When to defoliate?

It’s been 11 days since switching to 12/12 lights and the stretch is on. The girls are pretty heavy with a lot of fan and small limbs. When would it be safe to really put a big defoliation on them. Forgot to mention they are photos. Thanks in advance!! @Hellraiser @Bulldognuts @BobbyDigital @Covertgrower @Myfriendis410 @MeEasy @Budz

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As far as the smaller, lower stems I usually start removing in late Veg and continue through flower until I feel like I’ve removed anything that won’t produce much. When it comes to heavy defoliation of leaves I generally wait to around week 3 of flower. You could start removing leaves now if you want, without causing major problems.

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Most do heavy defoil in weeks 3 and 6 of flower.

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Let it finish with the stretch: roughly 21 days or so. When you ‘defoliate’, you are only removing older fan leaves and cleaning up underneath.

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As you know, bulldog has you covered. At day 11 of flip, I would remove any fan leaves blocking bud sites or potential if no pistols yet. I would do a heavier defoliation at day 21 after flip.

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Take it for what it’s worth, but I don’t remove any leaves unless they’re damaged or dying. Leaves are a plants life source, and I believe removing them hurts their development, but do your own research, that’s what I have concluded with my research.

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There’s a couple things to keep in mind about defoliation. If you are running higher end LEDS, strategically removing larger fan leaves allows light into center of plant. In my experience when defoliating, I have actually seen increased growth of leaves and buds. But keep in mind, this is if you have top level LEDS. The second thing that defoliating will do is,allow better airflow below canopy. This will help prevent the possibility of mold and bud rot. I do agree with @Dexterado , spend some time reading journals and researching. In the end everyone must learn from experience. My experience has convinced me that, at least some defoliation is best.

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I just trimmed my two Photos at 6 weeks above soil. But I don’t Veg.

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I have to agree, but


I’ve never grown indoors. Back in the day I used to stress over the plants. OMG this OMG that…

Now, I treat them like my vegetables. Water and food and let them do their thing. I top em to bush and try and keep low. I only pull off leaves that are dying. Spray for bugs. I think the term weed IMO is cause they grow like weeds🤷

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The Sun is the best light available :slightly_smiling_face::+1:It will penetrate areas of plant that no indoor lighting can. That’s why I believe some defol is helpful.

I can totally understand that. If the light can’t reach it, it’s not helping anyway.
I imagine ya have to have pretty good air flow inside as well.

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I have 3 4000 SF and 2 2000 SF currently at 80% I really get aggresive when i start taking limbs and leaves.

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Basically experience will dictate what methods we all decide to do. Once anyone gets the basics down, there’s many methods that work. I grow in soil and many will say that hydro and coco is superior, I agree but I’ve been really satisfied with my results. Everyone has to ultimately find their own way :slightly_smiling_face::+1:

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You can trim off small sucker branches and lower growth at any time, I do weekly cleanups. I also remove large fans now and then in flowering as needed with the largest defols around day 21 of flowering, where most large fan leaves are removed. Lots of benefits, opens up the canopy, more airflow, less humidity, more light to the bud sites.

Defoliating is fine for vigorous healthy plants that are being provided everything they need through good nutes and a good microbe population in the medium. Plants in poor health, bad medium conditions will not do well with defols.

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Very well said.

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