Topping Question - When to remove fan leaves?

Hi all,

I have this plant I topped 5 days ago. I have labelled the nodes 1-8 and the leaves in question A and B.

I’m curious when I should remove A&B to allow light to the bottom of the plant?

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You can remove them if you want, at this early of a stage you can go either way. Growers choice… if you let them stay the lower branches that are shaded will stretch, looking for light and become more even.



Is this an auto?

She is far too young to consider defoliation. She needs those leaves to produce the sugars that the plant needs to grow and mature.


The upper fans - the answer is basically never. Exception is when the plant starts to flower and they can’t me moved or tucked to get light to the lower buds. Or if you are mainlining they can be removed when the new mains are more developed.

I assume this is a photo.
My general practice is to let the plant grow to 5 or 6 nodes before topping - photo or auto. I also remove the bottom most growth points (node 1). Beyond that it depends on how I am training. My preference is mainline / manifold for photos. For autos it is a 6 or 8 colas.
I have not grown many autos lately. They are not as much fun as photos.


I agree. I feel like the plant is to small to have some of the leaves plucked. Right now those leaves are ackting like little solor panals. Soaking up the light and turning it into energy.

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Lol what about this one?

Defoliation time?


I’ve intentionally removed the top leaves on occasion in an attempt to slow upper growth, and it has worked(not always) allowing other parts to grow out. I think what people should and shouldn’t do is based on time they want to put in. The 8 solo cup plants I have going now I removed every fan leaf at (around) 15 days old. they are growing fine.

Like I said. Growers choice. :v:t3: Waiting on these solos to show sex!

Forgot I only have 8 in there now since killing one off.

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This is interesting @Low. I only have limited flower space and am currently using it for 4 other ladies. I have 6 weeks left on those, so stunting the growth of this plant isnt a bad idea. I’m thinking about giving it another 12-36hrs to let those top growth develop just a LITTLE more.

I follow your grow journal btw, great content!

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She could ise a some thinning. I would hit the base first. Anything touch and super close to the soil.

Thanks. It’s all preference bud. it should stunt the growth of those top 2 potential colas coming in, and the rest will continue to grow. Evening out the plants canopy.

This is a photo right? If it’s an auto I’d re think this whole tactic. They don’t take to it well… some do

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It is a fem White Widow. I also have a fem Gold Leaf thats growing next to her.

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Nice! Then yeah you can basically do what you want. I take my time in veg, try n get it the way you want before flipping. :v:t3:

I’m curious, do you grow fem seeds or only 50/50s?

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Both. :+1: depends on how much time I want to put in.

Can you share your thinking there? what takes longer, more energy?

Do you find a difference in growth or yield?

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Regs vs Fem?

Regs produce higher quality flower/terp profiles. Or should. A bit more vigorous in growth. That being said, quality does come down to the grower. You have to plant multiple seeds, because it’s inevitable… you do get males. It can take 3-6 weeks to show sex. A lot of time invested. I started with 9, 3 different strains. I’m narrowing down to 3. One female for each one of those strains. They will be in solo cups until they reveal themselves, then I’ll clip the roots along the bottom and transplant.

Fems are convenient, and still produce nice quality bud. This is a good option for most people. No worries (generally) about it being a male, less seed needed, less medium, etc etc.

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Never. Leave them leaves alone.

so you are leaving yours in solo cups until they reveal sex. I assume you will let them show naturally instead of flowering them and tossing out the boys?

I’m also curious about why you are keeping them in solo’s, is that a cost reduction tactic or to slow growth or something else?

Additionally, you mention clipping the roots, have you tried more holes in the bottom inch of the cup? I’ve tried adopting air pruning for my seedlings where I poke 30-40 holes in the bottom inch of the cup to encourage more short young roots instead of longer but less quantity. (Note: not entirely sure how effective/beneficial that is)

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I leave them in the solos until they reveal sex naturally in order to cut down on time/and unnecessarily potting up if they turn males. I have enough holes in the cups for them to air prune, however at 1 month+ in a solo they can still become bound. I don’t cut the roots off(I could) I just make cuts in the roots along the bottom perimeter to stimulate growth. Then coat in mykos thoroughly followed by the transplant.