Removing large fan leaves during flowering: a good idea or not?

Thread starter #1
My Bubba OG and Granddaddy Purple plants are 40 days into flower. I'm seeing lots of nice buds on all the branches. One thing that is happening, is that the many large fan leaves coming off the plant frequently lay over top of buds, thus putting them in partial shade.

One of my local "experts" says that the large fan leaves should be removed to get the buds in full light, and the little leaves that are directly connected to the buds are the leaves that need full light because THEY are the ones that fuel bud growth.

It kind of makes sense, but this genius has been wrong about growing these plants before.

Any thoughts on this?
Hello at 40 days your coming up on harvest real soon what I do is just remove the lower ones and some of the leaves close to the buds. the fan leaves are still needed up to the last day or two.
Sounds like this 'genius' is wrong again. LOL

Leaves are like solar panels. What is going to give you more juice, the huge ones that are mounted on a roof or a 6"x9" one used to charge AAA batteries?

Do you cut the leaves off an apple tree because the apples are in the shade?

It's your plant, but I'd think about it before you get happy with the snips.

Thread starter #6
Okay, I'll leave the leaves alone. Throughout flowering, I've been taking out dead leaves and leaves that had turned fully yellow, but I've left the green leaves alone.

What does it mean when a big leaf turns yellow all over? It's getting ready to fall off on its own?
Correct...the plant has cannibalized the nutrients from that particular leaf and it will soon be dead. You can give yellow leaves a slight tug and if the plant is done with them they will come off rather easily. But as a side note I've had yellow leaves that refused to come off for quite some time, unless they're blocking light to something more important I tend to leave them because apparently the plant isn't quite done with them yet.
I have read however that if you have a fan leaf shading what a could be a fairly large bud site many growers will prune lightly to make sure every budsite is getting direct light and not remaining in shade one article I read recommended pruning no more then 10% of fan leaves after 3 weeks and then removing the dying leaves when they are halfway yellow as once they are in a excess stage of death they will sap energy to remain alive instead of generating any. But your best way to really tell is to experiemtn with your plantsand find out what eah strain likes the most at each stage of life.
I was under the strong impression that the buds do not synthesize light in to energy and that sunlight destroys exposing them to light doesn't make sense, someone correct me if I'm wrong.
There are smaller leaves on the bud that generate enerrgy and help it to mature, take forinstance the lower buds on a plant how they usually dont fully mature as they are shaded by the upper levels of the plant.
Roseman nails it as does Cervantes 'Bible'. Again, the only exception would be, if in the third or forth week of flowering, there were inordinately large fans really blocking light, then maybe they could be removed. It would be preferable to simply move them without clipping. If, after careful planning, it's determined that a leaf should go, try not to remove more than one fan per plant. As for removing lower ones, don't. It's been explained, roughly, as the proximity of the leaves corresponding to that area of the plant. In other words, those fans attached to the cola feed it. The lower fans tend to feed the roots. Of course, they all are important during the flowering cycle as the plant begins to use starches/sugars for fuel.
Its funny how we try to imitate nature as best we can and then second guess nature. I am no expert but I have always let the plant do what it is supposed to. Never worried and usually get a good harvest.:thumb:
All the people I take advice from around here say different, they take all but the top 2 sets of fan leaves. Have heard from many different people to do this to increase bud size and yield. I haven't gotten it just right yet, but I'm trying.

The idea is that those huge lower fan leaves are just sucking more nutrients from the plant and not photosynthesizing hardly anything since they are inches below the upper canopy and not receiving much light. So they are essentially doing nothing yet the plant is being forced to keep feeding these huge leaves to keep them healthy instead of diverting that extra energy to the buds.

I know the theory that it takes the plants longer to recover from the stress of taking her leaves, and in the end hurts the yield, but I disagree. While I do think that it stresses the plant for a day or two, when they come back they come back with an increased vigor. Like pissed off bees, and they keep it up.

If your a soil grower I think it benefits to trim at least some inner fan leaves so that light can reach the soil. This helps to dry it out faster and keep a healthier environment IMO. You can then feed more often.
stress induced by removing leaves causes the plant to produce auxins too recover, this is good and bad, too much can make plants stretch fluffy buds and unexpected pheno. expressions. only remove leaves that are 50% dead, if trimming for size and shape try and do so in the early stages growth up to the second wk of bloom. I may be confused but its my current understanding of cultivation.
this is what i been looking for .. just in time also
I am no expert but I can tell you that my trial and error after a number of rounds is that removing the large fan leaves does stimulate larger bud growth. I honestly don't know that it matters too much but my set up is DWC. My first few grows, I didn't trim the plants at all. They had tons and tons of leaves and in the end all the buds were numerous, popcorn sized and very light. After a number of tries changing everything, from lighting, nutes, bucket design, the biggest and most noticeable change was to really shape the plant in veg by removing the lower leaves and in week 5 of flowering start removing any fan leaves that block the light from the flower leaves. letting the light get into the plants inner sections was the change. The change was literally in 24 hours. It was so simple and straight forward that I was and still am shocked that it is not part of 99% of how to's with this plant. I noticed that if you look at the plant from the upside down you can see the leaves that block out the light. Before I started this the plants all stalled in week 5-6 and the leaves would start to look stressed and yellow far too early. I've also noticed that you can not go by an 8 week flower time. You literally have to just go with the flow, and check the plants daily with a small microscope. When it's time, the plant will let you know.
These results may be the strain and or the hydroponics making the difference but I have to say I am a fan of loosing the fans.
Ok not all leaves need to be left inexperienced growers say that period. In nature leaves fall way way way more than under indoor controlled conditions. Defoiliating is a must for 75%+ of indica dominant Strains. Take off leaves at week 2 and week 5 that are blocking bud sites. Trust me more yield will be gained. DEFOILIATING HELPS PERIOD!!!!_!!
Ok not all leaves need to be left inexperienced growers say that period. In nature leaves fall way way way more than under indoor controlled conditions. Defoiliating is a must for 75%+ of indica dominant Strains. Take off leaves at week 2 and week 5 that are blocking bud sites. Trust me more yield will be gained. DEFOILIATING HELPS PERIOD!!!!_!!
well said - strain dependent!