Removing fan leaves from marijuana plant

A question from a fellow grower:

Do I remove shade leaves when flowering begins?

should I be cutting off the big leaves on my plants so the buds get more light because they are looking very nice

No. You should not cut off fan leaves or big leaves in order to make buds bigger. Fans leaves are the “heart & lungs”, of the plant. Gently bend them out of the way and allow these important leaves to do their job. :slight_smile:



Could we pursue this a little further? What are the mechanics and contribution of really big fan leaves especially when the plant canopies out to the point they are really getting 0 effective light from above? I’m running red, white and blue LED side lights in my tent on advise from a friend when I setting up. He’s a proponent of not trimming fan leaves as well. But I’m reading a lot stuff favoring whacking them when they are no longer getting light.

It does seem that there is a lot of plant power going into the big ol’ leaves that could be making happy smoke. Such thought seems to be pretty prevalent using the plant rotation I’m setting up. To the point they’re lollipopping way up the stem the same seems to be true of SOG growers. Sort of a mantra that if it isn’t getting direct light it’s not contributing.

Thanks, brother, and toke on.


They are the heart and lungs of the plant… As Latewood said Take them away and you will not have happy buds.


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I’m a new beginner just started this year. And I seen this post. now I have to ask would it do major damage if you took some of the big fan leaves are ready.

Yes it could, the fan leaves are the heart of the plant.
The fan leaves if you will act as solar panels and store the energy and passes it through out the plant. Without this the fan leaf the plant will not grow to it full potential.
Hope this helps

B Safe

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I think, too, it depends on how many of the fan leaves are gone and the overall size of the plant.

I hope she makes it.

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don’t remove fan leaves even if you have nutrient problem treated right they will recover fan leaves are important to a healthy plant.

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I didn’t know exactly how to post this next little quandry but this turns out to be a great lead-in although the plants I’m talking about are growing in DWC hydro.

I currently have 4 plants going all were sprouted and transplanted at the same time and have received exactly the same of everything. One of the plants has outgrown the others by a good foot. I started training and grooming them from week 1 in hydro. All the plants started to show very small bud growths from literally every node on every branch and are continuing to do so. I literally can’t keep all the little crap pinched off and the fan leaves (very small) associated with all the nodes are dying like you can’t believe. All the plants have shown some degree of leaf discoloration from day one but grew apace until this 1 plant put on a growth spurt 2 - 3 weeks ago. It also has a huge beard of root growth (2 to 3 times as many as the nearest competitor). I have been conservative in the nutes I’ve provided and in maintaining a 5.8 pH level in the reservoir. I do have to ice the solution every day to keep it below 75F - the usual temp before I ice every AM is 74.2F - and on hotter days I usually have to add a 16oz bottle of ice to hold the temp down overnight.

Hopefully the pics below will be some help in figuring out what is going on. I needed to add that the TDS goes down very little even between 7 - 10 day solution changes but growth has been satisfactory until the last couple of weeks so I discounted nute lock. I started with Fox Farms nutes but they kept fouling everything up and have changed to General Hydroponics Floranova (a 2-level system) which I mix at 60% of recommended quantities/gallon of reservoir capacity. Trying to track by TDS is driving me nuts as with a solution change and feeding I’m getting numbers from 900 - 1500ppm from one feeding to the next despite inclusion of exactly the same measures of nutes and 0ppm water to start with.

Grow Happy and keep on Toking.

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Hmm, this is puzzling.

As far as the ppm range is concerned, the nova stuff is thick with worm castings and bat guano or something, lol, and you almost need to shake that stuff in a commercial paint shaker/mixer, lol.

Something to think about now since you are using General Hydroponics, maybe adding their “Armor Si” silicone supplement, it does help with high temperature stress and other stresses.

Hope this helps,


MacG, thanks for the info I’ll derfinitely give the Armor Si a try.

Did you have any inkling about what the hell the bushy growth is all about? And the mass dying of the underneath to mid height fan leaves?

I would like to get latewood on board on this one, too. See what his opinion is. I maybe am just being paranoid looking for probs that don’t exist but it does all seem oddball.

I just put this lot over on 12/12 lighting Saturday. The large plant is going to be very tight with my lighting if it doubles in size so I couldn’t give the other plants any more time to catch up. I am using LEDs so light burn is not as bad a risk but it’ll be a very near thing anyway.

Keep 'em green and growing and keep on toking.

I don’t know. I look at the pictures, “best I can see”, and I think fungus, 1st off. I also ahve this bug in the back of my head that tells me, I know what it is, but my brain is not unlocking the reference I need. n

Flora Nova nutrients. Are you using any additives?

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I came back to look at pictures, again. In one picture, I noticed a shelf with zip-lok baggies of hydroton, expanded clay. If there was moisture in that medium, when you stored it in baggies…It is possible you grew a mold in your medium. By storing those bags of medium in light you expose them to algae, etc…Especially if those clay pellets had nutrients or soap, etc; On them.

Just throwing this out there.

Only experienced growers should do Defoliation and it helps to increase your COLAS.

No additives right at this time. I am goiong to add the Armor Si MacG recommended as soon as what I ordered gets here. It’s just about solution change time and once I’ve gotten that out of the way I will add Great White Microbes to the mix.

As far as a “bug” goes, I’ve gone through every disease and pest guide I can get my hands on as well as going over the plants and mediums with a 100x pocket microscope and can’t come up any kind of growth or infestation. So I’m at a loss to determine an underlying cause for the “brushy” undergrowth dying off like it is.

The larger plant has just shot up like crazy leaving the other 3 looking like they are stunted. To keep a reasonable distance from the light panels I finally had to bend the taller branches over letting them grow out instead of up.

So all in all the confusion continues and lacking reommendations I don’t know what to do other than keeping the small shite trimmed away and let nature take its course.

Well then. Hang in there. You are in good hands with MacG.

The hydroton you saw is new stuff and I just keep all the future use growth mediums stored on that shelf. When I get ready to use any of it I sterilize whatever medium I’m going to use with boiling zero ppm water and let the medium soak for 1 hour before using.

The medium is stored in the zip lock bags it comes in which hopefully keep every thing bug and fungi clean on my end. The boiling water treattment should kill out any coming from the seller. That presumes that the supplier maintained a reasonable level of sanitation on their end, of course. All “plugs” and other media get the same treatment as do the growing containers, air supply systems, and petty pots.

I’m going to start cloning off these plants today. If all goes according to Hoyle these plants should be ready to put into 12/12 lighting in 4 weeksand get my growing cycle going like I want it to.

Peace and keep 'em green and growing.

Wow. If you buy hydroton in those baggies; I bet you are paying a fortune for it. I buy 25 liter bags, and that cuts the cost down quite a bit. Next time you are in the market; Let me know, so I can find you a better deal. :slight_smile:

Oh no! I did remove a lot of my fan leaves. They were doing so well and beautiful but I thought doing so would help with more lite getting thru. So sorry my beautiful plants. Please continue to grow.