Can one plant have more than one cola? It’s been Prove many times that it can be done. It’s actually very easy and straightforward. By pruning the plant the right way and the right time you can get up to 4 big colas.
So, what is a cola, anyway? A cola is the long thick bud that some plants produce. It’s called a cola after the Spanish word for tail. Not every plant gets a big cola as a result of strain and growing techniques and some get really big ones. If you’re growing for fun you should try for big coals because it will impress people.
The biggest colas probably come from single cola plants. Still, if you want more yields then multiple colas will probably deliver. You can do it by training the plant or by trimming it. We’ll talk trimming here.
Pinching off the main stem of the young plant is what I’m calling “trimming”. This is a common practice with many plants. Gardeners have been doing it for centuries. Pinching off the tips of fuchsias causes them to double the of blooms. The method is also used to get tall plants to stay short and bushy.
There are two ways to pinch off this type of plant. You get a slightly different outcome with each technique. Each technique has its fans. You can try both and make up your own mind about which you prefer.
You should let the plant grow until it has5 or 6 sets of branches. The place where these branches leave the main stem are called nodes. They occur on the main stem, and the plant keeps growing up the center by popping out a shoot between the nodes, going upwards.
If you pinch this growing tip off just above the 5th or 6th node the plant will replace the pinched off tip with two new ones on each side of the main stem. These will create two new main stems. Each will shoot off leaves and branches, but each will remain dominant stems.
You can do this different ways. If you like, you can just keep pinching off any central shoot that you see. You’ll get lots of little buds, but no huge colas. Or, you can pinch less. One way will create 2 big colas, and the other will create 4. Either way, you should get some big ones.
The first method requires you to wait until the plant has developed five or six nodes. You cut off the main stem leaving two nice healthy nodes below. You’ll get new stems from where you cut the stem as well as from the node below that. Two sets of new stems means 4 colas. The second way is to pinch the plant off one node lower. That will only leave one good inter node to sprout. Two sprouts equal two colas.
What happens if you wait until the plant is taller and then pinch the stem at the 10th node? Do you get even more colas? The answer is yes, but the colas are smaller. Small colas aren’t worth calling colas. They’re buds, and that’s all. They still work, mind you, and will perhaps increase overall yield. The thing is that clipping the stem manipulates the plant’s hormones. You can’t go too far before it stops working. Too much pruning will get lots of small buds, not lots of huge colas.
That’s about all there is to it. Clip and wait for Nature to take it’s course. Gardeners will argue about which method is best, but it’s hard to get a definitive answer. There are really no controlled experiments that I know of. There are lots of variables.Lights, nutrients and strain all have their roles to play. Try to spread the plant out (4 big buds will help here) so that light gets to the lower reaches of it. Whatever you do, remember that it’s about having fun, not getting maximum yield. You’ll have plenty. And remember to root the main stem that you clip off for the future!