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Guerilla Grow, Defoliation?


New Member
i literally am just going off on a whim. i just moved down south in the US and just looking for some out in the wilderness tips. the weather here is perfect so i figured i'd give it a shot. a few of my seedlings next season are gonna be taken care of but most of the others will just be wild and never looked after. just a curious little project to see if they literally spread like....well like weeds lol.

ok, so firstly, whats this defoliation i keep hearing about? like uh, i guess i mean to say which leaves am i cutting off or whatnot and whats the best way to defoliate. im not a total noob, but for the plants i wanna care for, i just wanna make sure i do things as best as i can.



420 Member
Welcome to :420:

There are many different schools of thought behind defoliation. Some people will insist that it isn't necessary. Some people use it to give bud sites more light. Some people use it so resources aren't used by fan leaves and the plant can focus on the the buds. So you're going to see a wide range of opinions from different people.

Within those last two ideas, there are a few different ways to do it, but there's no right or wrong way, as long as what you do works for your grow, improves potency, and improves yield.

Growing outdoors, you may, or may not need to do it. It's all going to depend on how well the light penetrates the canopy. The strain you grow can also have an impact on this.

But I'm an indoor grower, and was growing with CFLs (upgraded to LED now, but will still use defol on my next grow)

I like to aim for improving light penetration. But we know that photosynthesis takes place in the leaves, so I like to think that removing too many leaves is a bad thing. So first I start with a little LST (Low stress training). I train my plants to grow flat and wide. At week 4 I top my plants so they don't get uncontrollable in height as well.

So let's get into defoliation a bit from my grow. as I get closer to flower, I start looking for where my bud sites will be. And I will go as far as about 4 weeks into flower, defoliating. One of our product reviewers says that day 45 in flower is the last time he will defoliate.

First I will look from the side, from a 45 degree angle above the plant, and from directly above. I locate bud sites that are hidden by leaves. I adjust my LST strings to see if just moving a branch to the left, right, or down, will allow more light in. And sometimes this works, so I won't have to cut leaves. Other times this doesn't work, so I will gently bend that fan leaf down, and try to tuck it behind a branch, or another leaf. And you can often interlock the lobes of two leaves to open a bud site up to more light, as well as save yourself from remove two leaves. Tucking can require maintenance, as the breeze from a fan, or wind can undo the leaves that you have tucked. I know of a grower on here that bends the leaf downward and will tie it off to the stem.

And as a last resort, I cut leaves. When I'm unable to open up a budsite to light from moving branches and tucking leaves, I cut as a last resort. Typically all the branches farthest from the stem, you usually won't need to cut any leaves that face out, or sideways on the branch. It usually ends up being the leaves that face in, towards the main stem that I cut. (But some of these leaves will lock with leaves on the inside branches so you won't have to cut them!)
Any branches that you have on the inside, between the stem and those outer branches, you can use tucking for most of those leaves, but there will be a few you'll need to cut.

Depending on how accessible your grow will be to you, you may very well want to use an approach that requires the least amount of cutting. If it's at a site you don't visit often, you want as many leaves as possible. If you can't get out to feed your plants for one reason or another, they will have a lot more stored nutrients in the leaves that they can survive off of until you go see your girls again.

I think I have pretty much everything covered. Any more questions, give us a shout and either I, or someone else can jump in to help you out. Good luck on your grows next season! And if possible, you might want to make a grow journal to track your plants progress.
Journals in Progress (Also feel free to browse the other journals, you may find more helpful tips from other outdoor growers)

And if you have any more questions, or just for some good reading, this topic has all the basics, and a ton of advanced topics you'll need to successfully grow Cannabis: https://www.420magazine.com/forums/...-grow-marijuana-everything-you-need-know.html



New Member
wow dude, you wake up too early :p

i really appreciate this. this was highly detailed and very easy to follow. i appreciate this greatly!! with what you said, i can try to tweak a few things on a few plants of the same strain and experiment a little for the outdoor growth. thanks a lot Antics
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