Defoliation is the process of trimming away leaves in such a way that it helps increase yield. There is some discussion whether defoliation is actually helpful or not but in our opinion and experience it does indeed help the plant direct energy to areas producing buds. In this article we’ll take a look at how to defoliate in a gentle way—of course you could go very far and defoliate the plant until it is bare but only do this if you are confident in what you are doing.
You’ll want to start topping when your plant has 5 or 6 total nodes. Topping is when you cut the main branch right after a new node so that the two branches coming from the node site will receive more energy and will become stronger. This will encourage your plant to grow more horizontally and it will appear “bushy.”
You’ll want to give your plants a good trim about 4 to 8 weeks after planting your seed. You will see that you have created a number of new node points by topping as well as having encouraged stronger branches. Yet, you’ll also notice that there are a number of smaller leaves and branches within and beneath the canopy that are using energy without producing buds or capturing light. Prune away these leaves and small stems within and beneath the canopy. We recommend that you prune your plants every 2 weeks until about 1 week before you turn to flower. How do you know which leaves to remove? If the light to a single fan leaf is blocked by two or more leaves, remove it.
We hope this quick primer helps you during your Vegetative journey – if you have questions or comments don’t hesitate to reach out to us!