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Should you cut off fan leaves during flowering

Discussion in 'Indoor Growing' started by baggins1986, Dec 14, 2008.


    baggins1986 Active Member

    i have 4 plants 2 weeks into their flowering stage. i have been told that cutting off some of the fan leaves will allow more light to reach the lower flowers. does this work or do the fan leaves act as light catchers for nutrients? thanks alot

    TRICKKY Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't really recommend cutting large fan leaves from your plant. Yes They do catch light and convert to food, so if you look at it this way, you would be cutting a big food catcher so that a smaller food catcher could catch light.

    The smaller leaf is obviously not going to be as efficient as the large leaf.

    zidzag Active Member

    agree, imo i would only cut bad leaves.

    TRICKKY Well-Known Member


    If, say at week 6 you have a large fan leaf that is yellow and soon to die off from lack of Nitrogen. It would than probably be better to cut it off so that any healthy leaves it is blocking could more efficiently use the light.

    Again tho, I would wait until it is nearly dying as up until then the plant will be taking nutes (nitrogen) from the larger fan leaves and using it.

    timpaperclip Active Member

    There's also a chance you could send it into shock if the leaves stem is wide enough

    socalkushman Well-Known Member

    plants are more substenint to shock during flowering..unless the leafs dead..leave it..even being nitrogen defecient....any green means its still alive!

    RL420 Well-Known Member


    don't cut, cutting the fan leaves off might create a metabolic imbalance.

    "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."

    marijuana botany chapter 2.
    aishah05 likes this.

    newbgrower944 Active Member

    hmmm. i just cut off like a shitload of lower branches and fan leaves that weren't getting any light so I would get more of a huge main bud then little lollypops.
    ill make another thread later

    RL420 Well-Known Member

    Removing lower stems during flowering is something i also practice.

    But..removing fan leaves seems a little bit backwards to what you want to achieve:confused:

    "Large leaves 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."

    topfuel29 Well-Known Member

    I've had that problem too. There's a nice flower under this fan leaf.
    what do I do?
    You do not want to start pruning a flowering plant.
    You've got a couple options.
    you could tie the leaf up.
    you could train the leaf with a small coated wire.
    make it grow in a direction that doesn't shade any flowers.

    The last resort. you could cut the leaf. Trim it.
    you could cut the leaf in half, or remove the whole leaf.
    If you cut one leaf your plant isn't gonna go into shock and die.
    one or two leafs being cut it's gonna slow the flowering growth.
    I've done it before, and you do have to be carefull not to cut
    to many leafs, because it will slow the flowering growth.
    I'm talking about a plant thats 14 -24 inches tall.
    with about 12 or more nodes.
    I can see letting light to the lower flowers would promote
    a higher THC potency, because of the amount of UV getting to the
    flowers as to being shadded.

    another thing to consider is plants that have been pruned though
    there vegatative cycle are more stressed to being pruned than pants that
    haven't been pruned through there vegatative cycle.

    baggins1986 Active Member

    thanks alot for all your input, i def wont be cutting any leaves off now ha

    boneyshapeye Well-Known Member

    you could just add a light next 2 the lower branches ;P

    RL420 Well-Known Member

    tuck the fan leaf underneath another stem, thats usually what i do. You can also tie em up like you said

    Str8y180 Active Member

    On good advise from a long term grower mate i trimmed all my huge fan leaves 5 weeks into flowering which exposed an enormous amount of light to my lower buds. I cant see any adverse affects so far. The plant still has plenty of leaves to photosynthesize or whatever. Its just a weed remember think of the cunts that grow in your gardens, you can smash them with a weedeater and they will still bound back. Ive had plants with branches completely severed off on one whole side and it still lived with vigour so really i think people look too far into it, trim i say and let there be light.
    Liamboii22 likes this.

    the357ink Well-Known Member

    They are resilient, but i would not do anything to shock the plant during flowering..I want 100% concentration of bud growth..imo

    Dilligaf13 Member

    during flowering be prepared for your leaves to yellow and fall off... unless your bloom nutes have small amounts of nitrogen in them your leaves will yellow... I have personally cut off fan leaves and stems during 1st 2nd 3rd weeks of flowering and have had no problems with stunting or end yield results. Stress/stunting varies upon strand, maturity of plant and growing set up... I have found dwc/hydro recover faster than soil. I also agree with Str8y180 it is a weed and can edure a lot more than you think without effecting yeild. Peace
    Heads Up

    Heads Up Well-Known Member

    Once you plants start to flower, fan leaves do present a problem in that they block light to the middle of the plant. You can either remove some here and there completely or you can cut them in half thereby keeping some of the leaf intact. By week five fan leaves are no longer photosynthesis machines for growth, growth of the overall plant has almost stopped and the plant is now putting her energies into making thc trying its best to capture some pollen that is nowhere to be found, but the girls keep trying and producing more and more thc.

    I look at it like this, I read as much as possible and then I experiment, after all isn't each and every grow another experiment unless you are an expert and keep to a strict regiment?
    Serapis likes this.

    Philo2 Active Member

    I've taken off nearly all the fan leaves during flowering with no ill effects. During flowering I refer to them as shade leaves.

    Most of the recent studies I have read state that the fan leaves provide no energy to the buds during flowering. All of that energy is absorbed through the leaves on the buds themselves. Thus the fan leaves do nothing for the buds and only absorb nutrients that could be going to the buds.

    widdopa Active Member

    its actually a herb not a weed and bad advice to cut healthy fan leaves just tie back as suggested. a flowering plant will most always yellow - the best advice is let the plant do its job, it will drop leaves when it doesnt need them.:sleep:

    shannonball Well-Known Member

    very good advice to follow...just tie them back or off to the side, but don't cut them off...eventually the larger ones will yellow and drop.


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