that way with other examples I seen on line with this strain?

is it possible that it will not do branching until later in veg life?

is it likely the pot size has caused this and if I transplant it will exploid with branching growth?

what should I do to get these plants in hyper drive like most of the plants I grow.

help, stretching with no side branching ,northenberry HELP,stretching with no side branching ,PEAKSEEDS-Northenberry I have 10 peakseeds northernberry…