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To trim or not to trim the plant in flower stage......

Discussion in 'General Marijuana Growing' started by trubadour, Feb 15, 2010.


    trubadour Member

    I have just initiated the flower stage on my plants. Most of the plants have acquired the bushy look. I have read around on forums and such, of the procedure of trimming the plant.

    Some say, that this is desirable when plants are bushy and well branched developed, to let in light into the inner/lower branches, for the buds to develop more/faster. And others say that this is totally unnecessary cause the buds themselves are not in any need of light, and will grow just as fine without any light as long as there are leaves to receive light to transport the energy they need in developement.

    Well I would conclude from prior knowledge, that the leaves contain chlorophyll that transform the light energy into energy ATP, that they can use in their development. The flowers themselves, have chlorophyll, but in much lesser amount, as the stems have, thus their green color. But have little use of the light, comparable to the leaves(sun-panels). SO, what I am wondering, why would anyone want to trim their plant (not including topping, to secure height) ??? If such a procedure would compromise the plants health, and more likely stress it, why do people perform this thing if not the buds are affected of getting lights ?? People try topping procedure to allow plant to develop multiple stems, and become bushy, but this will irreversibly produce more leaves which will hinder light from penetrate into the inner/lower part. So to me, there is inconsistency of these two theories/practices, which one contradict the other ???

    I appreciates comments, if anyone have some interesting inputs of this subject. Thank you.

    The2TimEr Well-Known Member

    I would only trim when the plant is near finishing the flowering stage, or as you mentioned about nipping a few to let in more light this is ok but only a few, the plant is still growing and taking in light from the leaves. and buds do need light!
    I wouldnt go trimming it all so early into flowering tho.

    statik Well-Known Member

    You misunderstand topping. Topping isn't about getting more light to inner growth. That is Low Stress Training or LST. Topping is mainly done for height limitations OR to create multiple heads on your plant.

    Now, if you topped your plant...and then started training the new tops by pulling/tying them down to the outer edges of the buckets then you are opening the plant up for more light.

    You are not supposed to top during flowering, you will stunt your plant. If you are going to top, do it at least 2 weeks before flowering. This will give the plant time to bounce back and be good and strong for flowering.

    The2TimEr Well-Known Member

    He asked about trimming, not topping
    Indoor Don

    Indoor Don Active Member

    i trim sometimes about two weeksa into flowering because i dont like taking the time to cut all the little "popcorn" buds, these are small and not near as dense so it isent worth the time, i feel. The theory is by cutting these small chutes off the bottom you can concentrate the energy to the "main cola" for bigger buds, rather then same weight in smaller incriments, hope this thought has made sense to you, let me know

    Boneman Well-Known Member

    You trying to start a fight in here? LOL

    I ALWAYS trim the lower 1/3 of my plants right around the switch. Sometimes a few days before, sometimes a few days after. It just depends on me free time.

    Why?, I trim the lower half for several reasons. It makes it easier to water, allows good air flow reducing the chance for mold and I absolutely dont like bothering with all the popcorn nugs that come from all that lower growth.

    Like I said, i do it right around the switch. I dont trim at all during any phase other than the 1/3 hack job I just mentioned.

    You would be surprised how positive the plant reacts. Grows like hell and produces big strong main colas :hump:

    This was my 6420 post!! :bigjoint:

    ThePyramid Member

    It depends on what your trying to acheive. Ive personally noticed that trimming the leaves off before or during early flower will eliminate a bud site from your plant. PLants that are untrimmed tend to develop more budsites up and down the stem. Now many people have already stated that they do that to get more energy to the main colas but as long as i have space I usually let the lower sites develop untrimmed until 4-5 week and then trim up after the site is developed more. Then do a top down harvest letting the lower parts grow 1-2 weeks after harvesting the head buds. Whatever works for your situation though.

    statik Well-Known Member

    Oh word, you got me. He mentioned topping in the post. My bad.

    I misunderstood the post. Happens when ya had a few bongsmilie.

    Anyway, yeah I am going to have to agree with Boneman. That's about the extent of "trimming" you want to do. I hope to God you are not considering lopping off fan leaves.

    That is not really a good idea at any time. Unless of course the leaf is 50% damaged or more. I guess even tucking leaves back is not even needed, or a good idea.

    Those leaves absorb the light and share the energy. Large fan leaves are the main food factories of a plant.

    Removing them, or even moving them out of the light is just not really beneficial to the plant as far as I understand.

    Selective pruning, such as topping, lollipopping, and what ThePyramid described (forget what its called, but you can get a bit more from your plants doing it for sure) are all a different subject. Those techniques are actually beneficial in the end in one way or another (increasing yield, lowering stature etc). Cutting off healthy fan leaves is just not a wise move IMHO.

    I hope I understood the post now, if not...damn I gotta cut back.

    Bulldog73 Active Member

    I don't trim unless I am running a SOG. I try to avoid pruning at all costs. Just personal preference. You have to remember that when you trim, you will make the plant send hormones to other areas of the plant. You can also stress the plant and you usually want to allow time between a trim or prune and moving to flower. That being said.... The reason I don't trim is I am a believer in there is nothing that more light can't fix (assuming you can deal with heat and ventelation issues that come with additional or more powerful lights). So I grow bushy and with enough light (2 600w HPS in a 3ft x 5ft grow tent). It is definetly much more than lots of people will use in a room that size but I get crazy buds, even from the lower branches. I am growing 4 plants right now in that set up and they are about half way through flowering.. I have so many large colas that it looks like there are 8 or 10 plants from the canopy..
    Jason0121do1 likes this.

    statik Well-Known Member

    So yeah to answer the OP's question:

    NOT to trim in flower.

    I meant to add that at the bottom of my last post.

    bobsgreen Active Member


    bobsgreen Active Member


    statik Well-Known Member

    Its really not that long if you actually care about learning what your plants are doing...and why.

    I have read that before actually. It is a good read. Double answers OP's question...don't do it. The only reason to clip off leaves like that is training such as lolipopping like I said before. Same principle applies to scrog as well.

    That lower growth isnt going to get any light in a scrog. It's going to wilt and die anyway (also less air flow in that mess, harder to water etc).

    Damn, I need to unsub from this thread...beating a dead horse now.

    trubadour Member

    Nice, thanks for all your replies.
    If I would summarize I would concur with statik, trimming bigger leaves produce more negatives then positives. I have read the article - Trimming fan leaves a consensus part 1. 85% of the light penetrates the leaves, letting inner plant receive light even though it may look like its shaded.
    That being said, the leaves are the main power source of the plant, and thus supply the energy for bud development. If one would like to trim the lower branches(containing small leaves), it would allow the plant to use the un-spended energy to other parts(upper part) in development, but again would loose the small bud development in the trimmed areas.

    May I ask, when you people trim the lower branches, where do you make the cut, at the base of the leaf, leaving the side-branch without any leaves or make the cut all the way at the base of the side stem, right at the main stem ?

    jawbrodt Well-Known Member

    I can tell you 'without a doubt', that buds use direct light to grow larger, but, they also need the fans leaves too. The fan leaves shouldn't be trimmed because they help keep the whole plant running efficiently, all areas, including bud development. So, if you cut any off, the plant has to re-adjust and stabilize itself again, using other leaves in their place. If you cut too many off, it throws the plant's metabolism outta whack, and destroys flower production. On the other hand, the buds grow larger when they get more direct light. It's a balancing act, and should be interrupted as little as possible. If you must cut any fan leaves off, cut as few as possible, and don't do it often. It's much easier on the plant, to spread the braches open with some string or something similar, letting light reach the budsites, than it is cutting fan leaves. So...cut very sparingly, if you feel you must. :wink:

    infdjedi Well-Known Member

    I tested this theory out on my last grow. What I did, was take one of my Wonder Womans (I had 4 plants, soil, 3 gallon pots under a 400W) and place a 42W 2300K CFL directly next to a few of her buds. By the end of harvest, those buds were BY FAR THE BIGGEST, DENSEST, CRYSTALIEST buds on the ENTIRE plant. Therefore, I believe that more light on the buds themselves will produce the desired effect. However, obviously cutting ALL THE LEAVES off your plants while you flower is a HUGE NO NO. So, there must be some happy medium, right? I top all my plants. I have to veg longer, but I end up yielding more in the end. 2 weeks before flower I remove a few of the big leaves that are blocking the inner bud sites. Only about 2-5 per plant depending on size and bushiness. Then at 4 weeks, I lollipop and trim a few more leaves. I get 2 oz's per plant, dry under a 400W system. Buds get huge... I also use techniflora's recipe for success and humboldt gravity.
    trichlone fiend

    trichlone fiend New Member

    ...okay, from what I understand...the trichlones are made by mothernature to mimic a magnifying glass, which inturn, intensifies the light on THE BUD. As the urban grower "Ramo" shows us in his videos ( http://urbangrower.com/ )...we can remove our fan leaves. He suggest to, and he harvest 2+ lbs. per light. In my eyes, that's hard to argue with. I started removing my fan leaves in wk#2 and wk#3...and wk#5....and I honestly can say, without a doubt, I've been getting the best yields ever with this method. ( 1/2 gram per watt ) No offense to leaf lovers :wink:

    jawbrodt Well-Known Member

    ^Leaf hater.LOL


    trubadour Member

    Ok. So just one question; When you do trim, where is the cut made ? Right at the base of the leaf, or at the base of the branch the leaf are growing on(just at the mainstem) ?? Thank you
    i need help I'm rookie

    i need help I'm rookie Active Member

    For me this was always the best way a week before switching from 18/6 to 12/12. i also super crop and tie to the sides to hold the middle open if needed. Let the plant recover for the week before when you flip the light time around it you have 1/3 bald plant that lets light in and is healthy and ready to flower.:bigjoint:


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