Need some hand holding with my first lollipop

I get the general idea of lollipoping. However, I’m not just sure how some of this applies in my situation. My girls are definitely in flower and are white widow autos by ILGM. I’m afraid of stunting them at this critical moment.

  1. How many of the main fan leaves on the main stock should remain? I’m guessing that all would be bad. I’m not looking for a specific number obviously, just general guidance.

  2. How about fan leaves on the stems? If this was a photoperiod, I would have done the 1/3 rule and they would be tall enough to do that without worrying about sacrificing budsites. I’m just not sure how this applies to autos in my situation as I don’t want to loose yield.

  3. Since my goal with LST was to maximize the undergrowth and widen the plant, how much do I really want to cut off here?

I will include a photo of one that I “lightly” defoliated abd another that I haven’t touch since light defoliation during it’s veg.

With light defoliation.

Not touched at all.


Lollipopping refers to a technique just ahead of harvest to make things easier on the grower at trim time.

Leaves produce the sugars needed for the plant to produce flower. Indoor lighting is in many cases low intensity and removing leaves reduces flower production. Unless you are running insane light levels I would strongly advise removing only old battered fans and any that risk the health of the plant if left on.

Yes, it could very well be that I have misinformation. I understood that people either choose right before flipping lights to flower or within the first couple weeks of transition would clean up the first 1/3 plant for air flow and allow a focus of energy to the top of the plant.

From your suggestion, it sounds that you’d recommend just leaving as is besides fan leaves that are unhealthy.

As far as light levels, I have a SF4000 and am around 24k-25k lux at canopy level. I’m not sure what would be considered “low intensity”

You’re going to want to run somewhere above 40 watts/square foot with that type of light.

There is a defoliation done at about plus 3 weeks in flower for photoperiod plants but I’d be careful with autos. Yes, you can remove understory plant material that won’t ever perform.

1 Like

My area is 17.8 square feet while the SF4000 is a 450w led. That comes out to 25.28w per square foot. So my area is underpowered?

@Nicky has a pretty sweet hand when it comes to autos. Defols are okay to do lollipopping also but as stated needs to be hit in the right area of time to not cause any other issues or stunt the plant. I have do e all kinds of stuff with my w.w. autos from ilgm and it dont seem to really much affect the outcome unless it is a heat related issue which i hope i have fixed now. Just dropped 3 zkittlez autos from ilgm last night in paper towels now hopefully a day or so and we will have them in their final homes soon. Soon to transplant 2 sebring seeds maui waui photos in their final resting place later or tomorrow also and a week or 2 i will have a runtz photo following in its final home

1 Like

Lollipopping and defoliation are different things. While lollipopping involves defoliation it can be a one time thing. Remove the growth at the bottom of the plant (I go with the bottom 3rd) and continue with your regular grow.

Here’s a pic of Polly at about week 4 of flower.

I started her lollipop at about the time she went into flower. All of the growth in the bottom 3rd of the plant was removed.

This is her a few days from harvest. What Karla is doing a defoliation in preparation for harvest.

Karla is holding her top branches.

This is one of her bottom branches. That’s a half dollar.

I’ll admit to being a little heavy handed with my plants. Since I started training them I’ve used varied techniques that have resulted in some heartache. So, dive in but watch out for the rocks. Make sure of your cuts and remember this is a great time to take clones.


The advice for cloning is only applicable to photoperiods.

Thnx @Mark0427

Yeah I think Lolipoping and defoilation are mandatory pretty much, same as removing sucked branches that are to thin and don’t have enough nutrient pathways to build a decent bud.
3rd week of flower is when I do it the first time then after another couple weeks I do it again.
Last week or two before harvest you can remove every fan leaf for sure.

Plant health and growing medium makes a big difference, in soil you need to go slow as to not shock/stunt the plant while in coco you can do it all at once and be more aggressive.
Another reason why I don’t like growing in soil anymore.

1 Like

Plenty for veg but not enough for flower IMO. You would want almost double what you currently have.

Great info. I think one of the best decisions I made was growing in coco. I have two different mediums I’m testing. I have coco loco from fox farm with my dry amendments. Then I have 75% pure coco, organic ewc, perlite, and my dry amendments. Can’t tell a difference between them at this point. Coco loco was definitely cheaper and less work than mixing everything.

Coco loco is meant to be run at a soil PH and is an amended coco so its much differnt then feeding true coco with nutrients. That’s for sure but some do very well with it.

Check out bulldogn"s journals

yeah, I think I really have the perfect situation for it. I used organic dry amendments called “earth dust” by the green sunshine company. Since it’s organic, I don’t ever have to worry about nute burn. I mixed it in with the soil, and just reammend every three weeks. I haven’t done anything besides watering and a tea. I ph to about 6.3-6.4 but not too crazy about it.

Yeah, I understand it’s a different game when using coco with synthetic nutes or coco with dwc. Luckily, I don’t have to worry about any of that.

As for organic not hvaing nute burn that’s not true, ussualy soils stunt growth when to hot but they do cause nute burn to it happens and we see it fairly often with fox farms ocean forest when plants are to young.

Teas are your version of nutrients, soon you’ll be brewing your own from scratch and stuff.

A good company to check out is green planet they are based here in Canada and are organic, all certified and stuff.

But @Skydiver is one of our local organic experts it’s not really the rout I went after getting frustrated with feeding soils I switched to coco and cheap dry salt based nutrients like jacks/chemgro

fair point, I have heard that a lot with ocean forest. I don’t claim to be an expert, just regurgitating what I’ve been told :slight_smile:

1 Like