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defoliating for HIGHER YIELDS

Discussion in 'Plant Training' started by ecsd, Sep 20, 2010.

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  1. This subject is bound to raise a lot of disagreement. Please relate experience and photos.

    Lets start by defining "defoliation" in the context of this technique. The term has negative connotations as Cannabis has been the target of defoliation by the Feds using Paraquat chemical defoliants. This is not what this is about.

    This technique is about leaf removal by hand. It is employed to relieve shading in crowded conditions. It is a substitute to the popular technique of removing lower branches.

    Defoliation encourages branching in vegging plants in the same way as nipping the leader. The benefit of this technique is that the leader is retained to continue to create branches. It also shortens nodal length creating a more compact specimen.

    This is how the following plants are capable of yielding as much as 12 oz. in an allotted space measuring 32" cubed.

    Leaves are removed starting in veg stage when they are about 6" tall with a couple of sets of fans. Leaves are removed again every 2-3 weeks or whenever things get a little shady.

    3 decades of experience with this technique reveal that bud growth benefits more from light exposure than whether the corresponding fan leaf is present.

    The idea with this method is to not remove any bud sites like in the aforementioned technique of lower branch removal. Bud sites produce bud. Do not remove. This method allows light to penetrate to all bud sites, not just the top buds.

    This technique should not be done on plants that have not been prepared by defoliation from the beginning.

    Observers will be shocked at the nakedness of a fully plucked skeleton of a barely flowering shrub. They will be even more shocked at the results after a few weeks. These results will debunk any insistence that big shading leaves are necessary for good bud production. Besides are we producing buds or leaf.


    This specimen was thoroughly plucked continuously through it's 11 week cycle as well as during veg. No shortage of branches or buds, all of them chunky and exposed.


    Clearly there are still plenty of leaves on the plant. It is impossible to remove the close leaf once things get clustered and sticky. Still as much leaf as possible is removed relieve any shading.

    32"x32"x32" is all the space allowed. Before and after putting scythe to trunk. Intensive defoliation is the rule.


    Look closely at the stem structures and you can see the kinks where they have been repeatedly bent to better fill the given space evenly. The idea is to create a more horizontal spread as the light is delivered and spread evenly in a horizontal field. This structure is matching that giving light to all sites.

    I leave NO fans, even in veg. Fans are the culprits. Yes, you will have a scrawny looking skeleton...for a few days. You must be patient. This is about creating a more productive structure. Try a couple of clones side by side. The one left alone will get a lot taller faster and have wonderful looking leaves, if it was only leaves we were after...I have tossed dumpsters full. The plucked one will branch and produce more sites.

    I want compact individuals with as many sites as possible.

    The plant on the right is too leafy. It's ready for a good pluck

    The leafy one will get 3-5" node spacing once it achieves it's 6th or 8th set of leaves, and be oversized for this kind of compact endeavor. The fan leaves will take over the veg area and the leafy plant will otherwise be ready to flower depending on setup. We want to focus on the defoliated one. It takes preparation and an extra week or two. Extra time in veg should be inconsequential in the long run as veg is a constant operation. All that is being adjusted is the size and structure of the clones in preparation to become 10-12 oz compact finishers.

    I never got the lollipopping thing. I've seen too many setups with 6' plants and 5' of stem. Seems like something got out of hand to have to remove so much growth. Should have been flowered sooner or something if top growth so outpaced the bottom to require removal. Bud sites are valuable and desired. They take time to develop so they should not be removed but rather accommodated by creative bending and leaf removal. I like to see tough nugs on the very bottom nodes.

    Results speak for themselves. Indoors is about intensive cultivation. That means making the most of a limited amount of light in a limited area. This is akin to bonsai, but applied to a rapidly growing weed. thanks to k33ftr33z
    SteadyEddie714 likes this.
  2. some good shit here bro...have been sayin' this forever....get so sick of...the fan leaves are the poverplant..i want buds...not shake...here comes the shit storm of lemurs:D

    i did this for my scrog

    and doubled my yeild...proof is in the puddin':smoke:
    SteadyEddie714 likes this.
  3. they plants in 1st post look farmiliar you copied this from another site
  4. #4 Lilpilgrim, Sep 20, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 20, 2010
  5. Hey man very nice, I am now on my second grow, my first grow I have an eb and flow in veg room and ebb and flow bucket system in flowering room. But I was not happy with my overall yeild, so i was looking on how to get a bigger yeild. Thats what brought me to your post. I think I get what you did but you said you need to prep the plant its entire life to be able to prune foliage. Now I am fairly new at this how esactly is this done, could you please post how to foliage from day one to the end. It would help me out and others greatly. Also what do you think about toppint and fimming. What do you do??? Coudl you PLEASE explain how you clone, veg, and flower. Please be specific in each stage. Thank You.
  6. #6 GrowBot, Sep 21, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 21, 2010
    hey escd, welcome! i've always been big leaf trimming advocate. that's what most folks call defoliating, leaf trimming, lol. in a scrog (which i haven't done in a while) i pretty much clear cut all leaves under the screen once it fills in. i mean, what's the point of leaving a leaf on the plant, that isn't getting direct light? i really wouldn't call what you're doing a scrog. your screen/string openings are way too big to make much of a difference in the plants growth/yield. 2"x2" openings are pretty close to perfect. your limbs/stems are all fairly short in length. i like to let them stretch out and fill each opening with a bud. but, there is more than one way to skin a cat,. if you are happy with your results, then that's all that matters! now, if i'm just growing out some monsters, i don't trim all of the fan leaves. big buds need a fair amount of fan leaves. you won't get a big fat 16" cola if you strip off all the big fans. even when i grow monsters, i trim a poop load of fans, and you can't even tell. i stop trimming the fan leaves about 2 weeks into flower. my logic is, if i can't tuck it, i pluck it. a lot of people won't cut off a single one. i can't imagine no trimming of fan leaves!!! they can actually get so thick, that they block the light. i like for the canopy to allow light to get to the lower regions of the plant.
  7. what you do is, once you start your growth from veg and the big fans form, you slowly strip them off a few here a few there thru the plants life. this is a post from a member of another forum, i just do a similar thing. thought it may help a few guys. i defoliate regularly throughout my cycles not quite as much as k33ftr33z does tho.

    aawbigslim: topping and fimming are pretty much strain dependant imho, with my ecsd's ill cut the main, then top the new growth to promote numerous colas from each branch, then ill fim those back, by the time this is grown in you should be able to fill your screen.

    w/ my jacks cleaner the only thing that will force the side shoots to turn to real branches is a cut to the main stem, fimming has little to no effect on her

    w/ my ssh all i do is fim, fim, fim
  8. Ive been doing this in moderation to my outdoor plants...mostly for better air flow and to get more light intensity to the lower bud sites...I don't see any negative effects from doing this...I just do it to any leaves that shade of good sized buds...

    Your plants look real nice bro! Thanks for posting and thanks for showing the proof :smoke:
  9. good information from people that know. Thank you.
  10. SORRY guys i have to disagree with you...Every time you pick a leave,trim a limp,thats not dead or dieing you cause the plant to put engery into mending that cut..And that takes energy away from growth...This defoliating MYTH has been around forever,i still remember some guy 40 years ago showing me his plants with all the leaves taken off and saying ya it makes the:eek: plant grow better?
  11. #11 Capt underpants, Sep 23, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 23, 2010
    I have to agree with you whygarden, this method creates way too much stress on your plant, and let’s not forget where the buds get their energy from. The leaves provide energy for the plant to feed the bud. Ever see an apple orchard, think they defoliate their trees to make bigger apples? what about tomatoes or zucchini, etc.
    This difference in growing method will be around for a long time to come, I just wonder what your crop would look like if you left the leaves on the plant. I will give you that the tops look nice though ecsd
  12. I just had a friend call me he has a large outdoor crop,last wekend i had a couple of his boys come over to help me just catch up on things.They took pic and went home to show pop..He called and said you need to take off those big fan leaves to let air flow threw and help the bud grow and stop mold...Well this is the first i have ever grown large plants outside(greenhouse) and i am starting to find mold on some of the buds that the fans blow on....He told me in the northwest you have to do it or your bud will mold up?..He also told me to take off the limbs that are not doing any thing,these are 12 to 15 foot plants so there is lots of limb inside not doing anything....Well i said maybe i dont know every thing and it might help?..So i went out and was going to try it on just one plant,i started to trim and pull leaves all the time that little voice inside saying ...WHAT ARE YOU DOING??? STOP~! STOP! STOP!!!!!..So i stoped,that little voice i know,him and all you i dont know so good....
  13. coulda saved some of your crop shoulda listen to old pops lol

    why not do it to some of the trees and not others and really find out for yourself?
  14. #14 mountainwolf, Sep 24, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 24, 2010

    I'm sorry dude, after a year of lurking on GC I am gonna make my first post a response to your post. Who in the hell is gonna spend HOURS a day looking after their tomato or zucchini plants? Waiting to see a yellow leaf appear, OH MY GOD the leaves are yellowing. Hell no, they go out in the evening and hit 'em with the hose and call it a day. Most MJ growers have their head in the box, tent, closet, room, etc, on a regular basis. Some of us do it every 15 minutes, just in case :) You say "The leaves provide energy for the plant to feed the bud." Nonsense, I am pretty sure the roots "feed" the plant, if you have big ass fan leaves shading the bud spots on your plant they are blocking light to the places you want the light to get to. Just a thought, don't want to get into a pissing match with ya. :poke: I have been growing "Budcicles" for years and haven't had any side effects from the defoliation of my plants.

  15. Photosynthesis...The process in green plants of converting carbon dioxide and water into food,using energy from the sun.This is done threw the leaf not the roots..And this is how all plants grow..It is simple plant Botany!..So the less leaf,the less food,the less bud...It can not work any other way..I also disagree with you when you say ..."Who spends hours a day looking after tomatoes or veggies?..Well i can tell you i do and so do millions of farmers all over the world..And i do know of some farmers that train plants and trees on trellises..But i have never heard of any but in the pot growing that take off leaves while plants are growing....This is a old wise tail that just wont go away..I still know growers that say more is better..so they put in double or more fertlizer..or the guy that piss on his plants..or the guy that tops his plants..Just to give you a little back ground on who i am...55,grew up on 890ac truck farm,opened land in Belize and grew 1200ac of orange trees along with 3 ac raised bed garden.Have been living in Oregon 12 years,have been master gardener for 10 of those 12 years.Have a 680ac tree farm where i also grow raised bed organic veggies,where i sale at the farmers market..I have read over 150 books on plant botany and growing things..But as they say you are never to old to learn!..But sorry there is no way to get bigger plants and bud by taking off the main thing that feeds them....Oh one more thing..You should water in the morning not in the evening.
  16. plants are very resilient and will find a way if u leave a plant to flower for too long it will eventually hermie so it can produce seed and finish its cycle. marijuanna is a very resilient plant and though i dont personally pull every leaf off i pull alot of the bigger ones and the ones starting to yellow or die but i wouldnt doubt that if u pulled off all of the leaves at once it wouldnt die it might be stressed but it would find a way to grow as long as the conditions dont change people already do lots of things to marijuanna to to stunt or change its growth like scrogging and topping and fimming some plants thrive and some die when they are subjected to such things so u cant say for 100% sure that defoliating doesn't work at all because plants get naturally defoliated in nature by deer or bears or whatever i personally wouldn't do it to my plants cuz i think it would look kinda wierd but the pictures above say more than anything else could
  17. I'm convinced. Definitely gonna do this after I have more grows under my belt
  18. Biology 101
    All green parts of a plant, including stems, and un ripened fruit (in this case the buds) have chloroplasts (An organelle found only in plants and photosynthetic protists that absorb sunlight and use it to drive the synthesis of organic compounds from carbon dioxide and water). But the leaves are the major sites of photosynthesis in most plants. There are about a half million chloroplasts per square millimeter of leaf surface. The color of the leaf is from chlorophyll, the green pigment located within the chloroplasts. it is the light energy absorbed by chlorophyll that drives the synthesis in food molecules in the chloroplast. The Chloroplasts are found mainly in the cells of the mesophyll, the tissue in the interior of the leaf. Carbon dioxide enters the leaf and oxygen exits, by way of microscopic pores called stomata. Water absorbed by the roots is delivered to the leaves in veins. However the leaves also use the veins to export sugar to the roots as well as other non photosynthetic parts of the plant (the flowers).
    also taking a tip from a grower many would also disagree with Jorge Cervantes author of the Marijuana Horticulture the indoor/ outdoor medical grower's bible page 61 under the heading of pruning he states“pruning diffuses floral hormones ..…..Leave leaves alone! Removal of healthy leaves hacks up a healthy plant. Removing large fan or shade leaves DOES NOT make plants more productive even though this practice supplies more light to small leaves and growing tips. Plants need all their leaves to produce the maximum amount of chlorophyll and food. Removing leaves slows chlorophyll production, stresses the plat and stunts its growth. Stress is a growth inhibitor. Remove ONLY dead leaves or leaves that are more than 50% damaged”.
  19. nice plants bro.

    i wana do this to my plants but i got no clue where to start.

    you should check out my first grow.

    when should you start removing the fan leavs?
  20. as soon as they begin to cover bud sites streets90, from proper clone/seed growth on
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