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To Defoliate or Leave Foliate? - That is the Question


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Okay, after lots of reading and experiments I have come to one conclusion about trimming older shade leaves, little branches even if they have buds on them...during the flowering stage. The jury is of course out because just as soon as you watch a youtube video with a grower defoliating some very nice plants at week 3 of flowering, you then read the comments from others who watched in horror as the grower did what they think was mutilation to the poor plant.

What my personal grows have shown is that cannabis is a weed and it will take a licking and keep on ticking. Sure there's always the one that got away but for the most part I've found that plants recover quickly from broken branches, heat stress, not enough water, light etc...

I'm at 3 weeks into 12/12 and the buds are looking sweet. Small but sweet. I have the twin colas bent over with some tie downs, not an extreme angle but enough to open up the middle of the plant where those smaller buds are. The foliage on the plant is thick and very close, but the plant has now definitely started to stretch. I could of course cut some of those older shade leaves away and get more light in the middle. But they are still that very deep, dark green color you get when using FF Ocean Forest soil. That stuff has to be almost pure (N)itrogen and every time I use it you can tell the plants are getting plenty of N. And as I understand the growth cycle, this plant is going to start using all the green food in those leaves very soon.

So there is the quandary. To trim or not to trim? What's the forum's consensus?


New Member
Re: To Defoliate or Leave Foliate....that is the question?

What's the forum's consensus?

With all due respect, I don't think there will ever be a consensus. Everyone swears by their own method.

If you're growing 2 plants, defoliate one any way you want, and let the other grow, then see what happens. If not, next grow do the opposite of what you're doing now. A lot of your result will have to do with your own particular circumstances, and someone growing a different strain in a different medium with different nutes under different lighting will get different results.

I clip leaves, and even small buds, all through flower, and I think it works well, but that's a sacrilege to some people. :laugh2:


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Re: To Defoliate or Leave Foliate....that is the question?

If there isn't much agreement over whether to do it or not, there is at least quite a lot of agreement, relatively, around the timing of defol during flower. After the stretch is a good time to trim if you're going to, and many say that large amounts of trimming during the stretch is a bad idea and will slow the plants down too much. Or something...
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