Yo, what’s good, it’s your boy Dan, and I’m here to talk about defoliating autoflowers. Now listen up, cause this is different from defoliating photoperiod cannabis plants. Them autoflowers can’t handle stress like the other plants, but that don’t mean you shouldn’t try defoliating them.
Defoliation is like pruning, where you remove excess or unnecessary foliage from your plants so they can get more light and direct energy and nutrients to the parts that matter, like the colas. But, some growers are skeptical about it. Why would a plant produce unnecessary foliage that needs pruning in the first place?
Well, plants produce more leaves as a way to store nutrients and transfer them to nearby areas. These areas are the unnecessary growths since the buds around them are sparse and loose. You would weed them out during the harvesting process anyway. So, by removing the old yellow leaves, you allow existing leaves to get more sunlight and improve airflow around your plants.
But hang on now, there are risks involved with defoliating autoflowers. Removing too many leaves can stunt their growth since plants need leaves for photosynthesis to produce energy and store nutrients. Plus, if you stress them out too much, they could become hermaphrodites and start producing male flowers that’ll pollinate your female plants.
But don’t worry, there are benefits too. By removing old fan leaves, you can prevent mold from appearing on your plants and increase light exposure on your bud sites.
So when’s the right time to defoliate autoflowers? During their vegetative stage since they have a shorter growing cycle than photoperiod plants. And when you remove the leaves, start with the lower ones and move up to the upper leaves. Only remove a few at a time to avoid overstressing your plants.
You want to remove the big fan leaves first since they’re often found in the lower part of your plants and will begin to yellow at some point. Removing them helps your plants since those old fan leaves will block and overshadow newer leaves and bud sites.
Once you’re done with the lower part of your plants, move on up to the upper leaves. Remove those that overshadow other leaves and bud sites. And don’t forget to remove any old yellow leaves too.
Now some growers prefer leaf tucking instead of defoliation. It’s a safer alternative where you tuck the large fan leaves down so they don’t overshadow your bud sites. You can tie the branches down with training wire to avoid the fan leaves from springing back in place. The one drawback is that it can lead to poor air circulation in your plants, which can cause mold.
In conclusion, defoliating autoflowers does have its risks and benefits, but it’s worth trying if you know what you’re doing. And if you’re looking for high-quality autoflower strains with strong genetics, check out ILGM.com for some hardy options.
Alright, that’s all for now. Stay growing my friends!