Defoliation or no defoliation

O yeah my name is Brian, I put Brain down because it’s an inside joke lol. Good to meet you bro!!!

Good to meet you too bro!

I was a restaurant worker my whole career, changed and now I’m a software engineer.

Funny thing, I quit smoking to be more effective, when i was working in kitchens.
Now, I’m a software engineer, and my mind is my tool, and I smoke ALL the time.
Which, funny enough, does NOTHING for my work.

I usually dont smoke before work, messes with me hard.

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That’s funny! There is no way I could have done my job high :upside_down_face: because of not smoking for so long it only takes a few hits to get where I wanna be. Sun :sun_with_face: :potted_plant: :heart:

Lol i can do it! It only really slowd me down when I’m trying to understand something someone else is saying. Which is alot lol

:laughing: right! It’s like instant ADD :snail:

Attention deficit disorder lol

I personally prune auto sparingly. Only for airflow really. They are fillins so i grow them straight and true. Photo i play around with. This new round is all auto with 1 clone vegging for a 20 gal. Almost zero defoliation except bottom beginner leaves and the big giant fans that appear first and end up buried in the plant.


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Thanks for sharing :+1: I think I over did it! But they are healthy so I’m not too worried about it. But in the future I’ll remove less.

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Starting to get frosty :heart_eyes:


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I see you use fabric pots, what kind of soil do u use?

Looking great man. I use organic potting soil and Earth Dust. First round with Earth Dust. No work at all.

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You’ll be surprised how quick that stuff fills back in…

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I’ll have to look for that (earth dust) p4p told me not to add anything. It’s nice to use hot soil but I don’t like the smell of my plant & idk if it’s the organic or what? Thanks for sharing :+1:

A couple of things I think are worth mentioning when growers bring up “defoliation”. No amount of nutrients will help the plant grow, unless they are first processed through the leaves. Only then, may mobile nutrients, commonly called "plant food” continues to the buds, for growth. The real name for plant food is called “photosynthate”, but for the purpose and ease of this post, let’s use the term “plant food”.

Leaves" have two main purposes:

1st, You can thank the leaves themselves for 99% of all the uptake of water and nutrients. Plants have a very small chain of water molecules that stretch from root to leaf, within the “xylem” (the woody center part). This ionic chain phenomenon is referred to as cohesion, whereas the entire uptake, from root to leaf, is called “transpiration”. Water is basically the blood of the plant. If you cut any leaves off, you limit the plants resources of water.

2nd, Leaves make all the “plant food” that the plants use to grow, while managing waste (O2), through the stomata. The stomata are very small pore-like openings in the bottom of the leaf, which exchanges new CO2 and O2, and water evaporation. “Plant food” is made through a process called photosynthesis, with in the chloroplast. Leaves are like a big food engine, but instead of 2 fuels like a car (gas & O2), leaves have 3 fuels (CO2 & Nutrients & PAR).

So, why remove them?

I’ve never liked the term of “defoliation” as it means “to strip (a tree, bush, etc.) of leaves”, implying all of them. I prefer to use their relative nick-names, “lollipopping”, “schwazzing” or even “pruning”, to limit confusion. These methods are not something I would promote anyone who desires larger yield, especially outside in full sun or if using auto-flowering seeds. Realistically, removing “any” healthy mature leaf will hinder growth & yield. A good rule of thumb would be to let the plant itself decide naturally what she wants to keep.

Distinguishing the different terms of training, or pruning growth is also a factor. Pruning a branch off the main stem, to manipulate growth direction, is not defoliation. Defoliation includes only leaf matter.

Growth “time span”, is also something that plays a roll. Depending on the cannabis grower’s view, any plant manipulation while in vegetation cycle may not be viewed as playing a role in final yield, while referring to defoliation. As an example, a farmer could prune half the vegetation off in veg cycle, but gives enough time for the vegetation to grow back, before entering into flower. If the factor of “time” itself is removed, the outcome of yield could be viewed differently. This does not apply to Auto Flower strains, as the cycles are fixed, and not based on light cycles.

Understanding what the flower actually is, is also important. Cannabis, being an “incomplete flower”, and a “raceme” type, generally has only male or female parts, where a complete flower has both. Nowhere within the flower itself, is there any leaves. Leave form around each flower. A “Raceme” is a flower cluster with the separate flowers attached by short equal stalks at equal distances along a central stem.

The “flowers” them self, do NOT require any light. No amount of light that’s exposed to each flower will help it grow any measurable amount, or yield more. It the physical features simply aren’t there for any measurable amount of photosynthesis to occur.

In botany, a “bud” is a knob-like growth on a plant that develops into a leaf, flower, or shoot. Only in the cannabis world does it mean “flower clusters”, in a slang fashion. Realistically, referring to a “bud” would be closer to saying “cola” or “meristem”, as it contains flower and leaf, and usually the primary growth area of the shoot.

Where/what is this sink?

“Sinks cells” are areas of new growth with low osmotic pressure. Leaves are areas of high pressure, hence why “plant food” or “photosynthate”, flow from high pressure leaves, to low pressure sinks; commonly called “osmosis”. Sinks can be in the roots or the shoots of the plant (new growth). After the plant food has been manufactured in the leaves, it enters into the phloem, starting at an area in the leaf called “source cells”. From here, osmosis carries “plant food” to its destination and use.

Now for an overall recap. Nutrients use the water to hitchhike a ride, up the xylem, to the chloroplast in the leaf. The leaf processes the raw nutrient into plant food. Then, plant food, enters into the phloem, and high pressure pushes it throughout the plant to areas of low pressure and use.

I do not recommend the removal of any healthy, mature leaf.

Good luck & happy growing

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I’m a new grower myself, and have done a ton of research on the subject of defoliation. While everything said above is correct, each strain is different, and can handle different amounts of stress. I personally believe that if you want the best out of your plants, that you have to push them. So, I’m currently growing 3 amnesia haze autos, and one of them I did pretty heavy defoliation, almost everyday I’m in there cutting lower leaves and side branches, basically any growth that isn’t going to be a part of the canopy. I did this against the advice of many growers here on the forum, but wanted to see what would happen. Well, it slowed down growth for a couple days, and then the plant took off, and is huge compared to the other two, and will almost certainly produce more than the others combined. I think it’s good for airflow and light penetration, and while I can only base this off of my current grow, but the amnesia haze seems to love it.


Kind of a terrible picture, especially since you can’t really see everything I’ve cut off, but the plant on the right is thriving since it’s defol.

Here’s a better example, I cut everything away from the middle of the plant, and slowly work my way up. Usually only take a handful or so at a time, don’t want to stress it too bad, but wanted to force the plant to do what I wanted. As far as I’m concerned, my experiment was a success


IMO as you admitted, you are a new grower and you are learning and experimenting. Thats great!!! I have tested this method over years of growing. let the plant do it’s own thing is my method. Yes, if there are leaves yellowing and are not being functional to the plants growth, remove them. If there are so many leaves that the plant will eventually have mold and mildew problems, because of the lack of air flow, then a smart minded trim is probably a smart thing to do. But like i said, the plant can’t get the resources it needs to grow full high quality bud without leaves.

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I used ocean forest and Earth dust. My first try I used dirt from the gardening center here… They didn’t make it.
This time I used the ocean forest and Earth dust though. They look great but they are both stunted. I think they are 6 weeks now and have been flowering for two or more weeks. They are like 4" tall though. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. But I do like the better dirt and the earth dust. How is your grow going?
I tried to do a little LST on them to at least spread out and get light to all of it… And it’s actually making things happen but I hear it was useless to do it because you can’t make more codas? See I’m really really new to this… So I hope I didn’t kill them lol