Tom’s facts on “Fimming” !
- Introduction – What Is FIM ?
- History of FIM !
- Why FIM ?
- How to FIM !
- Fimming Diagrams !
- Seed FIMing Verse Clone FIMing !
- Pictures Demonstrating Fimming !
- When to FIM !
- Pictures of Fimmed Sativas After 3 Weeks !
- Conclusion !
Advanced Method? Fimming is not all that advanced for growing organic marijuana, even though I have it listed under advanced growing techniques as do most websites. The only reason “fim” is listed under advanced growing techniques is because beginning growers are afraid to do it. There is nothing hard about it. There are no special tools needed and with a little instruction anybody can do it, even new beginning growers . Even if you don’t get it quite right you will not hurt your plant or production. Experienced growers don’t always get it right but it’s no big deal. So, what is FIM?
High Stress Training ? Some growers call this “High Stress Training”. Now don’t let this term “High Stress Training” get you all flustered. Your growing organic marijuana will not show any signs of stress using this method. Anytime you cut a plant it will be considered “High Stress Training” even though you will never see your plant in stress because of the method used.
Many years ago, I believe, sometime in the 1980s’, a fellow grower, I don’t know who, (and i don’t think anybody else does either) but we’ll call him “Joe Cannabis”, was looking over his growing organic marijuana. Joe noticed that some of his plants looked different from the rest. Upon closer inspection he exclaimed” Fiddlesticks I missed!” OK that’s not really what he said, but I thought I’d clean it up. What he really said was, “F_ck I missed !” You see, about a week or so before, Joe pinched the top of his plants off. Joe Cannabis did this because he knew that by pinching off the top of his plants he would get at the very least two tops. Two top colas are better than one because weight is increased and the flowers (buds) were a more consistent size. Joe was disappointed he missed the area he was trying to pinch off but his plants still looked fine, so he let the plants develop with the bad pinching job.
Another week passed by and Joe Cannabis realized that the plants that weren’t topped (pinched) properly actually had grown more tops than the properly topped plants. In fact those plants had twice as many tops, four tops to be exact and a few even had five and even six tops. You see, Joe was growing a lot of plants and had apparently missed his mark pinching back a few of his plants. Joe Cannabis was thrilled with his discovery, and upon investigating what had really caused this, he realized he had only pinched about 80% of the growing tip off and missed pinching off the top growing node. A node is the area of a plants stem from which the leaves and branches grow. Joe Cannabis realized that this could revolutionize how marijuana plants were grown and wanted to share what he had learned with the world. Joe wrote in to a Marijuana forum telling of his discovery and the FIM method was born. FIM is the abbreviation for “Fiddlesticks I Missed!” OK, OK, It’s really, “F_ck I Missed !”
The reason for fimming is simple. The first thing fimming does is severely retard the main stems growth.This is what we want and it is a good thing. With the main stems growth slowed down, the plant sends more growing energy to lower branches giving them time to grow as tall as the main stem, thus making more tops. Fimming also stimulates other branch sites near the top forcing them to explode with growth creating more bud sites and again more tops. With lower branches as tall as the top cola, and along with more top branches created, your plant has now developed a nice even canopy of 5 to 7 colas. Fimming not only increases branch, bud and cola production, but overall weight is also increased and the buds produced are a more consistent size.
Easy To Do But Exacting ! At the very top of your plant spread the very top new growing fan leaves out-of-the-way and cut the new growing tip 50 to 80 % off, being careful not to cut the top growing node off. The cut should be made just above the last (top) node of the plant. That’s all there is to it. Wasn’t that hard ? Why I say Exacting ! To obtain perfect results your cut must be fairly exact. However if you do miss the mark, the worst you can do is cut the top node off, which is what many growers do anyway. Your plants will not have as many tops as with fimming but your plants will still have two or more tops.
Fimming A Plant Grown From Seed !
The above drawing was done by a fellow grower “Dier Wolf” for “Grass City Forums”. I have modified the drawing to bring it up to date.
Fimming A Plant Grown From A Clone !
The drawing below has been drastically altered from Dier Wolf’s original drawing, by me, to show the difference of fimmimg a plant from a clone.
Did you notice the difference ? A marijuana plant grown from seed will always grow “symmetrically”. Growing symmetrically means that as branches grow they will always grow directly across from one-another on the stem. Marijuana plants grown from a seed will always grow this way ! On the other hand marijuana plants grown from a clone will always grow ” asymmetrically”. Asymmetrically means the growing branches do not grow directly across from one-another but grow from different areas on the stem. A marijuana clone will never grow its branches equally or directly across from one-another. Fimming a marijuana plant grown from a clone requires a more precise cut because there is less room for error.
FIM when your marijuana plants are approximately one foot tall. This example is a plant from a clone. If fimming a plant grown from seed wait untill you know the plants sex.
Cut the growing tip off being careful not to cut a node!
After the cutting ! The tip is removed!
Another Example #2 !
Before the cut !
After the cut !
After the cut again !
Another Example #3 !
Before the cut, folding fan leaves out-of-the-way to get to new growing tip !
After the cut, folded fan leaf showing left of cut.
Best Time To FIM ! The best time to FIM a plant is when it’s between 9 and 12 inches tall. Any growing tip can be fimmed including branches. Some growers like myself only FIM once at about 12″ tall and only the top of the plant. Other growers FIM more than once and may FIM the tip of branches. While still again some growers pinch or cut back the top and FIM after new growth begins again. There is no right or wrong time to FIM a vegetating marijuana plant or how many times you do it. It comes down to personal preference and what variety you are growing. Some marijuana species do better Fimmed than others do. There are some varieties that don’t like it at all, but experimenting is the only way to find out which ones do well. I have found that almost all Sativa dominate varieties respond very well to Fimming while many Indica dominate varieties do not.
Only FIM in the vegetating stage of growing ! “Never” FIM in the Flowering stage and “Never” top a plant in the flowering stage !
Recuperating Time ! A marijuana plant that has been Fimmed, needs 2 to 4 weeks to rejuvenate before you flower it. This is the same time a topped plant needs to rejuvenate before flowering. Fimming recuperating time is closer to 3 weeks and topping recuperating time is closer to 4 weeks.
There Is A Trade Off When Fimming ! Always keep in mind : The larger the stem or branch the larger the flowers (buds). The fatter that stem is or branch is, the fatter the buds will be. This always holds true. If you don’t FIM your plants they will have the shape of a Christmas tree. Your marijuana plant will have one massive top cola. That one cola will be impressive. However if you FIM a plant you will have smaller colas but many more of them. Your Fimmed plant will not look like a Christmas tree but it will be wider with a fairly flat top. If you have let your Fimmed plant rejuvenate long enough, the colas may not even be that much smaller. Your Fimmed plant will have a more even canopy with more buds the same size with increased yield. (weight) The other advantage of Fimming is it keeps your plants shorter which is usually preferable for an indoor grow.
Are You Growing One Plant Or Many ? The folks that are growing only one or two plants at a time may want to cut back and then fim or they may want to Fim more than once. This will give you maximum production but take more time. Keep in mind, each time you Fim or cut back a plant it needs rejuvenation time. If you started your plant from a seed or a clone it will be ready to be fimmed or cut back in about a months time. Each time you fim your plant it will need 2 to 3 weeks to come back and 3 to 4 weeks if topped or cut back. Add up the time. If you cut back once and fim once that will take about 2 months more vegetating before you can flower that plant. If you fim or cut back a third time add another month. Now your growing organic marijuana plant has taken 4 months time vegetating. If you are growing one or two plants this extra time growing may well be worth your efforts. The more you Fim and cut back your plants the wider they become. They stay shorter but grow wider which may be perfectly fine if you are only growing a few plants. Growers that have many plants will usually only top or Fim their plants once because vegetating time will only be about 8 weeks before going into flower and because they take up less space than plants fimmed or topped multiple times.
Below are pictures of sativa dominate plants that were Fimmed three weeks ago and are now ready to be put into flower.
This plant below has developed 5 1/2 tops after being Fimmed !
The plant below has developed six tops from being fimmed !
The two plants below were cut at the same time, three weeks ago, and are now ready to be put in the flowering room !
When looking at the pictures above it is easy to see which method is more productive. I will be able to harvest more buds from the plant that was fimmed than from the one that was cut back. Now for the confession! I tried to fim both of these plants, however I missed the mark on the plant on the right resulting in cutting off a node. The result was three nice tops. No, I didn’t get as many tops as the properly fimmed plant but I still achieved a nice three topper with an even canopy. Even when you miss your mark it’s more productive than if you had not done anything at all. When growing organic marijuana, Fimming the plant is the best way to go in my opinion. So, now you know what is FIM and how to FIM !
Author Tom D.