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Removing Fan Leaves at the Beginning of Flowering

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GrowDad
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What’s everyone’s thoughts about removing most of the fan leaves?  I am 5 days in 12/12.  I have already lollipoped my girls.  I’ve heard pro’s and con’s on removing fan leaves. 

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Topic starter Posted : January 28, 2021 6:25 pm
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GrowDad
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Pro’s-light penetration , more focus on bud making

 

Con’s-plants can hermie, no food storage for flowers(fan leaves are warehouses for food storage) 

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Topic starter Posted : January 28, 2021 6:28 pm
monkeydo
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Back in the beginning I did pull a lot of fan leaves, now I pull as few as possible. There's a lot of literature out there about defoliation but it's not all correct. The plant has spent a lot of energy making those solar panels and it is intending on getting its investment back plus extra energy when that leaf starts harvesting light. The plant needs those leaves to make food from the light and then use that food for making buds. If you keep stripping leaves the plant replaces them at a cost, that cost is lower harvest. I only prune during veg, topping and such, and I wait until flowers are forming on the plant before I lollipop, usually 2-3 weeks after flip. This timing helps me control the height better and the plant conserves its energy for the good stuff. Light penetration does no good if there isn't a leaf to capture that light. By the time you reach the floor of the tent there should be nothing but shadow or you are wasting light energy.

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Posted : January 28, 2021 9:16 pm
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Hart
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Posted by: @growdad

What’s everyone’s thoughts about removing most of the fan leaves?

We only remove fan leaves that block buds from the light, center ventilation is important so some removal there if it's too crowded and also if any fan leaves are laying on top of each other could cause mildew/mold. Instead of removing we try tucking/bending to the side or under. 

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Posted : January 28, 2021 9:19 pm
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jacks_farm
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Posted by: @growdad

Pro’s-light penetration , more focus on bud making

 

Con’s-plants can hermie, no food storage for flowers(fan leaves are warehouses for food storage) 

You have the right idea but it's a careful balance, I have done it for years but you need to know what leaves to remove and when, need to take the plants heath into consideration, for example you don't want to remove loads of leaves a few days after potting up and givin the root mass a soak, it will stunt the growth and stress the plant out.

Some plants grow loads of massive fan leaves and they become less effective over time, if you remove a few large fan leaves, the plant will replace them with smaller leaves in a few days and the plants use less energy to support the large fan leaves( indica plants) and the plants can redirect the energy in bud growth.

If my humidity is high I would remove just enough fan leaves in late flower so the canopy is full but thin as this drops the humidity loads without reducing the amount of light the plants can absorb.

I advise most growers against this because I have seen many grower remove 90% of the fan leaves and really mess there plants up.

Good luck.

 

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Posted : January 28, 2021 10:53 pm
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GreenBee
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@monkeydo was just pondering that method glad to hear it's working for you.

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Posted : January 29, 2021 7:13 am
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Posted by: @hart
Posted by: @growdad

What’s everyone’s thoughts about removing most of the fan leaves?

We only remove fan leaves that block buds from the light, center ventilation is important so some removal there if it's too crowded and also if any fan leaves are laying on top of each other could cause mildew/mold. Instead of removing we try tucking/bending to the side or under. 

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Posted : January 29, 2021 10:10 am
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Posted by: @greenbee

@monkeydo was just pondering that method glad to hear it's working for you.

The method @monkey is using is very good advice and if 95% of growers follow his advice they would get larger crops, as airflow and the a large amount of fan leaves is a big part of getting the best out of your plants.

When I talk about removing selected fan leaves that waste energy, I am talking about a plant growing large amount of large fan leaves like this one and some of my fan leaves are larger, it blocks the light and increases the humidity.

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Posted : January 29, 2021 10:46 am
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When I started back growing used the lowenfell method of leave them be , then after hours of youtube content regardless of origin after a few years manifested in my brain and id defoliate , huge boo boo monkeydo advised to try and not , again how i started out and as a rule i try not too unless completely necessary and my bud quality has tripled 😉  

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Posted : January 29, 2021 1:01 pm
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monkeydo
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@jacks_farm those look like the size of some of the leaves on the LA Peyote Kush. There are some massive ones and they can be a bit of a problem sometimes. I’ll get a picture up in my update later today

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Posted : January 29, 2021 1:26 pm
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Chillbert
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Lots of great advice there 👊👊👍👍

If you do decide to defoliate the only thing I can add is never take more than 10% at a time to limit shock to the plant 

Some strains react better to it than others 

in nature defoliation is minimal, however once you prune a plant, some further pruning (and/ or defoliation) may become necessary to ensure airflow, light penetration etc as already stated 

I like to do very similar to monkey  Hart and Jack above

let the plant do her thing as much as possible @Growdad 

good luck brother 👍

 

Time to pop some more beans 😗

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Posted : January 29, 2021 3:19 pm
GrowDad
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@monkeydo

 

thanks Monkey!   Good advice!  I’ve always been under the impression that you shouldn’t touch your flowering plants between weeks 2-5.   Like you said though, there’s a lot of literature out there that’s not correct.  I’ve always tried to lollipop by the end of week 2 flowering.   I’ll leave those fan leaves on and let nature takes its course with them.  I’ve got a good canopy going.  

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Topic starter Posted : January 29, 2021 3:23 pm
GrowDad
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@monkeydo 

 

is that Seedsmans LA Peyote Kush?   I’ve grown a bunch of Seedsmans gear and have been really impressed especially for the price of their beans. 

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Topic starter Posted : January 29, 2021 3:27 pm
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monkeydo
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Posted by: @growdad

is that Seedsmans LA Peyote Kush

It certainly is. We are in the middle of a grow off competition using Seedsman LAPK. Everyone involved in the comp has their diaries here:

Grow Off Diaries – Percys Grow Room: Cannabis Growers Forum

It's a monster strain, very tall and an aggressive grower once you get past the early veg phase. It's a bit picky early on, at least it was for me

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Posted : January 29, 2021 4:52 pm
Stootie
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@monkeydo  Iv got a light above each plant and I have this 3 armed light pointing at the bottom of the plants so they are getting light from all angles, its maybe not recommended tho?

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Posted : January 29, 2021 7:22 pm
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