Why should you not trim leaves during flowering

Discussion in 'Plant Problems' started by birdboy, Jul 5, 2009.

  1. birdboy

    birdboy Registered+

    I was told that during flowering, i should trim the larger leaves off that are hiding the buds. I did do this and have trimmed several leaves off the plants giving the plant more light for the buds. Now i have been told NOT TO trim that the larger leaves help light intake.

    I have noticed some of the plants are wilting on the bottom.
    is this from trimming too much.
    What is the affect from trimming the leaves that i will have?
    I am pannicing now i have gone this far i am afraid i might have messed things up.
    any input would be grateful
  2. Italiano715

    Italiano715 Registered+

    One word.... HERMIE! When you clip off fan leaves, branches, etc. it causes stress to the plant which could cause hermies. The key is to try and not cause ANY type of stress during flowering. Also, your fan leaves take in the light/feeds your plants. I could get more in detail with it but I'm :stoned: and lazy at the moment! Someone else will stop in to finish what I started! :D
  3. oldmac

    oldmac Registered+

    Hello birdboy,

    First thing is...don't panic, it's a plant that is pretty forgiving. Again tho I'm working without a pic of the plant, so I'm not sure how much you took off.

    Like I said on the other thread, generally it is not a good idea to cut off leaves since they gather the light to drive the plants growth, along with nutes. But you said you are only 3 weeks into flowering and kept the main top fan leaves. Your plants may do fine with what it has left, maybe slow growth rate a little, maybe cost some finished weight. But they will continue to flower and I doubt they will turn hermie just from that.

    The wilting lower leaves are probably not from the trimming, could be any of a couple of things. Keep in mind as the plant finishes, lower leaves tend to die off first anyway. I trim lower branches sometime because any buds from there are going to be smaller anyway and I'd rather see the plants energy used for the larger top buds.

    I am assuming that you grow fairly large plants (like 4' or so) like most people on these boards, so if you cut less then 1/3 of the leaf mass total, you should still have enough "leaf power" to get the plant done. But like I said before maybe a little slower and with smaller bud. With a little luck you might not loose anything....and it's better to lucky then good.

    Next time consider this, if you are not growing to a production schedule; when the top buds are ready to harvest, cut the plant in the middle and harvest the top half of the plant. Then give the bottom more time under the light (a week +/-) so the bottom buds can plump more and finish to the trichome level of your choosing.

    Good luck and if you could post a pic here, I will try to help you more.
  4. sergentjunk

    sergentjunk Registered+

    I havent' heard about the stress factor, not that I'm doubting it...I'm very new as it is, so that's some good info. But what I've done so far is to gently bend the larger fan leaves, that are only directly blocking target sites, below where I want the light to get to. That way I keep the light catchers, but they're out of the way.

    I have read at least one article about a succesful grower that does trim very discretionately...for what that's worth.

  5. oldmac

    oldmac Registered+

    I take cuttings from plants 2-3 weeks into flower without a problem. But severe pruning of a flowering plant will probably cause it to stress.

    Another method of getting more light to the bottom of the plant is to have a oscillating fan blowing on it. Just like outside in a breeze it causes the leaves to move around and the shadow pattern changes constantly.
  6. the image reaper

    the image reaper Registered+

    good advice :thumbsup:
  7. daihashi

    daihashi Registered+

    don't cut off leaves... leave them in tact

    Typically what I do is tuck them out of the way. If they are really in the way then I take the leaf and cut half of the tips off (cut at the knuckle of the leaf) this seems to be a happy medium. With that said when I do this I might only trim like 20 leaves across 30 plants and I'm not actually removing them but rather just cutting off the overhanging tips that are blocking light.

    This technique has worked well for me. Previously when I removed the entire leaf/stem I found that the the budsite at that leaf/stem node seems to lag behind.

    That's how i would handle it.:jointsmile:
  8. phatsesh101

    phatsesh101 Registered+

    i slaughter my plants somewhere between day 10-14 of flower and clear out most of the bottom branches and it results in heavier colas

    but i never top or take any of the main branches, top fan leaves stay unless theyre preventing light penetration and i try not to remove anything that doesnt need to be, cause to much will decrease yeild especially off the tops

    do some research and find what works in your garden for you, lollipoping is a technique some use
  9. macnasty

    macnasty Registered+


    O.M. I (try to) grow similar sized plants as yourself; short, single cola plants, so my plants have very minimal side branching when they are triggered into flowering. Side branching intensifies in the first 3 weeks of flowering, and only then does it become a nuisance. My first question is, do you cut lower branches off? Secondly, when do you do this, so that it doesn't impact yield? Thanks.
  10. oldmac

    oldmac Registered+

    I thought you'd like that, I even thought of you when I posted it....

    ....I was trying to "emulate nature".:D
  11. oldmac

    oldmac Registered+

    First let me throw out this disclaimer; it is wrong sometimes to put out general statemants about what one should do or not do with anything (trimming, photoperiod, container size, etc etc.) dealing with this plant. Often times it is a mater of strain, style of grow, and what works best for you in your situation. This is where the arguments start, people tend to be attached to thier style of grow and the beliefs they hold as some sort of gospel.

    In my personal grow, I use RW and I bloom them in a GI Grow rotating garden starting when the plantlets are about 6" tall. In that grow anything that could be a branch or future branch must be cut off immediately. Because the plants auxisms are so screwed up form rotating the plant has no way of knowing which way is up, so any side branch could suddenly start growing like crazy and top growth stops. Plus this growth could be growing straight down, or side ways. That's why I tell people while it sounds sexy to use a rotating garden one of it's bitches is the need to check for and cut any growth at any time at least everyother day. It is very labor intensive.

    If you veg too long in a SOG style grow people will trim most of the bottom off the plant and you have a the "lollipop" plant...bare stalk first 6-10" and a single cola top.

    In another grow I am a partner in, we are growing in contianers, and we are doing abt 2' plants, but I have showed him, with using a short veg period I can grow a small plant with no bare bottom just a cola. I'll post a pic of one I've shown before, it is exactly 10 inches in the pic and when finished it was 12". The only problem is some of the bottom growth is close to the dirt (pro-mix).

    BTW, I've taken plants that size, burnt them with nutes about 14 days before harvest and then flushed them till cutting. All the leafs got burned, dried up by harvest and I had what we jokingly called an "auto-trim" plant. Not a reccomended technique but what I call a "shit and giggles" experiment.:D

    Here's a 10" plant in a 6" dia. pot, really should be a 4" square for this size to max yield in a given space. This plant has never been trimmed, just becuase it tended to be a single stalk strain anyway.

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    Last edited: Jul 10, 2009

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