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Trimming during flowering. . .

Discussion in 'Harvesting And Curing' started by J.W., Apr 14, 2010.


    J.W. Well-Known Member

    What do you folks think about it? I'm from the old school mentality of it being a no-no, but I can also see why some people may slightly manicure and prune, even late in flowering, as some strains are just real leafy and stretchy. It can better expose more bud sites and colas to the light source and cut down on drying and curing time, as well as give you a jump start on trimming the buds after harvest; BUT, trimming during flowering, and especially late flowering, can cause unwanted stress at a critical time, as well as shift or diminish flowering hormones and cause infection or mold sites. Plus, trimming fan leaves removes many of the nutrient and micronutrient sources for the nearest buds, and affect water retention as well.
    The main reason I bring it up is because I'm interested in what you folks have to say. Although I've never trimmed a flowering plant in the past, I grow my plants much bigger these days and could see how some minor trimming might actually benefit me -- if done correctly -- which is where you peeps come in!:)
    What kind of experience you got?

    jondamon Well-Known Member

    Hi J.W

    I personally allow my plants to go through the stretch during the first 2weeks of flowering and then i clean everything off from around half way down the plant to allow more bud sites in the sweet spot of the light.
    This i have learned from reading the URBAN GARDEN MAGAZINE it is called cleaning up the plant.
    I also top after week2 of veg for 4 main colas and 4 secondary colas.

    http://www.rollitup.org/attachments/newbie-central/715827d1266261386-pics-my-2-first-ladies-4.jpg this is around week 3 or 4 of flowering you can see the 8 branches shooting to find the light

    http://www.rollitup.org/attachments/newbie-central/743063d1268329131-pics-my-2-first-ladies-5.jpg this is around week 7 of flowering and you can see the 4 main colas and the secondaries around the outside.

    You can see the clean up i did in the first pic.

    However i would mention that this was my first grow so i think i had a little bit of beginners luck lol.

    I also realise now that i should have been feeding her some N here and there to help stop the yellowing.

    Hope this helps you understand what i do to mine.


    BlueDreamz Member

    During early flowering I trim up the bottom "popcorn" to allow for better air circulation, I wouldnt go as drastic as the guy in the photos prior... maybe a qtr of the way up not half way... I believe he could yield more had he left more lower branches even fan leaves. (the lowers you can leave under the lamps to fatten up after you harvest the top colas for even more gains). Ive been taught by some of the best that you dont remove leaves til they fall off or are at least 50% damaged, mostly yellow, etc. Its best to cut larger fan leaves in half if you feel they are inhibiting light to bud sites below if thats possible, the buds draw on them throughout the flowering process. So if you chop too much, your yeilds may suffer. just my opinion !!

    J.W. Well-Known Member

    Thanks folks, for the participation in the thread. I already do trim off entire shoots from the bottom of the plant just before switching to 12/12, just to get rid of the smallest lowers that would be too larfy to even bother with keeping through the end. And yes, 50% damaged or more is a good rule of thumb for dying leaves, in my opinion, too. Leaving yellowing fan leaves on is key to getting that sweet fade at the end of flowering, and the fact that the buds draw on all the fan and water leaves is the reason I've never trimmed in flowering before, and why I'm still skeptical on it. I think I'm just going to trim a few of the smallest most useless leaves that are especially blocking the buds, and see how that does. Anybody else got experience in cleaning up flowering plants???

    brainfreezer187 Active Member

    theres a lot of info on this site all you have to do is search... this topic is discussed every a couple days. If your having trouble using the search option go to google and type in "trimming plants during flowering rollitup"... for example... however 50 percent is the rule of thumb and thats what i go with. i trim up a quater of the plant so if its 4ft trim up 1 foot fan leaves have a purpose or they wouldnt be there

    probo24 Well-Known Member

    I use twist ties to tie top fan leaves
    to lower leaves, or to the sides of the pot.

    Both keeps the leaves from blocking the lower buds, and the leaves can keep producing.

    I do also cut the smallest lower buds right before flowering.

    skudz47 Member

    so you cut all the leafs and stems from half way down? what if your a month into flowering?
    mushroom head

    mushroom head Well-Known Member

    If your a month into flowering I wouldnt trim anything.

    rocpilefsj Misguided Angel

    You don't want to put too much stress on your girls during flowering...
    420 Boy

    420 Boy Member

    WHen i was learning, it was from old schoolers too and it was a big NONONO but we did trim on around week 6 (kushes)when you've finished giving your plant that "bud booster" or whatever you give.
    You take only the big fan leaves that are directly on the main sterm. You only leave 2-3 top ones by the main coala. If you don't, you can still notice them going yellow and die within a week, so I think you are just helping the plant by doing this.

    Now, considering new techniques, a plant bottom is trimmed in the vegging period. some lollipop that plant as soon as you have 4-5 little branches appearing on the plant. And it could be relollippoped once more at least a weak before flipping into flowering in order to give it time to recover. But i did see people cleaning a whole foot and more at the bottom completely depending on your plant height.

    mudhead31 Active Member

    Evaery time I trim during flowering for any reason it seems like my buds don't get s large as they do when I don't touch them but sometimes you have to do what you have to do.

    THCbreeder Well-Known Member

    Hey everybody . So I'm a noob and I have read this question many times . I , on week two of flower had two Barney's farm liberty haze . I decided to do this on a trial basis so . I trimmed one ( defoilated her a lot ) and left the other one alone . Full leafs , fan leafs etc . Both fed same nutes same schedule same pheno ( sativa ) and roughly same height . As today , 6 weeks later the trimmed one has outgrown and much better looking than the non trimmed one . Mine you this is a minimum 9 week haze I'm growing . This doesn't apply to all strains . But to say the least in my case I took the chance , and saw the difference . Do the same and learn . We all can benefit from a little experimenting and sharing experiences . ✌️✌️✌️✌️
    mudhead31 likes this.

    THCbreeder Well-Known Member

    image.jpg I'm crazy I know but wait .... image.jpg I'm really crazy .....!!! But the non defoilated is on the left in this pic ( left alone ) !!!

    THCbreeder Well-Known Member

    image.jpg That's her cause look at the pic of defoliation ( two shoots ) . Same plant so no B.S here image.jpg Top cola at 8 weeks after trim on week 2 .!!!

    BWG707 Well-Known Member

    I trimmed fan leaves off one plant a day before harvest just to play around and I was kinda bored. One day before isn't going to make or brake my harvest but it did cut down on the trim a little bit. I'd never trim them more than than 2 or 3 days before chop time. Those leaves are a very important energy source and I want to squeeze everything out of them that I can.
    420 Boy

    420 Boy Member

    Try "Final Bloom" . apparently you put it in your water 2 weeks before harvest and it sucks the plant dry (kills it ) but puts everything in the buds...

    THCbreeder: Did you trim the big fan leaves only on the main stem or all fan leaves including the ones on secondary branches?

    My question is: if there's a light penetration problem during flowering and there's no other choice but to defoliate, what would be the best way to do so without negative effects. Or is it all strain relative?

    BWG707 Well-Known Member

    That is interesting and I'll try it on a plant or two next harvest. I have heard about it before but I always forget about it. And when I say I try to squeeze everything I can out of it, I don't think it really adds much more, but it certainly doesn't hurt.

    Cali.Grown>408 Well-Known Member

    There are advanced growing methods like tearing and removing leafs in flower to stress your plant which will make it produce more THC. I just started doing it

    Cali.Grown>408 Well-Known Member

    Slightly stress your plants regularly

    For advanced growers ONLY! Never attempt to stress your plants intentionally until you’ve already made it through a couple of grows and feel “dialed in” to your setup. Too much stress will kill or slow down your plant’s growth. However, regularly applying a small amount of stress to the plant throughout the flowering stage, especially in the week or two before harvest, may actually increase both trichome (potency) and terpene (smell/taste) production. Common ways of stressing the plant include:

    • gentle manipulation of the stems - slight bending or re-arranging without touching the buds, for exampleLST (low stress training) and supercropping
    • slightly damage the lower leaves (for example crushing lower leaves between your fingers or creating small tears)
    • light defoliation of leaves to expose bud sites - some indica strains do not respond well to defoliation, so start very slowly if you don’t have much experience removing leaves. Some advanced growers gor forextreme defoliation, but that's not necessary to slightly stress the plant to produce more terpenes
    • maintain a low humidity in the flowering stage (in addition to increasing terpene content, this technique may also increase trichome production and potency) - some growers will use a dehumidifier to drop the relative humidity below 20% during the last 2 weeks before harvest
    • allow roots to experience drought conditions - Advanced only! Some growers will allow roots to get slightly too dry mid-flower - be careful as you can kill your plant if roots are permanently damaged!
    • give plants 2-3 days of complete darkness right before harvesting
    • water plants with ice water 2-7 days before harvest

    THCbreeder Well-Known Member

    I would only recommend a logically thinking trimming long sativas , that have a
    I did trim the big fan leaves and left the fan leaves at the bud sites alone . On the secondary branches I cut most of them off . Full light penetration . It stressed her out good I'm sure but she re grew leaves back and had plenty of time to kick ass . I wouldn't do it on an indica and if so it be minor defoliating and every week id pull a tiny bit off . My top cola is the size and thickness of a soda can dense and hard . I'm going to try ice water now starting today !!!

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