The Easiest Way to Trim Plants - Wet Trimming vs Dry Trimming - Happy Hydro

       When growing plants, one of the more time-consuming processes is the trimming process - which comes after the plant has been harvested. Don't be surprised when it takes you 4 to 5 hours to trim one medium-sized plant. The amount of fruit on that plant will be significant and will take quite some time to trim. Since trimming plants is such a time-consuming process, we will explore a few trimming methods which should help give you the knowledge to make the trimming process easier. Depending on the type of plant that you are growing, the trimming process may vary. In this article we will focus on the cannabis plant.

Tools Needed

       Before we get into when to trim, let’s talk about some of the tools needed to do the trimming process. Having the proper tools needed to do the trim process, will make the job easier and faster. Below are some tools used during the trimming process:

1. Trimmers

       First, you’ll need some hand trimmers. I like the non-stick line of trimmers by Happy Hydro. They have a straight-tip version as well as a curved-tip version. The curved-tip trimmers can be especially helpful when snipping off leaves formed between buds. They also have trimmers with and without a spring. The spring-loaded trimmers will automatically open after every cut. This can reduce the amount of stress on your hands since you don’t have to open the trimmers every snip. Some growers (such as myself) prefer the trimmers without a spring for more control opening/closing the blade.

2. Gloves

       Cannabis buds are sticky. If you handle the buds without gloves, some of the resin glands on the plant will burst when you touch them and end up stuck to your hands. To avoid this, many people will use disposable gloves while trimming. 

3. Containers for Buds and Trim

       After you trim a bud, you need somewhere to put it. Right? Depending on the amount of buds, I typically like to use a glass mason jar for storage. Mason jars are well-known for their air-tight lids which is exactly what is needed for your buds. Storing your buds in air-tight containers will prevent them from further drying. Cannabis buds that are over-dry become harsh when smoked - which certainly isn’t ideal.

       You will also need a container for your trim. Trim is plant material such as leaves that are separated from the buds during the trimming process. Trim has resin glands in it and can be used to make things such as edibles and concentrates. Some growers prefer to put their trim into a zip-lock bag (and then into a freezer for storage) while others use plastic containers. Either one is sufficient for holding your trim.

Wet Trimming

       Now let’s get into the trimming process - starting with wet trimming. Quite simply, wet trimming is when the plant is trimmed before going through the drying process. Many growers will say this method is faster than dry trimming (the other trimming method we will talk about). They feel it is easier to trim off the leaves of the plant when branches are freshly cut from the plant. I personally don’t like wet trimming because I’ve found that my trimmers come into contact with the resin glands more often to where sticky buildup occurs on the trimmers and slows down the process. It can be frustrating to have to stop to clean your trimmers every 30 seconds due to buildup.

       Pro Tip: To easily clean your trimmers, fill up a shot glass ¾ of the way full with isopropyl alcohol and soak your gunked-up trimmers in it. After about 5 minutes, take the trimmers out and immediately wipe them down with a paper towel. This seems to be the easiest method to clean trimmers. After wiping down your trimmers, your next cut will be like a hot knife through butter.

Dry Trimming

       If you decide to harvest your plant and let it dry first before trimming, this is called dry trimming. Many growers prefer to keep the plant’s leaves on during the drying process in order to slow the drying process down. Like I mentioned earlier in this article, if your buds dry too quickly, they can become harsh to smoke. This is a major concern for many growers. Although, as long as your drying conditions are dialed-in then over-drying likely won’t happen.

       Some say dry trimming is faster than wet trimming. When the plant’s leaves are dry, they can fall off of the branch with the slightest touch. I personally prefer dry trimming for that reason alone. Trimmers don’t get gunked up with resin as much as wet trimming and snipping the stems can be easier since there isn’t as much moisture in them. Others say dry trimming is slower than wet trimming because it can be difficult to remove leaves when they are dried and curled around the buds.


       Your plant can be trimmed before the drying process or after. Tools such as trimmers and gloves will make the job easier and air-tight sealed containers are best for storing your buds. The plant material separated from the buds during trimming is called trim and can be used for things such as edibles and concentrates. A zip-lock bag or a plastic container is sufficient for holding trim.

       The wet trimming process and dry trimming process both have pros and cons. Some growers prefer trimming the buds when they are freshly cut from the plant while others prefer waiting until the plant is dry. Neither method is right or wrong; it all really comes down to personal preference. It’s probably best to try both methods and see what works best for you.

       If you’re new to growing cannabis, I wrote a book called 7 Steps To Grow Cannabis that was written specifically for beginners growing indoors. This book has helped thousands of new growers learn the proper steps to grow and harvest cannabis successfully. Check it out here.

Guest Post By:
Mr. Grow It
IG: @mr.growit
YouTube: Mr. Grow It


Patrick Adam Danahy

Patrick Adam Danahy

Stephanie, with all due respect, you’re crazy as hell. You could never trim one of my plants in less than 5 hours by yourself.



I’ve been trimming for about 3 years now and the amount of time 4-5hrs to trim one plant is way off for a experienced trimmer. 1 plant depending on the size and type should only take up to 10 to 20 minutes. Waiting for 5 minutes to get a cleaned trimming scissor is also way off. Use more than 1 scissor and a 3 cup measuring cup filled 1/2 way with 99% isopropyl alcohol you can get at your local hydro shop works great and only takes about a minute for it to clean your scissors.

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