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removing the fan leaves

Discussion in 'General Marijuana Growing' started by communistcannabis, Mar 27, 2009.


    communistcannabis Well-Known Member

    So they question up for debate is if cutting off the fan leaves, or at least the larger ones!

    I've heard leaves directly relate to the buds, more leaves/vegatation the better the nugs

    I currently remove the leaves that get close to the size of my palm or hand. I feel as though the huge leaves take more of the nutrients and energy that the plant could use to grow, new growth.

    I found too where i did remove the large fan leaves that the new branch above the leaf grew much faster and better

    so i was wondering what other's experiences were, should i leaqve the leaves alone?keep doin what i'm doin, or least likely take more off?


    mygirls Medical Marijuana (MOD)

    if you must remove some leafs then only take the ones with the purple stems, and only about 5% of them. good luck

    communistcannabis Well-Known Member

    thanks man you're always full of excellent advice, it was just a theory so i'll stop hacking and most of them, but still do afew for experimental reasons
    robert 14617

    robert 14617 Well-Known Member


    Leafing is one of the most misunderstood techniques.. In the mind of the cultivator, several reasons exist for removing leaves. Many feel that large shade leaves draw energy from the flowering plant, and therefore the flowering clusters will be smaller. It is felt that by removing the leaves, surplus energy will be available, and large floral clusters will be formed. Also, some feel that inhibitors of flowering, synthesized in the leaves during the long noninductive days of summer, may be stored in the older leaves that were formed during the noninductive photoperiod. Possibly, if these inhibitor-laden leaves are removed, the plant will proceed to flower, and maturation will be accelerated. Large leaves shade the inner portions of the plant, and small atrophied floral clusters may begin to develop if they receive more light.
    In actuality, few if any of the theories behind leafing give any indication of validity. Indeed, leafing possibly serves to defeat its original purpose. Large leaves have a definite function in the growth and development. They serve as photosynthetic factories for the production of sugars and other necessary growth sub stances. They also create shade, but at the same time they are collecting valuable solar energy and producing foods that will be used during the floral development of the plant. Premature removal of leaves may cause stunting, because the potential for photosynthesis is reduced. As these leaves age and lose their ability to carry on photo synthesis they turn chlorotie (yellow) and fall to the ground. In humid areas care is taken to remove the yellow or brown leaves, because they might invite attack by fungus. During chlorosis the plant breaks down substances, such as chlorophylls, and translocates the molecular components to a new growing part of the plant, such as the flowers. Your ladies begin to lose their larger leaves when they enter the flowering stage, and this trend continues until senescence. It is more efficient for the plant to reuse the energy and various molecular components of existing chlorophyll than to synthesize new chlorophyll at the time of flowering. During flowering this energy is needed to form floral clusters and ripen seeds.
    Removing large amounts of leaves may interfere with the metabolic balance of the plant. If this metabolic change occurs too late in the season it could interfere with floral development and delay maturation. If any floral inhibitors are removed, the intended effect of accelerating flowering will probably be counteracted by metabolic upset in the plant. Removal of shade leaves does facilitate more light reaching the center of the plant, but if there is not enough food energy produced in the leaves, the small internal floral clusters will probably not grow any larger. Leaf removal may also cause sex reversal resulting from a metabolic change.
    If leaves must be removed, the petiole is cut so that at least an inch remains attached to the stalk. Weaknesses in the limb axis at the node result if the leaves are pulled off at the abscission layer while they are still green. Care is taken to see that the shriveling petiole does not invite fungus attack.
    It should be remembered that, regardless of strain or environmental conditions, the plant strives to reproduce, and reproduction is favored by early maturation. This produces a situation where plants are trying to mature and reproduce as fast as possible. Although the purpose of leafing is to speed maturation, disturbing the natural progressive growth of a plant probably interferes with its rapid development.
    Your plants grow largest when provided with plentiful nutrients, sunlight, and water and left alone to grow and mature naturally. It must be remembered that any alteration of the natural life cycle will affect productivity. Imaginative combinations and adaptations of propagation techniques exist, based on specific situations of cultivation. Logical choices are made to direct the natural growth cycle to favor the timely maturation of those products sought by the cultivator, without sacrificing seed or clone production.

    after reading this article in the grow FAQ i would not cut any fan leaves as the plant falls back on stored properties later in flower:blsmoke:
    perry420 likes this.

    communistcannabis Well-Known Member

    ya very good article thanks robert

    nickfury510 Well-Known Member

    I am not a fan or advocate of removing plant matter, but i do prune 1 time at about a week or so into flowering,basically after the stretch is done. I take all the lower undergrowth that will not get much light for clones and create circulation. after that I remove nothing.however when ever pruning I take as little leaf matter as possible the leafs are what collect that light we spend so much time and money to provide them. also by pruning the way I do there is only a top canopy and no lower growth to worry about fan leaves blocking. and In my experience, the bigger the fan leaves the biger the buds.

    communistcannabis likes this.
    Brick Top

    Brick Top New Member

    I have said the same thing very many times but yet for some inexplicable reason many people still want and need to believe otherwise.

    The information above is spot on and it should be accepted and followed by anyone who grows their own if they want the best results.

    More people need to understand that expert advice is just that, expert advice and people's personal opinions are at best worthless and at worst dangerous.
    robert 14617 likes this.

    SlikWiLL13 Well-Known Member

    all AA+ advice so far.

    nickfury - very nice chica you got there, thats almost exactly how i do mine.

    i trim out all the new growth


    and end up with this


    mygirls Medical Marijuana (MOD)

    but if this was actually FACT then the word PROBLEY would not be in any one of those sentences.:mrgreen:
    Brick Top

    Brick Top New Member

    Why do you trim new growth?

    As a plant increases the number of leaves it has it increases the amount of light ray energy it can absorb which equates to increased growth and production. You receive an exponential growth rate which means a stage of rapid growth where cells multiply exponentially.

    So by trimming new growth you inhibit the otherwise achievable growth rate.

    So why trim new growth?
    robert 14617

    robert 14617 Well-Known Member

    if this made any sense at all i'd say ,go ahead and criticize my post
    Brick Top likes this.
    Brick Top

    Brick Top New Member

    Actually it is a fact. I have four members of my family who hold degrees in botany and we own a nursery, trees and bushes and not plants or taking care of kids, and that is what they were taught while in college and what they taught me.

    The author of the piece most likely is not a botanist so he/she only said probably instead of that is precisely how things work because if they were so unequivocal in what they said they would then have to support it and it is likely they were unwilling to research text books on plant growth so they took the easy route.

    communistcannabis Well-Known Member

    nice input everyone. thanks for the pics too nickfury

    mygirls Medical Marijuana (MOD)

    i was not criticizing anyone, i was asking a ?.
    thanks brick top for the info. but we alldo what we do. :hump:

    skunkd0c Well-Known Member

    personal experience is what counts for me

    removing the leaves selectively on plants that grow very bushy does help to increase the overall yield and quility of the middle and lower buds in my garden, along with other training methods

    i must say when this topic comes up, i have seen it on a few forums, i see the same text book quotes posted and reposted

    i take my own personal observations to be truth over some so called expert's THEORY as many of them have been proved wrong in the past in my garden,

    my plants are in the 5th week of flower now and have had many many leaves picked off, they look pretty healthy to me but wait a moment, the experts say they may go through a sex reversal :roll: as picking leaves off causes so much stress, that did make me laugh it made me think of the surreal propaganda from the movie reefer madness
    well i can say in the 15 or so years i have been growing i have never seen any of the scare stories, just big fat healthy buds :mrgreen: http://www.rollitup.org/grow-journals/240168-barneys-sweet-tooth-nft-grow.html

    dont be afraid to THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX PEOPLE :blsmoke:

    SlikWiLL13 Well-Known Member

    i dont understand why people stress those shitty lower buds. i cut them off in the second week of flowering and poof! now i can concentrate on the nice fat buds in the well lit canopy.


    skunkd0c Well-Known Member

    we must remember that shitty lower buds turn into large colas with the correct training and pruning methods :)

    KanoCannabis Member

    amen to that ;)

    Edgar9 Well-Known Member

    I read once that if you cut fan leaves during flowering you create a wound on the plant that can be a starting point for mold.
    Personally it just doesn't feel right to cut the fan leaves so I don't do it. I'll take the side that they help the plant during flowering.
    We are dealing with weeds however so it may or may not make a big difference. Weeds are going to do what they have to do to survive.

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