How Many Fan Leaves Can I Safely Remove to Allow More Light for LST?

Tropical Sativa Man

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Hey, everyone. I'm low stress training a plant here. The fan leaves are freakin' UGE! Got em under the Mars Hydro TS 1000 in 2x4 tent.
The fan leaves are blocking light to all the lower branches I'm trying to grow up.
I've already removed 6 big ass fan leaves in the last week or more. Now, this other fan leaf is big as my hand and is blocking light to my biggest branch below it.
I know fan leaves play an important role in photosynthesis, and there are only 4 left on the plant, not included the two fan leaves developing at the top. Is there a limit to how many of these big leaves I can remove to allow penetration of light?
Thanks in advance.
BTW this plant is 40 days old today ! She is showing small preflower and she is a she! At the moment, she has 10 bud sites, but will have many more before she's done. She is Baguio Gold.
 

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ROSTERMAN

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Reminds me of the old commercial Mr Owl and a Tootsie ****
How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop?

 

ROSTERMAN

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The Fan (large leaves) are what makes the food for the plant)
photosynthesis.
1627079523328.png

  1. the process by which green plants and some other organisms use sunlight to synthesize foods from carbon dioxide and water. Photosynthesis in plants generally involves the green pigment chlorophyll and generates oxygen as a byproduct.

Little leaves do too but think of them as a large solar panel The Fans do more work and feed
 

leafminer

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That's the big fail in that method of cultivation. Sorry, but it's true.
When a plant is allowed to grow in its typical shape, all the leaves get some light. Outdoors, the whole sky acts as a black body radiator. Light literally comes from everywhere. If you doubt this, on a sunny day, stand facing away from the sun, under shade, facing the sky. Cover your face with a piece of card, then remove it. You will clearly feel the difference.

In the grow room this also happens to a large extent assuming the walls, ceiling and floor are light reflective. Light bounces everywhere. But when you have just one solid layer of leaf... only that leaf gets energy. And if you cut off the energy-producing fan leaves, the energy input and thus yield, drops. Not to mention that you shock the plant. So then light gets through the gaps and... CLACK! Out come the scissors. Shock, horror...
 

zem

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I hate doing it but the leaves cover everything below them so no light can penetrate
The fan leaves that you are pointing at in the pic are the only ones left for that plant. They are meant to be big for capturing more light just like solar panels, the wider they are the more watts they produce. If you cut them, you are reducing the energy give for that plant. The branches below will grow and you could thin some small leaves at the base of the lower branches at later stages. I would let that plant gow much more before I cut anything anyway.
 

Bubba

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Everyone has there way. I would remove all those tiny shoots that "arent getting any light" and leave the fans for now. By the time the plant is 18" or so, all that would have been removed anyway. I understand it looks neato and all, but you are letting stuff live that would only be popcorn, and plus killed of the energy producers.

Now, I would let it grow, it's still a tiny plant. Let it leaf up some. Remove the lower most shoots, or clone them. (once big enough) Then when ready to flower, I start removing leaves, light yes but also for circulation and lower relative humidity, mold and rot resistance. Those fans are just beginning to grow. I've had indica with leaflets well over 2" in width, leaf larger than my hands by a good margin. Those things felt and looked like fake leaves!

Once I'm well into flower, I start removing the lowermost fans, slowly, so by harvest the only leaves left are sticking out of colas. Some of those can be fair sized sugar leaves and are getting knarly colors and getting kind of ratty as they are drained for energy in the end.

Bubba
 

Tropical Sativa Man

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Right. But i have seen other growers trim off all the fan leaves and leave only the smaller leaves on the branches. So, basically, you are saying not to do that!>?
The Fan (large leaves) are what makes the food for the plant)
photosynthesis.
View attachment 275767
The Fan (large leaves) are what makes the food for the plant)
photosynthesis.
View attachment 275767
  1. the process by which green plants and some other organisms use sunlight to synthesize foods from carbon dioxide and water. Photosynthesis in plants generally involves the green pigment chlorophyll and generates oxygen as a byproduct.

Little leaves do too but think of them as a large solar panel The Fans do more work and feed
  1. the process by which green plants and some other organisms use sunlight to synthesize foods from carbon dioxide and water. Photosynthesis in plants generally involves the green pigment chlorophyll and generates oxygen as a byproduct.

Little leaves do too but think of them as a large solar panel The Fans do more work and feed
That's the big fail in that method of cultivation. Sorry, but it's true.
When a plant is allowed to grow in its typical shape, all the leaves get some light. Outdoors, the whole sky acts as a black body radiator. Light literally comes from everywhere. If you doubt this, on a sunny day, stand facing away from the sun, under shade, facing the sky. Cover your face with a piece of card, then remove it. You will clearly feel the difference.

In the grow room this also happens to a large extent assuming the walls, ceiling and floor are light reflective. Light bounces everywhere. But when you have just one solid layer of leaf... only that leaf gets energy. And if you cut off the energy-producing fan leaves, the energy input and thus yield, drops. Not to mention that you shock the plant. So then light gets through the gaps and... CLACK! Out come the scissors. Shock, horror...
 

Tropical Sativa Man

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That's the big fail in that method of cultivation. Sorry, but it's true.
When a plant is allowed to grow in its typical shape, all the leaves get some light. Outdoors, the whole sky acts as a black body radiator. Light literally comes from everywhere. If you doubt this, on a sunny day, stand facing away from the sun, under shade, facing the sky. Cover your face with a piece of card, then remove it. You will clearly feel the difference.

In the grow room this also happens to a large extent assuming the walls, ceiling and floor are light reflective. Light bounces everywhere. But when you have just one solid layer of leaf... only that leaf gets energy. And if you cut off the energy-producing fan leaves, the energy input and thus yield, drops. Not to mention that you shock the plant. So then light gets through the gaps and... CLACK! Out come the scissors. Shock, horror...
Ok, ok. Just don´t make it sound like a scary movie, man.
 

Tropical Sativa Man

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The fan leaves that you are pointing at in the pic are the only ones left for that plant. They are meant to be big for capturing more light just like solar panels, the wider they are the more watts they produce. If you cut them, you are reducing the energy give for that plant. The branches below will grow and you could thin some small leaves at the base of the lower branches at later stages. I would let that plant gow much more before I cut anything anyway.
will do. i think i am going to get some wire and just gently move the fan leaves to the side as needed. i will not cut anything else off, besides, branches are starting to come up nicely
 

Tropical Sativa Man

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Everyone has there way. I would remove all those tiny shoots that "arent getting any light" and leave the fans for now. By the time the plant is 18" or so, all that would have been removed anyway. I understand it looks neato and all, but you are letting stuff live that would only be popcorn, and plus killed of the energy producers.

Now, I would let it grow, it's still a tiny plant. Let it leaf up some. Remove the lower most shoots, or clone them. (once big enough) Then when ready to flower, I start removing leaves, light yes but also for circulation and lower relative humidity, mold and rot resistance. Those fans are just beginning to grow. I've had indica with leaflets well over 2" in width, leaf larger than my hands by a good margin. Those things felt and looked like fake leaves!

Once I'm well into flower, I start removing the lowermost fans, slowly, so by harvest the only leaves left are sticking out of colas. Some of those can be fair sized sugar leaves and are getting knarly colors and getting kind of ratty as they are drained for energy in the end.

Bubba
s
So the lower branches are going to grow up and be bent sideways over the next two to three weeks, at least, that is my plan. Then, out of those sideway branches, new growth will go directly up, and those points will be colas. Since I am low stress training this plant, i am not sure if what you are saying applies or not? I would do what you are saying on a plant that is growing upright. But i have already bent the main stem sideways, and the little branches will also be bent sideways once the grow up a bit in probably two weeks or so. This plant is now 41 day old and i want to flower by 60 days. what do you think? Am I missing something?
 

Bubba

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If it didnt apply I wouldnt have said it.

Bubba
 

Bubba

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I think once you have grown these out you will have better perspective on how a particular plant changes as it grows. Just grow it out how you are doing and wait for it to finish. Then you will have a bunch of knowledge on what to best do and the timing of such.

I am usually dealing with Indica, so bear that in mind if sativa is your thing. I let them get to be a big ball of leaves, about 3 weeks or so for indica, the only leaves I remove are if they are touching the ground. Otherwise I let it go. Those little shoots coming out of the bottom? I cut them off. I find if I let them grow, the trend is they never really get through the canopy, or they are late in doing so. Assuming they make it to canopy in some reasonable time, they tend to make a mini "cola" but it is still a good sized bag bud. I cut those off because the entire time it is trying to get up to canopy, it is robbing energy that would be going to your main cola shoots.

At this point I decide if this grow will be topped or not. If not, right into flower. If topped, this makes my veg longer as the two shoots from the cut need time to become shoots. You want big strong stems if you want big colas. Also time is expended because I don't follow some advice you see on "cut it at the third leaf set" on this, if I want third leaf cut, I would let it go to 6 or 7 sets, then cut it down to third (or where ever) set.

Then I will do a second cut on those 4. This will extend veg another 2 weeks or so. Then flower. By the time this plant is 2.5-3 ft tall, I begin removing some of the fans. A fairly thick canopy should be forming by this time, and those lower shoots will be covered, devouring energy that could be going to main shoots...this is where your weight will be.

Is this the best way? Likely not. Does it work? Yes. I've only worked it for several decades. Am I wrong a lot? Oh yes indeed. Your mileage may vary. Grow it out and see what you get, you really never know. I had one OG that had a bottom shoot that took off like crazy. I left it. Very unusual, (for indica ) it was one of the tallest colas, but it was an odd shaped plant. No matter what happens two good things will come of it. Buds of course, and experience of another grow. You will find your strains you like, learn there growth patterns and adapt to suit.

Time to get my bubble hash stirring arm ready.

Bubba
 

Tropical Sativa Man

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I think once you have grown these out you will have better perspective on how a particular plant changes as it grows. Just grow it out how you are doing and wait for it to finish. Then you will have a bunch of knowledge on what to best do and the timing of such.

I am usually dealing with Indica, so bear that in mind if sativa is your thing. I let them get to be a big ball of leaves, about 3 weeks or so for indica, the only leaves I remove are if they are touching the ground. Otherwise I let it go. Those little shoots coming out of the bottom? I cut them off. I find if I let them grow, the trend is they never really get through the canopy, or they are late in doing so. Assuming they make it to canopy in some reasonable time, they tend to make a mini "cola" but it is still a good sized bag bud. I cut those off because the entire time it is trying to get up to canopy, it is robbing energy that would be going to your main cola shoots.

At this point I decide if this grow will be topped or not. If not, right into flower. If topped, this makes my veg longer as the two shoots from the cut need time to become shoots. You want big strong stems if you want big colas. Also time is expended because I don't follow some advice you see on "cut it at the third leaf set" on this, if I want third leaf cut, I would let it go to 6 or 7 sets, then cut it down to third (or where ever) set.

Then I will do a second cut on those 4. This will extend veg another 2 weeks or so. Then flower. By the time this plant is 2.5-3 ft tall, I begin removing some of the fans. A fairly thick canopy should be forming by this time, and those lower shoots will be covered, devouring energy that could be going to main shoots...this is where your weight will be.

Is this the best way? Likely not. Does it work? Yes. I've only worked it for several decades. Am I wrong a lot? Oh yes indeed. Your mileage may vary. Grow it out and see what you get, you really never know. I had one OG that had a bottom shoot that took off like crazy. I left it. Very unusual, (for indica ) it was one of the tallest colas, but it was an odd shaped plant. No matter what happens two good things will come of it. Buds of course, and experience of another grow. You will find your strains you like, learn there growth patterns and adapt to suit.

Time to get my bubble hash stirring arm ready.

Bubba
Great advice, and thanks for clarifying. FYI, I have always grown Indica strains when I was in Indiana, but that was 10-12 years ago! Back then, I would find a good plot along the railroad tracks and put one here, put one there. Always worked best when I did it that way. I had some nice harvests, including a 1.5 LBer.
However, none of that experience applies to this grow. I am learning so much every week.
 

sharonp

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I hate doing it but the leaves cover everything below them so no light can penetrate
Are your plants staked in anyway? You can move the branches so they get better light and you can rotate them every few days. I don't grow a lot of plants at onetime. So, I can do those things.
 
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