How to One Bud? What are the Advantages? All your answers

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One Bud Technique – Everything there is to know about One Budding thumbnail

Everything you need to know about the One Budding

Hey there and Welcome (back) to Free The Tree!
Today we decided to go over the One Bud Technique. Pretty well known, we figured it would be useful go over the pro’s and con’s of it and how to get your plant to one-bud.

Here’s what we’re going to go over in this tutorial:

What is the One Bud Technique?

The term “One Bud” refers to a technique of Plant training where you make you plant focus purely on her Apex. Basically, during the vegetative stage and the stretch you cut all side branches.
By constantly removing the side branches, the plant will stop spending energy one them, solely focusing on the Apex.
By the end of the flowering stage you’ll have one, massive, bud.

Close up on 2 harvested plants grow using one-bud style
2 harvested plants trained using the one bud technique

What are the pro’s and con’s of One Bud?

One Budding definitely has some strong points, but overall it’s not one of our favorite plant training techniques.
Here’s an overview of the main pro’s and con’s we found


  • You can have much more plants in any given space
  • Your buds will be MASSIVE
  • Limited risks since you have multiple plants. If you mess up on one you’ll still have the other(s) to cover.
  • Good for small grow spaces
  • Shorter vegetative stage
  • Each plant will render less flowers at harvest time
  • You’ll have more plants to take care of
  • Many strains are developed in order to develop multiple side branches.
    For this reason, make sure you take a strain that doesn’t have that type of trait in her.
  • If the stem or root system is too weak the plant won’t hold under the weight of its bud.
  • Drying and curing can take longer due to bud density.
One Bud marijuana so heavy it leans sideways
One Bud leaning under bud weight

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How to One Bud?

One budding is a plant training that you should start early on within the plant’s life.

Generally, it’s best to wait until she’s grown her 3rd stage of branches before doing anything. Before that she’s a little too young, pruning her branches or leaves might stress her out a little too much, although shouldn’t kill her.

Efforts will be different during the vegetative stage and the flowering one. Most efforts will actually be done during the vegetative cycle.
During the flowering stage you only have to be careful during the stretch, after that she shouldn’t be growing any more side branches.
Let’s get into these steps.

One Bud Plant Training during the vegetative stage

As we started to say earlier, in order to one bud your plant you really need to focus your energy during the vegetative stage. To give you a good step by step guide, we’ll go through each milestone of the vegetative stage.

You’ll see, it’s actually real easy to one-bud, i’d even say it’s the easiest type of plant training out there.

Step 1 – Wait until the plant has grown 3 sets of leaves

During the first week or so you want to let your plant develop naturally, meaning that no plant training should occur.

As the title suggests, you can start your training once the third sets are leave have started to grow. By that time the plant should be well enough developed that she’ll handle the stress without any issue, using the access energy to develop the Apex of the plant.

focus on weed plant growing its 2nd stage
2nd stage growing – Too early to start plant training

Step 2 – Prune the early sets of side branches

Once the plant has finally started to grow her third stage of leaves that’s when you start the first round of pruning.
Basically the idea here is to remove all the side branches growing at the lower levels.

By doing this repetitively, the plant will naturally lose interest into her side branches, focusing the bulk of energy into the Apex. Exactly what you want when one-budding.

You do need to wait for them to grow a little before being able to prune them. The one’s on the image on the right hand side are too young to prune.

first side branches starting to grow
3rd set of leaves growing

Step 3 – Prune the low branches during growth

As the vegetative stage goes on and your plant grows more and more stages your plant will naturally new branches.
They will grow new sets of leaves as the main step does. The target here is for these side branches not to grow more than 1 set of leaves. For this you basically have 2 choices:

  • Regularly pinch the side branches, reducing the flow of nutrients being provided. This will work for a little while but after a while the knot will be too big to pinch.
  • Remove the branch (recommended, especially for the lower sets)

Before entering the stretch you can stop removing these branches since their tips should start to develop pistils, after which the plant will switch to flower development.

Pinching or pruning the side branches

One Bud Plant Training during the Flowering stage

During the flowering stage there aren’t many things to be done. Since the plant will be focusing on bud development you shouldn’t see much vegetative growth, apart from the stretch of course.

Step 4 – Pruning the branches during the Stretch

Very quickly after changing the photo-period from 18/6 to 12/12 you should start seeing pistils appear starting at the Apex, after which each level should catch on.

The only plant training that could be needed would be during the early stretch where the plant has a strong vegetative growth but be careful.
If this growth is going on vertically and/or parallel to the stem you may want to keep it. By the end of the flowering stage it will only enhance the size of the bud.

Apart from that just keep taking care of her as usual 😉

Lower levels starting so grow pistils

Step 5 – Removing pop-corn buds (optional)

Pop-corn buds are those small, low hanging buds that don’t have a direct access to a light source and don’t generally produce much. You can decide to remove those little guys or keep them.

If you’re thinking or re-vegetative than definitely keep them, those will be the sprouts of some future branches 😉

Close up on pop corn bud
Pop-corn bud

Step 6 – Bud development

As the flowering stage advances you’ll see the buds fattening up more and more. There’s really nothing special to do plant training wise. Just keep feeding her nutrients and making sure she doesn’t get any deficiencies or nutrient burns.

In the case of the plant on the right hand side, those two bottom buds are actually lateral branches that we decided to keep and let grow. That had the potential of growing strongly and it really wasn’t a mistake to keep them.
You’ll see in the next step that you by the end of the flowering stage you can’t even really notice that their not part of the main bud.

As in any cycle, don’t forget that during the 2/3 lasts weeks of the flowering stage you want to be flushing your plants and have her showing at least nitrogen deficiencies. 

Marijuana Flowers growing along main stem

Step 7 – End of the flowering stage

As you can see on the image on the right, by the end of the flowering stage it’ll seem like you’ll have one massive bud around the main stem of the plant.
As you saw with each step, in reality it’s multiple buds that are combined and overlapping. Although she’s pretty small, she looks good no?

close up on one bud approaching to the harvest
One Bud approaching harvest time

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Harvesting & Curring

Here’s a couple pictures of this one when we harvested her, but if you want to check out her whole cycle check out all the grow reports over here.
The process of harvesting and drying the plant is exactly the same as with any other bud.
Keep in mind that due to the buds are so dense these buds might take a little longer to dry and cure than a more aired out harvest.

Can you One Bud with any strain?

Technically yes, since one budding is just another form of plant training you definitely can do this with any strain.
This doesn’t mean you should be one-budding any strain.. Some strains are known, or have been crossed, to develop strong side branches. One-budding these strains is doable but not really commanded since you won’t be taking full advantage of the strain.

Our advice is to have in mind what time of training you want to implement before buying your seeds, or cuttings, so that you can pick one that is more favorable to what you want to do.

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That’s it for this one folks ! 

Until next time,
Be safe and grow easy

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