New growers are constantly wondering when to defoliate cannabis. But this isn’t necessarily always a new cultivator issue.
Many people don’t realize the importance of defoliation for cannabis plants. It provides several benefits that can help your plants reach their full potential. However, when you should defoliate can vary depending on various factors.
So when should you defoliate your cannabis? Let’s take a look in detail.
What is Cannabis Defoliation?
Defoliation is a technique used to remove old, dying leaves to encourage new growth and improve air circulation in the plant canopy. It can be done anytime during the growing cycle. But typically, this should only be done after flowering has begun and when there are more than six leaves on the plant.
Defoliation should be done carefully and sparingly to avoid stressing the plant too much. When defoliating, it’s important to leave some of the fan leaves and not overexpose the plant to full sunlight. Equally important to remember is that when done correctly, defoliation can help promote better bud formation and higher yields.
Benefits of Defoliating Cannabis Plants
Some of the major benefits of defoliating your cannabis plants are:
- More airflow – Defoliation helps promote better air circulation, which helps to prevent mold and mildew growth.
- Improved light absorption – By removing the old foliage, more light is able to reach the remaining leaves and buds, thus increasing yields.
- Enhanced concentration – Defoliation can help to improve the quality of your buds by concentrating their essential oils and terpenes.
- Better bud structure – Removing the old foliage helps to promote more uniform bud formation.
Loving this post? Make sure to check out our other article about what CFO stands for before you leave!
If you’re new to defoliation, keep these tips in mind for when you get started:
- Start small – When defoliating your plant, start by removing just two or three fan leaves at a time to reduce the stress on the plant.
- Choose carefully – When defoliating, it’s important to start with the bottom branches and work your way up. Be sure to pick the fan leaves that are at least partially yellowed or dead so you don’t disrupt growth.
- Don’t remove too much – Leave some of the fan leaves intact to ensure that the plant still has enough foliage to sustain its growth.
- Monitor closely – Monitor your plant closely after defoliation to ensure it’s not stressed too much, and adjust your technique as necessary.
Picking the Right Cannabis Plants for Defoliation
Defoliation works best with plants that have a lot of foliage because this encourages more uniform bud formation. Younger plants should not be defoliated because they may not have enough foliage to sustain their growth after the defloration process.
In general, you should wait until the flowering stage of your plant’s life cycle before defoliating. This is because the buds are more developed and stronger at this stage and therefore less likely to be damaged by the process.
Cannabis Defoliation FAQ
When should you remove fan leaves?
You should remove fan leaves when they’re at least partially yellowed or dead and after flowering has begun.
How late into flower can you defoliate?
It’s best to defoliate your plants during the late flowering stage when buds are more developed and less likely to be damaged.
Can I defoliate in week 2 of flowers?
No, you should wait until after flowering has begun before defoliating your cannabis plants. Defoliation should also be done sparingly and carefully so that you don’t stress the plant too much.
Closing Thoughts on Defoliation
Defoliation can help maximize your cannabis yields and promote higher-quality buds, as long as it’s done carefully and correctly. However, it’s important to defoliate your plants carefully and sparingly, as it can be damaging if done too heavily.
Be sure to monitor your plants closely during the process, and adjust your technique as necessary. With proper defoliation, you can increase the quality and yield of your cannabis plants.
Therefore, you should wait until your plant is in the flowering stage and monitor your plant closely during the process. With careful defoliation, you can maximize your plant’s potential and increase its yield and quality.