Tucking Fan Leaves

So, what’s the difference if you tuck fan leaves instead of trimming ? When you tuck them, they’re not getting much light anyway. Does trimming stress the plant that much more ?


Vegging plants need their leaves for growth energy is the short answer


Some light is better than none.

Why risk any stress?
Some growers virtually strip the leaves once flower gets going since the buds themselves do not need or use light. The leaves do produce the sugars that the plant needs to be healthy and I am of the impression that they are needed for the whole grow.
Some trimming may be necessary if your plant gets really thick and airflow becomes an issue.


I do tucking if it’s a plant that doesn’t have too many fan leaves, or if there’s some other reason I don’t want to pull them at a given time. If you tuck a big fan leaf, it should only take a couple of days for the growth below to escape and then be above that leaf in height. So you can untuck the leaf and let it get good light again.
There’s also nothing wrong with pulling some leaves, and some plants I pull a ton, it just depends on how they’re growing.


Yeah, this is the premise of my question. I’ve got a few White Widows coming down the home stretch & they’re pretty thick with “undergrowth”. I wouldn’t dream of stripping a plant in veg. My latest plants went pretty much into 12/12 from maybe a week in veg.

Wow, did not know that !


Basically in the simplest terms…
Anything green is chlorophyll. That’s the drive behind growth. Removing green is removing potential growth. The reason plants don’t die from full defoliation is the stems are green and will do the work it can, but if you remove all the leaves the first thing it will do is grow them back.

From Wikipedia…

Chlorophyll is vital for photosynthesis, which allows plants to absorb energy from light.[15]

Chlorophyll molecules are arranged in and around [photosystems] In these complexes, chlorophyll serves three functions:

  1. The function of the vast majority of chlorophyll (up to several hundred molecules per photosystem) is to absorb light.
  2. Having done so, these same centers execute their second function: The transfer of that energy by resonance energy transfer to a specific chlorophyll pair in the reaction center of the photosystems.
  3. This specific pair performs the final function of chlorophylls: Charge separation, which produces the unbound protons (H+) and electrons (e−) that separately propel biosynthesis.

What is biosynthesis in biology?

Biosynthesis is an enzymatic process, where simple compounds are used to synthesize macromolecules inside the living cells. It is a multistep process. Products of biosynthesis are essential for the cellular activity, growth, development and survival of living organisms. It is an anabolic process of metabolism.


Gotcha. I pretty much knew the basics of photosynthesis, I just was wondering what the benefits were of tucking. I thought that the buds needed direct light also, so I was tucking/trimming the giant leaves that were blocking the buds along with the ones that were scraping the soil. I wasn’t taking any that were really healthy looking, just when they had at least turned a bit in color. :sunglasses:

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Bud sites is what we are exposing by doing that. We want to maximize the general growth in that area to support the fat buds to come. The buds make sugar leaves to supplement the needed nutrients and they add to the mix.

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I leave leaves on so the plant can consume them if needed. As long as airflow is not restricted , i live and let live lol…


I think I was just trying to show that leaves make the ingredients for growth. Its not the food we feed the roots, but that food from the roots is converted in the leaves to make more complex sugars that are needed for growth. And those sugars are mobile so they can be moved throughout the plant to wherever its needed for cell division(growth).
So tucking a leaf saves it and its production of needed sugars. As stated light hitting a bud is not necessary and the food comes from nearby leaves. Even leaves that are shaded get some light. If a photon hits a leaf then its providing energy.
That said it is obvious that cannabis is quite resilient. I have seen people strip the plant nearly naked and they bounce back and produce well. I personally will defoliate in the interest of mold prevention. Bud rot is a nasty problem and good air movement is essential. Whatever camp you land in you shouldn’t worry if you are doing it wrong. The plant if given a good environment will thrive and make good buds.


Thanks, Spiney. I wasn’t trying to be a wiseass. I used to grow back in the 80s-90s & it was pretty much “plant seed, water & chop” so, as I’ve said before, I feel like Rip Van Winkle with all the new knowledge & tech stuff available now. I hate to admit I’m getting old, but I started smoking in the 60s :face_with_spiral_eyes:

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Yep, getting old happens.
Lots of us older guys/gals here. I am 65 and I know there are several older. The one thing I think has changed through genetic breeding is that the seedlings are not as hearty as the old bag seeds we used to grow. Often you will see wonky leaves at first and the environment needs to be just so. Once it grows up a bit they are quite hearty, but for the first week or two its like an intensive care unit. I killed 2/3 of my first mixpack of seeds. I figured out my system and now pop them without much issue.

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You’re 65 ? Still a young whippersnapper. I’ll be 72 next month. :older_man:

I think out of the first dozen White Widow seeds I planted, only one grew as it should have. I used the wrong soil, probably watered them too much & kept the light too bright/close. I started 4 more plants a month later with a bit more knowledge & they seem to be turning out fine: Started @ 2/16 straight to 12/12 after a few days of veg.

Two White Widows on the left, RuntzXOreoz back right & a bag seed plant right front…and a couple of eggplants in the red solo cups :grin:

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