Question Foliating my plants

Jameswarren

Member
Apr 21, 2021
18
57
I’m 38 days into flower should I cut some leaves on my plant to push plants energy to buds
 

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Colamaker

Well-Known Member
Oct 8, 2020
737
1,166
Now this is a touchy subject lol. I will usually keep the fan leaves unless they are about to fall off half dead. During flowering the plant will use those leaves to get energy to make flowers. If you take them away your taking the nutrients it lives on. But that's my opinion on this subject.
 

Kyfarmer84

Active Member
May 22, 2020
88
250
I defoliate a couple of times thru my growing cycle.its very beneficial for the girls but only if done correctly and at the correct times.i usually defoliate around week 2 of flower along with my lollipoping i perform across the bottom of scrogs i run. I also perform defoliation around week 5 but that one being the lighter of the two. Defoliating serves two purposes for me. Number one being it will deter bugs as they have less places to inhabit and the second reason is why most people do it cause it will make the girl focus on growing flower and THC CBD you know the rest. Happy growing and good luck to you your fellow cultivator,kyfb
 

Joshman

New Member
Apr 18, 2021
2
3
I have found that defoliation will help with airflow and pest control but has inhibited the bud growth. I will defoliate as much as I can to get the shape of the plant in veg and then no more than 2 weeks into flower, I will do final shaping for two reasons. I am cranking up the lights so I want to expose more of the lower colas to light and air flow. The air flow is next to god for those who have had powdery mildew or other fungus and molds. It wont matter how big your bud is if it's spoiled.

With that said, any leaves after 2 weeks into flower will be dead before I remove it. As mentioned before, the fan leaves will feed the buds until they are used up at which point they will die off. You want to remove that.

The only other defoliation I do in flower is removing the lowest bud sites at about 3-4 weeks into flower. This will allow more energy to be focused into the existing buds.

It looks like your plants are maturing just fine without defoliation. I would keep doing what you are doing! Be sure to have enough air movement to prevent mold or mildew and flush 2 weeks before harvest while pulling off the dead fan leaves (they should pull right off without cutting if they are used up).
 

Alphatoy

Humble Helper
Oct 7, 2018
1,347
2,547
🤠A few days ago, I asked a friend why did he remove leaves on his indoor medical cannabis plants. The tops of the plants were becoming crowded with big healthy leaves; and he was concerned about light penetrating to the lower branches. I was surprised by how many wrong and contradictory answers he had received from other fairly experienced growers. Hopefully I can clarify a few points and help dispel some of the misinformation floating about.
Try to think of leaves like solar panels. They are the plant’s only source of energy. The healthier the leaves, the more energy the plant has to grow and produce huge, resinous buds.
As the leaves on the plant begin to age, they eventually reach a point where photosynthesis peaks and begins to slow. At this point, the leaves are less efficient, and glucose productions declines. New leaves grow in to replace them as the primary solar panels, allowing more efficient photosynthesis to continue. The older, less efficient, leaves begin to work much like the root system, distributing their stored nutrients and plant sugars to wherever it is needed. When they have no more nutrients left to redistribute, these leaves will begin to yellow, and eventually fall from the plant.
This is particularly important to remember if you are experiencing root problems. Older leaves may be sacrificed to allow light to shine on fresh growth–but only if you have a healthy, robust root system. If your roots are not well established or are damaged, you may do more harm than good by removing the older leaves.
I should point out that most of the older leaves will be lower on the plant and therefor unlikely to shade much of the fresh growth. Any fresh growth lower on the plant is probably on shoots and in the shade of fresh foliage that is closer to the light. The principal of light and the inverse square law tell us that artificial light intensity quickly diminishes the further you get from the light source. So, you certainly do not want to sacrifice fresh leaves closer to the light for fresh leaves further away.
You can tell that leaves are beginning to give up their nutrients when they start to lose their dark green color. If these fading older leaves are blocking the light from new growth, feel free to remove them. By the time the leaves become pale green, or begin to yellow, they should be removed–even if they are not blocking younger foliage. Be sure not to remove leaves that have not yet reached their full size, unless they have been damaged by pests. Healthy leaves exposed to the light are facilitating photosynthesis. So your plants require them.
Outside, the Sun’s position in the sky changes through the day, providing light from a wide range of angles. Plants will follow the Sun and lower their leaves in the morning and evening to expose as much surface area as possible to the light. In grow rooms with stationary grow lights, the plants will only receive light from one static angle. This means that lower leaves are often shaded completely once new leaves grow in.
With stationary lighting, the only wavelengths that can penetrate dense leaves is from the far red end of the spectrum. This far red light does not assist photosynthesis, but triggers internal plant hormones called gibberellins. These gibberellins then cause the plants to stretch and create longer internodal spacing. The lower, shaded shoots usually do not amount to much, but may draw a tremendous amount of the plant’s energy stretching towards the light. For indoor gardens, use selective pruning to maximize yield and redirect plant energy to more productive zones.
Removing leaves is not the only method of decreasing shading and increasing light penetration. Using light movers, you can supply light at a variety of angles. This can reduce stretch, and light otherwise shaded leaves. Oscillating fans can be aimed to flutter leaves, allowing light to penetrate deeper into the canopy. Reflective material on the walls will also help to redirect wasted light at angles advantageous to lower leaves. For smaller grow rooms, plants can be set at different levels like stadium seating. In theory, this works great; but it is difficult to implement in larger grow rooms, and virtually impossible with many hydroponic systems.
The best answer for improving light penetration is simply to grow shorter marijuana plants. With taller plants, the majority of the bottom branches end up in shade. Even if light did penetrate the upper leaves, the lumens reaching the lower branches are so diminished that they yield poorly anyway.
What have you learned?
Do not remove leaves indiscriminately.
Do not remove young leaves unless heavily damaged by bugs or molds.
Do not sacrifice healthy leaves near the light for the sake of lower leaves.
Remove leaves that are beginning to yellow.
Do not remove mature leaves if you have a weak root system.
Use light movers, oscillating fans, and reflective material to improve light penetration
Grow your plants short to keep all the branches as close to the lights source as possible
Use selective pruning to remove sucker shoots that use up valuable plant energy This is what I learned growing Flowers over many years and most all plants and Canopy's even the Great AMAZON FOREST grows with a heavy canopy there is still plenty of growth on the ground because there is no one picking their leaves o well enough of this book. Later:mask:
 

Alphatoy

Humble Helper
Oct 7, 2018
1,347
2,547
🤠 Another Book on how I feel about Defoliation:mask:
In the wild, a leaf has a lot of different functions. Not only does it act as a solar panel providing energy through photosynthesis, but it also helps the plant store nutrients. Additionally, leaves act as a shield against pests and inclement weather. As a plant stretches and grows, it naturally sprouts more leaves. This is part of the innate efficiency of plants. They don’t want to work harder by transporting energy throughout the whole plant. Instead, they use the leaves to deliver their energy and nutrients to nearby areas. Here’s an example: Picture a tall, proud, flowering cannabis plant. At the top, you’ll find the biggest and most well-developed buds (they’re in the colas). Near the bottom you might find pockets of small, underdeveloped flowers. These tiny flowers also have their own set of leaves. But these leaves aren’t there to serve the whole plant — they serve their local area, encouraging these smaller, less desirable flowers to grow.Here’s the thing, you don’t need those flowers. In fact, they may be holding back your plant. Rather than providing the plant energy where you want it most (in the top colas,) these small flowers and their leaves might be sapping energy from the more bountiful part of your harvest! Not everyone should practice defoliation except on Hardy genetics If you’re working with a strain known for being fickle or delicate, it’s probably not a good idea to attempt defoliation. You want a strong, hardy strain that can stand up to some abuse and pruning leaves is an abuse to the plant. Sorry i Am A Great believe in leaves the Solar panels and energy providers of the Plant. and how do you really know that the plant provides better with defoliation Here is a simple Test take a plant and chop off all the leaves, what happens it :dizzy: Dies right That,s right well why 1/2 kill it by Defoliation do you not think this is very hard on the plant would it might not have done better before Defoliation it (Also Sorry Another BOOK) :mask:
 

Jason

Well-Known Member
Mar 16, 2019
423
1,038
Agreed, lots of good information and pros & cons. I try to find that happy medium and let the plants dictate defoliation needs. They basically do the work for you if you read them right. This photo is 8 weeks into flower and I have done more defoliation than I would normally like to do. Did lower canopy defoliation in early flower to promote upper growth and recently had to remove some light damaged and fading leaves while trying to leave on as many healthy ones as possible. I still have some smaller popcorn buds but did remove a lot of the lowest ones to promote larger top colas.
IMG_1649.JPG
 

Colamaker

Well-Known Member
Oct 8, 2020
737
1,166
Agreed, lots of good information and pros & cons. I try to find that happy medium and let the plants dictate defoliation needs. They basically do the work for you if you read them right. This photo is 8 weeks into flower and I have done more defoliation than I would normally like to do. Did lower canopy defoliation in early flower to promote upper growth and recently had to remove some light damaged and fading leaves while trying to leave on as many healthy ones as possible. I still have some smaller popcorn buds but did remove a lot of the lowest ones to promote larger top colas. View attachment 15406
Nice size buds
 

droidjordan

Member
Apr 11, 2021
31
79
🤠A few days ago, I asked a friend why did he remove leaves on his indoor medical cannabis plants. The tops of the plants were becoming crowded with big healthy leaves; and he was concerned about light penetrating to the lower branches. I was surprised by how many wrong and contradictory answers he had received from other fairly experienced growers. Hopefully I can clarify a few points and help dispel some of the misinformation floating about.
Try to think of leaves like solar panels. They are the plant’s only source of energy. The healthier the leaves, the more energy the plant has to grow and produce huge, resinous buds.
As the leaves on the plant begin to age, they eventually reach a point where photosynthesis peaks and begins to slow. At this point, the leaves are less efficient, and glucose productions declines. New leaves grow in to replace them as the primary solar panels, allowing more efficient photosynthesis to continue. The older, less efficient, leaves begin to work much like the root system, distributing their stored nutrients and plant sugars to wherever it is needed. When they have no more nutrients left to redistribute, these leaves will begin to yellow, and eventually fall from the plant.
This is particularly important to remember if you are experiencing root problems. Older leaves may be sacrificed to allow light to shine on fresh growth–but only if you have a healthy, robust root system. If your roots are not well established or are damaged, you may do more harm than good by removing the older leaves.
I should point out that most of the older leaves will be lower on the plant and therefor unlikely to shade much of the fresh growth. Any fresh growth lower on the plant is probably on shoots and in the shade of fresh foliage that is closer to the light. The principal of light and the inverse square law tell us that artificial light intensity quickly diminishes the further you get from the light source. So, you certainly do not want to sacrifice fresh leaves closer to the light for fresh leaves further away.
You can tell that leaves are beginning to give up their nutrients when they start to lose their dark green color. If these fading older leaves are blocking the light from new growth, feel free to remove them. By the time the leaves become pale green, or begin to yellow, they should be removed–even if they are not blocking younger foliage. Be sure not to remove leaves that have not yet reached their full size, unless they have been damaged by pests. Healthy leaves exposed to the light are facilitating photosynthesis. So your plants require them.
Outside, the Sun’s position in the sky changes through the day, providing light from a wide range of angles. Plants will follow the Sun and lower their leaves in the morning and evening to expose as much surface area as possible to the light. In grow rooms with stationary grow lights, the plants will only receive light from one static angle. This means that lower leaves are often shaded completely once new leaves grow in.
With stationary lighting, the only wavelengths that can penetrate dense leaves is from the far red end of the spectrum. This far red light does not assist photosynthesis, but triggers internal plant hormones called gibberellins. These gibberellins then cause the plants to stretch and create longer internodal spacing. The lower, shaded shoots usually do not amount to much, but may draw a tremendous amount of the plant’s energy stretching towards the light. For indoor gardens, use selective pruning to maximize yield and redirect plant energy to more productive zones.
Removing leaves is not the only method of decreasing shading and increasing light penetration. Using light movers, you can supply light at a variety of angles. This can reduce stretch, and light otherwise shaded leaves. Oscillating fans can be aimed to flutter leaves, allowing light to penetrate deeper into the canopy. Reflective material on the walls will also help to redirect wasted light at angles advantageous to lower leaves. For smaller grow rooms, plants can be set at different levels like stadium seating. In theory, this works great; but it is difficult to implement in larger grow rooms, and virtually impossible with many hydroponic systems.
The best answer for improving light penetration is simply to grow shorter marijuana plants. With taller plants, the majority of the bottom branches end up in shade. Even if light did penetrate the upper leaves, the lumens reaching the lower branches are so diminished that they yield poorly anyway.
What have you learned?
Do not remove leaves indiscriminately.
Do not remove young leaves unless heavily damaged by bugs or molds.
Do not sacrifice healthy leaves near the light for the sake of lower leaves.
Remove leaves that are beginning to yellow.
Do not remove mature leaves if you have a weak root system.
Use light movers, oscillating fans, and reflective material to improve light penetration
Grow your plants short to keep all the branches as close to the lights source as possible
Use selective pruning to remove sucker shoots that use up valuable plant energy This is what I learned growing Flowers over many years and most all plants and Canopy's even the Great AMAZON FOREST grows with a heavy canopy there is still plenty of growth on the ground because there is no one picking their leaves o well enough of this book. Later:mask:
Excellent info, thanks :)
 


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