To defoliate or not to defoliate?

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Bib4tuna

Bib4tuna

Growing up I've always heard that you should prune away the big fan leaves to maximize light to areas & increase airflow. This was obviously 20 plus yrs ago & I know things have changed so after reading about it online I'm left even more confused. My plants are at day 40 of flowering & are chock full of fan leaves, some of which are yellow or dying. Is it good to prune away these fan leaves so buds can get light? If so which ones? Or am I best off tying down the fan leaves in a way similar to low stress training?
 
Bib4tuna

Bib4tuna

I'm gonna say it all depends on the plant. I dont feel there is one answer to this.
That's what I meant after going online about it,lol. Some people say not to do it,some say do it,some say do it this way or that way. I guess it's a matter of opinion maybe.
 
smokedareefer

smokedareefer

Depends alot on the size of the plant and the age of the grower.

I pluck them around day 1 in flower then again good after their strech is done and then all through flower, every day I'm taking something.

On harvest day I'm basically removing very few fan leaves, snip off the buds, into the trim bowl and onto the drying nets.
 
MIMedGrower

MIMedGrower

Almost every grower that says defoliation is a must or they are always doing it run a crowded room and or bushy plants. And the growers that say not to do it or the leaves are the solar panels or whatever like space around their plants or have plants with great structure that dont need it.


I say its a tool to be used when needed.
 
Aqua Man

Aqua Man

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Almost every grower that says defoliation is a must or they are always doing it run a crowded room and or bushy plants. And the growers that say not to do it or the leaves are the solar panels or whatever like space around their plants or have plants with great structure that dont need it.


I say its a tool to be used when needed.
Exactly. Reasons I prune.

1. To keep leaves from stacking creating condensate and ideal conditions for mold or infection and preventing transpiration of said leaves.

2. Remove spindly unproductive growth from the bottom. Usually 1/3 ish of all fan leaves not receiving light and offshoots that I dont want popcorn bud to trim. Not saying this increases yield just that I dont wanna trim that shit.

3. Remove older leaves no long photosynthesizing well. After about 60 days the productivity of a leaf declines. No I can't remember what study I found that info in. But after paying attention I found this to be true.

4. Remove fan leaves that grow towards the inside of the plant as they get less light and restric airflow.

All of this of course is dependant on each plant. Other than lollipoping I do to all for airflow and above mentioned.

Of course this is because I grow indoors. I would not lollipop outdoor plants but rather just any branches close to the ground.
 
smokedareefer

smokedareefer

Almost every grower that says defoliation is a must or they are always doing it run a crowded room and or bushy plants. And the growers that say not to do it or the leaves are the solar panels or whatever like space around their plants or have plants with great structure that dont need it.


I say its a tool to be used when needed.
Not necessarily.

My flower room is 13X16 with 12 ft ceiling with 4 plants rdwc on 60 inch centers.

Hardly an over overcrowded room even growing small trees.

I do it because for me it works and makes harvest day so much easier.
 
redshift75

redshift75

Honestly when these questions come up. I more ask myself. How are growers not removing leaves everyday after a certain point. I mean i know i neglect my plants. But honestly even as you go into veg and into flower. You have your air flow issues, suckers. Then you have your random leaves that just age. But then when it comes to defoliation of healthy ones. I slowly remove the main inside regularly as they start to canopy everything.

Thats just my style. Sometimes straight defoliation is forced upon me, signs of mold, pest, When im starting to get to more foliar sprays in flower. I know not everyday i remove leaves. But thats not to say there isnt leaves i should remove everyday. Speaking to the sense of trying to keep it optimum. I do like to shape the plant with trying to keep those "solar panels" as optimal as possible.

had this in a post about a slightly different discussion. but the topic applies. I do agree at times when there is a giant fan leaf its beneficial to open it up so its not blocking out 20 leaves. Plenty of times when i remove a leaf. I see the stuff under it go wild. But i also have removed leaves that probably wasnt the best time or i did too much for no need. Cause "i want to get it done now".

but its all about reading the plants. Every leaf is the plant telling you something about how its doing. I think alot of it as well is the factor of your setup. Between different lights i have different needs based on how deep and bright the lights are. My old blurple light setup. My style was/is to open it up for all the bud sites. I found it better for me. But these quantums. I haven't found the need to open them up as much. It seems to come at the cost of mold issues from poor circulation. So im trying to find a balance since indoors is new for me. where i have to open up and where I don't.

I think no matter what i do the outcome will always be slightly different.
 
Aqua Man

Aqua Man

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Yup that's me too but as @MIMedGrower pointed out we tend to cram plants in and need to.

Honestly a sativa leaner under a red leaning spectrum with enough room to walk around is something I probably wouldn't touch. Maybe not even lollipop.

I have seen @MIMedGrower lower branches they still produce well but I think thats because of the training and short plants.
 
smokedareefer

smokedareefer

But does it lower your yield? In my tests it did. I have limited space and count so it matters to me.
Not sure it lowers my yield but like I said makes life easier at harvest.

I have a plant count of 4, so thats what i grow and the space was what i built.

Harvested 30 lbs wet buds yesterday 2 people 3 1/2 hrs if we had of left them alone and hung them like i use too we'd still be trimming

And little or no popcorn
 
MIMedGrower

MIMedGrower

Not sure it lowers my yield but like I said makes life easier at harvest.

I have a plant count of 4, so thats what i grow and the space was what i built.

Harvested 30 lbs wet buds yesterday 2 people 3 1/2 hrs if we had of left them alone and hung them like i use too we'd still be trimming

And little or no popcorn

I have posted similar plants many times but there are good buds down to the lowest branches.

Just picked this one at random from my picture files.

No leaves ever removed until harvest.

6A030AF5-22DB-4259-A4C1-2CBC703532B6.png
38D71318-8277-4765-B87F-851BEAC02CE5.png
 
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