Looking for advice for defoliation in flower

I am currently running 3 NL and 1 GF and currently finishing up the 4th week of flower. This is my first run and I neglected to train my plants. Now they are pretty bushy and there is not a ton of light reaching inside the plants. I have a trellis net on the way to see if I can separate the colas a bit. They are still a bit flexible. Yesterday I removed large fan leaves that got buried inside the canopy and removed smaller/young branches at the bottoms that wouldn’t have delivered. I am looking for advice on what leaves I should remove to open the plants up a bit for better airflow and light penetration or if I should bother at all. Thanks in advance.


I’m a proponent for less is more. The fewer leaves you remove the more energy she can generate.

Any leaves that are on top of eachother, rubbing eachother, or if you notice patches of moisture between leaves, I’d try to clear out anything like that. You do want to maximize airflow, but the best way to do that is see where most leaves have congregated and remove one or two here and there til it looks more open between the nodes than before.

Sorry if that’s not super helpful advice, but that’s how I operate. They just need enough room to breathe, no more.


Thanks for the advice. I will see what I can can remove for better airflow.

what you did along with what graysin noted is what I do…if your girls are strong they can take it and my theory is she can devote more energy to what it left and not waste any on something that is not going to generate the end goal which is flower…nice grow by the way


Agree nice grow. I would just remove the fan leaves on the inside and the leaves that are touching the buds. You can also bend them down. I do that with my scrog net.


Dont know of this is the best but this is what i do! In my 2x4x6.3 tent i have a 4" exhust fan blowing fresh air from lung room into the bottom left air intake blowing up under the canopy( blowing up under her SKIRT if you will) now i dont have to worrie about air penetration thru the canopy. Next is a 6" occolator type fan blowing above and accross the top of the canopy (again dont need penetrating air flow) another 6" occolator fan blowing accross heat sink and finally my 6" exhust fan and filter blowing out the top left. Have all airflow covered reguardless of leave density. Therefore no leaf removal needed! Leaves are solar panels for the plant and she grows what she needs. I will pull only ones being dropped by the plant ( turning yellow and such). I pinch only in flower if blocking bud sites and leave all others alone as if the plant knows if it needs them or not. Air flow can be achived without stripping the solar panels away. Dont know if correct but it works for me!


I would wait until your trellis arrives and you position them. THEN see which, if any, leaves need to be removed. Like others stated, those leaves are the energy factories, the more you have, the better for the plant.

And don’t remove a leaf because it’s blocking a bud site, today. Buds don’t need light to grow, they need the energy produced from those fan leaves mixed in with nutes from the roots to grow. And as she grows, those sites may pop out into the open on their own. If you snip the leaves that WERE blocking them, you’ve lost energy production that can’t be brought back online.

Remember, your plant is growing, what’s where now won’t be there later!


That’s a good point. I will wait until my net arrives before going any further. Thanks for your advice.

The worst of my plants is the GL on the bottom right. It decided to tightly pack itself together. It like it doesn’t like light or something.

I attempted to use the trellis however it was a bit difficult so I decided not to force it. I did not want to damage anything. I did however pull the stems back to open up the one on the bottom right and I might do the same to the top right. The others are ok.

They are getting close. Just started week 5 and starting to lighten up a bit.



Northern lights and what’s GF!

I’m assuming gold leaf?

Yeah, I’ve never bothered with trellis or netting before, I train them when they are young and they spread out. There’s been a few plants I didn’t like, didn’t want them but couldn’t let them die, so I did nothing to them. Kept them in little pots (1gal or less!), ended up tying them up with strings! But I still won’t use a net, can’t spin them, hard to trim, can’t take them out of the tent, etc…

Your plants look good, as long as the stems are strong, you should be ok!

Sorry that was a mistype. It’s gold leaf.

I agree that the trellis net makes things more difficult. On my next run I’ll be moving to a 4x4. 3x3 is a little too tight especially when I might have to run heat or humidifier and multiple fans.

I grew 3 gold leaf and yours looks normal to me. Mine also grew bushy.

From what I read about them, I was assuming it would grow taller. Toward the beginning it appeared to be stunted and grew much slower than the NLs.

Mine were about 2 feet tall and very bushy all 3