Defoliate yes or no?

Hi guys,

I’m just entering into week 8 since planting seeds and have a conundrum. This is my first attempt at growing in coco coir with perlite after my previous successful soil grows and I don’t think I was prepared for how enormous these girls would become. I am growing 2 Jack Herer auto flowers in a small grow tent (60cm x 60cm x 140cm) in 5 gallon cloth pots, and they have just finished their stretch after transitioning into flower about 2 weeks ago.

My question is in such a small grow space with both plants growing on top of each other is it worth me defoliating both my plants now, or later, or not at all. I am concerned that as I go further into flower I will get mould issues. I have a dehumidifier connected and have chucked in a couple of store bought dehumid containers for good measure.

Some more information:

Seeds: Jack Herer autoflower from ILGM
Medium: coco coir with perlite (70:30)
Vessels: 5gallon cloth pots
PH: 5.8 - 6.1 each feed/Water
PPM/TDS: 770ppm using general hydroponics flora trio series, plain pH’d water every second watering
Lighting: 450W led light (180W power, model number GL-NM-3T-450)
Temp range 70-79°F
Humidity RH 42-62
Carbon filter with 4inch inline ventilation fan speed control with separate 4 inch inline intake fan

I’ve read mixed reviews on defoliating to boost yields and reduce mould concerns so would like some guidance. My previous plants didn’t grow nearly as large in soil, but these girls are double the size. In hindsight I should have just grown 1 but here I am. Should I trim the lower fan leaves to ‘lollipop’ them or put my faith in my little dehumidifier and fans and let her go. See the pics for how crowded my girls are. If yes to defoliate when should I do it? I’m about 2 weeks into flower and they have just finished their stretch. They both look really healthy with no nute issues to far (touch wood)


Where they’re autos I wouldn’t go too crazy on them.
Maybe a bit of clean up underneath for a bit of air flow.
Not so much on the top.
Once the buds form nuggets then a few leaves at a time so as not to stress your girl.
A major defoliation on autos has a tendency to stall or slow growth. They are on the clock so to speak and anything that slows them down can adversely affect yield and developement.
They look good btw.


I agree with @Oldguy ,defoliation can help with allowing more light to bud sights. But can also slow plants bud production. Go slow a few at a time.