Defoliation in autoflowers is different from defoliation photoperiod cannabis plants in that autoflowers don’t handle stress as well as photoperiod plants.
However, that doesn’t mean defoliating autoflowers isn’t worth it.
Like everything types of plants training, there is simply a potential risk.
In this article, we cover the risks and benefits of defoliating autoflowers.
What is Cannabis Defoliation
Defoliation is a practice similar to cut.
It removes excess or unnecessary foliage on your plants, so it can effectively absorb light and direct energy and nutrients to the parts of the plant that are important, like its colas.
And while it is true that leaf removal harms your plant, it is only temporary and the stress it brings becomes beneficial to the plant. plant growth.
Another similarity between defoliation and pruning is that many growers have been skeptical of the practice since cut and remove the leaves of your cannabis plants seems counter-intuitive.
Why would a plant produce unnecessary foliage that would need pruning in the first place?
The answer to this is quite simple.
To buy Autoflowering Seeds
- Easy to grow
- Guaranteed germination
- Suitable for beginners
- Cultivation guide available
Plants produce more leaves to serve as way to store nutrients and efficiently transfer those nutrients and energy to nearby areas.
These areas are the unnecessary growths because the buds around them are sparse and loose, which you will eventually remove during the harvesting process.
Although there are growers who will still question the benefits of defoliation, there are growers who use this practice to improve both performance and efficiency of their growth.
Defoliation also produces healthier crops since the removal of unnecessary foliage such as old yellowing leaves allows existing leaves to receive more sunlight and improves air circulation around your plants.
Defoliation is different from pruning as it is a safer alternative as it is not as aggressive or intense.
However, just like pruning, you can defoliate your plants too much, stunting their growth and eliminating potentially good buds.
This is particularly true for autoflowers. This is why it is essential to know how to defoliate autoflowers and when to defoliate autoflowers.
Download my free marijuana grow guide and start growing high quality marijuana strains.
- Grow with my quick start guide
- Discover the secrets of big yields
- Avoid Common Growing Mistakes
The Risk of Defoliating Autoflowering Marijuana
Removing too many leaves is a risk if you don’t know how to defoliate autoflowers.
the plant needs its leaves for photosynthesis to produce energy. Moreover, the leaves also act as a way to store nutrients.
If you remove too much, you can stunt the growth of your cannabis plants because your plants will not have enough energy or nutrients.
There’s also the risk of stress when you defoliate autoflowers, which could lead them to hermia, a condition in which your plants will start producing male flowers that will pollinate the buds of your female plants.
A good way to prevent your plants from becoming hermaphrodites is to choose cannabis seeds with stronger genetics since the weaker ones produce plants more prone to hermaphroditism.
Despite the risk involved in the practice, there are benefits to defoliating autoflowers.
By removing the old fan leaves, your plants will have better air circulation, which reduces the risk of mold appearing on your plants.
Trimming excess foliage also helps to increase light exposure to your bud sites.
How to defoliate autoflowers
The right time to defoliate autoflowers is during their vegetative stage because autoflowering marijuana has a shorter growth cycle than photoperiod plants.
When it comes to defoliating standard cannabis plants, you can do it both during their vegetative period and midway through. flowering stages.
When stripping leaves from your autoflowers, start with the lower leaves first before working your way up to the upper leaves.
It’s also important to only remove a few at a time to avoid stressing your plants too much.
Remove large leaves
Start with the lower leaves first as large leaves are often found in the lower part of your plants.
These large leaves, or fan leaves as they are also called, would be start to turn yellow at one point.
Removing them helps your plants because those old fan leaves will block and overshadow new leaves and bud sites.
Remove shady leaves
Once you’re happy with the pruning you’ve done on the lower part of your plants, you can move on to the upper leaves.
You would want to remove the top leaves to allow all the leaves on your plant to get plenty of light and prevent the top leaves from overshadowing the other leaves and bud sites.
Remove old yellow leaves
Obviously you would want to remove the old yellow leaves because at this point they have exhausted all their functions and are now waiting to fall.
Removing them would not take away any nutrients since the old yellow leaves do not have more nutrients for the plant to manage.
Leaf Tucking: The Autoflower Defoliation Alternative
Another way for your bud sites to absorb light effectively is through leaf folding. It is a safer alternative to defoliation since it does not involve trim the leaves of your cannabis plants.
Instead, it’s a low-stress type of training where you bend the large leaves into a fan shape so they don’t overshadow your plant’s bud sites.
This is a fairly simple plant training method that doesn’t require anything, but just to be safe, you can tie the branches with training wire to prevent the fan leaves from sticking back into place.
The only downside to this method is that folding back the leaves leads to poor air circulation in your plants, which leads to mold.
However, this method is undoubtedly stress-free and is ideal for autoflowering strains.
So the question is, should autoflowers be defoliated?
You can, and there’s a clear benefit to your cannabis plants if you do.
If you don’t know where to start, try downloading and reading my Free Marijuana Grow Bible.
Once done, you’ll be ready to apply defoliation and other plant training methods to regular and autoflowering plants like a pro.
We have a large (and growing) catalog of hardy autoflowering strains.
Defoliated Autoflower FAQs
Defoliation helps by removing old yellow leaves that prevent new growth and bud sites from getting the sunlight they need. This pruning method also improves the airflow, efficiency and yield of your plants by eliminating unnecessary foliage that eats up the nutrients your main colas should be getting.
When it comes to autoflowering strains, you can only defoliate them once, and that’s during their vegetative phase. This is because autoflowers have a shorter growth cycle. Because photoperiod plants have longer growth cycles, you can defoliate them twice. Learn more about the method in my defoliation article.
Removing your fan leaves is defoliation, and it’s generally not recommended to do so during their flowering phase. This is because the stress caused by leaf pruning during flowering is more likely to cause hermia in your plants than during the vegetative stage.