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9 Steps to Grow Strong Marijuana Plants

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All cannabis plants start as seeds, and they all require water to germinate properly. Each seed contains a full, little plant that has a root, stem, and a couple of leaves. But you might want to know – how deep to plant marijuana seeds and how to grow strong marijuana plants ready for transplant?

How to grow strong marijuana plants:

There are enough nutrients in the seed for it to survive the first portion of its life. During germination, these vital nutrients (proteins, carbs, etc.) are transformed into glucose, which all plants need for growth.

TIP: Looking to buy seeds? Visit the ILGM seed shop

Soak marijuana seeds in water
Soak your seeds in water

Placing your seeds in water ensures that they have achieved the proper moisture level for the process of germination to begin. The seeds will not take on excess water and drown until about 2 weeks after they have cracked open (you will have already transplanted them into soil by then).

When you fill your glass with water, simply put it in the living room so that it shifts to the temperature of the environment. Tap water is fine, but don’t give the seeds any extra nutrients because they already have everything they need. The seeds will crack open in between 2 and 7 days. Make sure to replenish the water in the glass every other day. Start transplanting when the roots reach  0.1 to 0.2 inches (3 to 5 mm) in length. Download my free marijuana grow guide to learn more about marijuana seeds at this link.

Planting

2. Place your seeds in a ½-inch hole in small pots with seedling soil
The nutrient level of the seeds is already adequate, so you should use a soil with fewer nutrients to start. Soil made specifically for seedlings and clones that has low quantities of nutrients is ideal. Plants are very susceptible to
nutrient burn at this stage if you give them too many nutrients.

plant cannabis seeds in soil
Plant your seeds in soil

The pots should be filled halfway with the seedling soil. To make the half-inch hole, use your finger tip or a pen. Each seed should have its own pot. Since the roots will always grow down, you don’t have to worry how you place the seeds in the soil.

Place the seed in the hole, and cover it up with the soil. When you spray the soil with water, it will tamp down on its own. Avoid pressing the soil. The germination process will continue until the plant starts to surface within a week. The taproot will produce other root offshoots so that the system is strong.

Watering

3. Use a plant sprayer to moisten the soil
Water is responsible for both life and germination, making it the most vital component early on. It is extremely important that you give the plants plenty of water and keep the soil moistened.

Moisten the soil with plant sprayer
Moisten the soil with plant sprayer Images powered by Bergmanslab.com

Plants that don’t receive enough water will compensate by not growing to full capacity. This is largely to increase the plants’ chances of survival. Of course, too much water can cause the plants to lose out on valuable oxygen. Leaves will start to wither and the marijuana plant and growth medium will become more susceptible to diseases and bacteria.

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The soil needs to stay adequately moist (not too dry and not over-soaked). The seedling won’t use much water, but a lot of the water evaporates fast. This is the major reason why seedlings should never go on a windowsill or near a heater. Spraying the plants 1 or 2 times throughout the day should be plenty.

Light

4. Put pots 2 inches below CFL tube
Other than water, light is another vital component for the plant’s growth. Light and water help convert carbon dioxide into oxygen and glucose—necessary resources for plant growth. This is referred to as photosynthesis.

Place marijuana pots 2 inches below CFL tube
Place marijuana pots 2 inches below CFL tube Images powered by Bergmanslab.com

When plants don’t receive adequate light, they will form fewer side branches and will elongate abnormally. This stretching helps marijuana plants grow taller to grab enough light in nature. Plants that receive adequate light will grow wider (not taller) and produce a flurry of side branches with a ton of buds. Light should be kept on 24 hours per day and the room should have a consistent temperature of around 72° Fahrenheit.

The pots should be placed under a cool white CFL light at a distance of 2 inches. These tubes don’t create that much heat, they’re energy efficient, and they use the ideal light spectrum for seedlings. Seedlings require about 3 to 5 watts each. When the plants surface after 5 to 10 days, they will need all the light they can get to grow optimally.

Optimized environment

5. Keep the environment optimized
Creating the
ideal climate is also important for germinating the marijuana seeds under ideal conditions. CFL tubes don’t produce that much heat, but they will keep the soil warm. You can keep the distance between the plants and the bulbs to a minimum, but if the temperature exceeds 77° F, then you should move them farther apart or cool down the area.

Keep the marijuana grow environment optimized
Keep the grow environment optimized

Proper soil moisture is essential, but the soil only needs as much water as the seed can absorb (which isn’t much). Avoid adding more water or nutrients until the first true leaves emerge. This should occur after 5 to 8 days. In the meanwhile, be patient and simply monitor the moisture.

Sprouting

6. First signs of the seedlings
As soon as the 
seedlings pop their heads out of the soil, it’s vital to inspect the distance between the plant and the light. Adjust the lights if the temperature goes past 72° Fahrenheit or the leaves start receiving excessive light. The soil also needs to stay moist. The leaves on the plants can absorb water, so continue spraying them 2 times per day.

Cannabis seedling sprouting
Seedling sprouting

Again, this early stage in life makes the plants susceptible to damage from negative conditions. Don’t use a lot of nutrients and make sure the lights stay on 24 hours to produce a reliable climate. Avoid touching the plants and do not take away the seed skins from the leaves

Tip: make sure to download my free Grow Bible for more information

  • Grow with my Quick Start Guide
  • Discover secrets to Big Yields
  • Avoid common grow mistakes

The plants need to grow and develop sturdy root systems. Big green leaves are capable of absorbing ample light and converting it into energy. Healthy root systems allow plants to take in plenty of water and nutrients. The plant is just starting to form the base for the remainder of its life, so it’s important that they receive proper, diligent care.

Internodes

7. First two internodes
When the initial internodes start to form, you can feed your plant with root-stimulating foliar nutrients. Start the plants off with a small dose as the developing roots can’t withstand higher concentrations just yet.

Foliage growth cannabis plant
Foliage growth plant

The plants will start to grow rapidly (about 0.5 inches per day). Inspect your plants each day for signs of nutrient surplus (e.g. burned leaf tips).

Transplanting

8. Transplant into bigger pots when roots grow out of the bottom
The roots will start to grow out of the bottom of your smaller pot at which point it’s time to 
transplant. The plant will become rootbound and stop growing if you do not transplant.

Transplanting cannabis
Transplanting

To recognize the roots, look for white tips poking out of the bottom. Check for the roots each day and start giving your plants grow stimulator, which is high in nitrogen. More about nutrients on this link.

Once the plant is fully grown you will need to start thinking about flowering and harvest time. Our free little Harvest Guide will help you determine the best moment to cut your plants. Download it here.

  • Time your harvest for Perfect Taste
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Growing outdoors

9. Grow you plants outdoors or under MH/HPS lights
If everything went as planned, then you have strong, healthy
plants that will eventually produce high yields. A good start in life means that the plants will be less susceptible to bacteria, diseasespests, and the effects of harsh weather extremes. Plants that are healthy can better absorb water and nutrients and will develop a faster metabolism for better yields. If you email me a photo of your seedlings, I will publish them on my site.

Cannabis growing outdoors
Growing outdoors

These plants can now grow outdoors and will thrive in a wind-free location that gets a lot of sun. The plants will also do better in a big container (15 gallons) on a stool. This keeps away any interference from animals like rabbits or snails.

As you have seen, it’s not very hard to grow healthy marijuana plants. If you want to start growing yourself, download my free marijuana grow bible and order some marijuana seeds. All top quality marijuana seeds are available in my marijuana seed shop. We ship seeds to the US, Australia and many other countries. For any grow related question please visit the marijuana support page.

Kickstart your marijuana grow journey by buying high-quality seeds from my seed bank.

Robert

FAQ About Growing Strong Marijuana Plants

How to germinate seeds?

To germinate your seeds, you can soak them in water that is 65°F/18°C until they split open.

How many seeds do you need to grow a plant?

You only need one seed to grow one plant.

Can I get a grow journal from seed to harvest?

Yes, you can. ILGM offers a grow calendar and plenty of other useful online resources to help you with your growing endeavors. Click here to check out the grow calendar.



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cannabis strains

Next-generation Dosidos and Moonbow strains are Archive Seed Bank’s next legends

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Archive builds on its reputation for world-renowned genetics with two fresh Moonbow hybrids.


Leafly’s 2021 Strain of the Year is Dosidos, the brainchild of the legendary geneticists at Archive Seed Bank in Portland, Oregon—and if you love Dosi, you’ll want to keep an eye on its Archive-created children and grandchildren. Archive’s team, led by legendary breeder “Fletch” aka The Docta, are renowned for tinkering with phenotypes until they create the best expression of a strain. Dosidos is far from their first big hit; for the last two decades, they have been preserving classic clone-only varietals from the 90s into seed form, like with Face Off OG.

The next greatest Archive invention since Dosidos, the Moonbow line crosses two household-name strains—funky hybrid Dosidos and fruity indica Zkittles—to get one of the greatest rising stars in cannabis genetics. Leafly users rate it a 4.9 out of 5, a slightly better score than even its already-legendary parents.

Phenotypes of Archive’s Moonbow F1 Generation, including #99 and #112, have hit the recreational market, but Moonbow 112—yes, 112—is the latest and greatest… so far, at least. The strain placed in three 2021 Michigan Cannabis Cup categories, winning people over with its fruity-floral candy taste and euphoric, creative, and social effects. 

Two new strains are about to hit Archive’s shelves: One is the next evolution of the Moonbow line, while the other is Dosidos’ most excellent grandchild. These seed packs drop on Sunday, May 15, 2022, at 1 p.m. PDT, so get ready to grow some out-of-this-world cannabis this season.

Moonbow 112 IX: The boss-level Moonbow strain

Moonbow #112 F1 x Moonbow #112 F2 #60

Courtesy of Archive Seed Bank

It took three years of work to create Moonbow’s ideal form: Moonbow 112 IX. Instead of backcrossing with the mother Moonbow plant, Archive put in the work identifying phenotypes in later generations to create more reliable results. By breeding siblings F1 and F2, Archive combined the best the line has to offer into one strain. This produced something that re-creates or even improves on the original Moonbow #112 mother plant without cloning—so you can capture that lightning in your home grow.

The full-grown crops are impressive on their own, with great structure, impressive height, foot-long colas, and sticky buds that are each a handful on their own. Moonbow 112 IX was bred with flower quality as a priority, with a strong terp profile evoking blackberry, currant, and lime with a hint of gas. This one is truly the uber-Moonbow.

Moon Glow: A fresh and fruity Dosidos-heavy cross

Moonbow #112 x Planet Purple F2 #144

Courtesy of Archive Seed Bank

Moon Glow has Dosidos lineage from both its parents, with Moonbow #112 on one side and a male Planet Purple F2 #144, the offspring of an in-house selected Sherbadough (Sunset Sherbet x Dosidos #8) crossed with a Moonbow male (Zkittles x Dosidos), on the other. This magical strain boasts the dense, colorful buds that made its grandparent a legend, along with denser resin, zesty Zkittles fruit, and a touch of earth, kush, and red wine tannins from Sunset Sherbet. The beauty of these buds starts in the bag and continues throughout the entire experience.

The plants have a medium, well-branched profile, do well both as a cola dominant and topped, and take about 60-72 days to flower. Hashmakers can enjoy more than a 6% yield with some phenotypes.

Legendary genetics, straight from the source

Looking for strains like Scooby Snacks, Junior Mints, or Duct Tape? All of these come from Archive Seed Bank’s genetics, and you can even sort them by your favorite Archive parent strain to round out your crop with something you’ll love (or just nerd out on cannabis breeding).

Moonbow 112 IX and Moon Glow will be ready to purchase on May 15, 2022, at 1 p.m., so get ready to do some seed shopping.


*Availability subject to law

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Cannabis

Top YouTube Channels For Growing Your Own Weed

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This article originally appeared on Cannabis.net and has been reposted with permission.

In need of tricks and tips on how to grow healthy cannabis plants? YouTube is the place to visit as it offers various audiovisual approaches to growing healthy cannabis plants. YouTube is one of the best platforms for novice marijuana farmers can get accurate and useful information about cultivating marijuana.

More often than not, YouTube channels and users have been sanctioned for publishing cannabis-related content. However, YouTube remains one of the top platforms to get cannabis culture tips and general information.

youtube
Photo by Christian Wiediger via Unsplash

So, if you need to learn how to expertly cultivate cannabis from seedlings to harvest or learn how to create your setup, Youtube is the right platform. It offers a wide and deep perspective into the modern global cultivation of cannabis

Here is a list of the top 10 best YouTube channels that offers the best knowledge about growing and cultivating cannabis plants.

1. CALI GREEN

Cali Green publishes some of the easiest and most accurate content on cannabis cultivation. Operated by a medical cannabis patient based in California, the changes cover topics across strain and product reviews, beginner tips, and many more.

Just recently, Cali Green published a mini-documentary that explains to viewers a complete growing cycle of the Bubble Bomb plant. The documentary carefully explains every detail starting from soil preparation to harvest. This makes the channel an incredible resource for novice and expert cannabis growers

2. FROM SEED TO STONED

The From Seed To Stoned YouTube channel kicked off in 2018 and since then has amassed a large following. At the time of this writing, the channel has more than 230,000 subscribers. The YouTube channel covers cannabis topics ranging from cultivation to harvesting tutorials and equipment reviews.

Apart from cannabis cultivation-related content, the YouTube channel also publishes cannabutter content, equipment giveaways, and lots more. Whether you are an expert or novice cannabis grower, we are sure you will find valuable content on the From Seed To Stoned YouTube channel.

3. HOME GROW ENGINEERING

While Home Grow Engineering is a small YouTube channel, it has a lot of cannabis content to offer. As the name implies, the channel offers remarkable insight into how to design growing equipment, as well as grow tents. The founder of the YouTube channel also published the documented process of building his apartment-friendly grow tent.

RELATED: 5 Marijuana YouTube Channels To Keep You Entertained And Informed

The Home Grow Engineering channel also features several videos ideal for novice growers, like the simplest equipment required to grow cannabis at home, how to nurture seedlings, basic nutrients, and so on If you’re a novice cannabis grower, Home Grow Engineering will offer you valuable information.

4. MR. CANUCKS GROW

Mr. Canucks Grow is another Youtube cannabis cultivation channel owned by a Canadian named Matt. The Youtube channel features slots of content that explains indoor cultivation and every aspect of cannabis cultivation. The channel teaches how to transplant, feed, train, and prune cannabis including how to dry, trim and cure cannabis buds during harvest.

RELATED: Pros And Cons Of Growing Your Own Weed

In addition to these, the Mr. Canucks Grow YouTube channel also regularly publishes cultivation videos that are strain-specific. In this video, Matt explains how to grow specific cannabis from seedlings to harvest. The channel also publishes several tutorials on how to make rosin, hash, and lots more.

5. GROWERS NETWORK

This is arguably the biggest channel on the list. However, the level of professionalism and quality of its contents may infer otherwise. Growers Network was created in 2017 but the brand initially kicked off as a social media platform. However, the brand has evolved over the years and has been fined as one of the top cannabis brands on YouTube.

While this Youtube channel doesn’t publish the usual how-to videos, it focuses on and publishes comprehensive content about the legal marijuana industry. These videos include tours ro varnish huge processing labs and cannabis farms. Periodically, Growers Network also uploads videos concentrating on distinctive topics such as equipment financing, cannabis lighting plans, extraction, and lots more.

YouTube
Photo by CardMapr via Unsplash

6. GROWING EXPOSED

Dubbed the MTV of cannabis, Growing Exposed is hosted by Amanda Mackay and produced by  Jeremy Deichen. The YouTube series usually involves visits to processing plants and professional cannabis farms to interview several experts in the industry. Growing Exposed also hosts a special series known as “Ask The Garden Sage” in collaboration with David Robinson.

The series covers several topics ranging from ideal humidity and temperature levels, dry vs wet trimming, time to flick cannabis plants, and lots more. If you’ve got some unanswered questions, you can visit the YouTube channel to get the answers you’ve always needed.

7. YOUTUBE CANNABIS REVIEWS

YouTube, run by Bud, is a YouTube channel that primarily focuses on cannabis reviews. The biggest strength for Bud is his strain reviews and this channel offers remarkable resources regarding which strain to add to your cannabis garden. Asides from strain-specific reviews, the YouTube channel also focuses on grow equipment, paraphernalia, and nutrients reviews.

Furthermore, youtube has several published tutorials on harvesting, outdoor growing, and trimming, including beginner videos explaining how to best enjoy and consume cannabis.

8. INDICA INSTITUTE

Created in 2018, Indica Institute is dedicated to educating both expert and novice cannabis growers in the industry. Since its establishment, the YouTube channel has been able to amass more than 100k subscribers. This is because the tutorials published on this channel are easy to understand, detailed, and cover every aspect of cultivation.

Indica Institute in its series of videos explains in detail how to grow robust mother plants, prepare yourself, take clones, and choose viable seeds. One thing we love about Indica Institute is its equipment videos which offer great insights into tools best for beginner growers.

9. CANNABIS LIFESTYLE TV

Cannabis Lifestyle TV is operated by a cannabis enthusiast and professional grower for home cultivators. The channel regularly publishes videos on cannabis cultivation-related topics every week. It offers great videos that explain how to deal with pears such as this, powdery mildew, and more.

Cannabis Lifestyle TV product reviews are also exceptional. The host often discusses the best growing equipment, nutrients, and genetics available. So whether you’re a novice or expert cannabis grower, ensure you check out Cannabis Lifestyle TV on a regular basis.

Conclusion

If you’re truly in need of in-depth knowledge and information about how to grow and cultivate weed or general information about a specific strain of weed, you can always rely on these platforms to give you the answer. The free and quality information available on these YouTube platforms is second to none. So you should worry about DIY weed cultivation if you tricky follow the guides and steps explained on the channels.

This article originally appeared on Cannabis.net and has been reposted with permission.



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Defoliating Autoflowers – Should You Do It?

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Defoliating autoflowers is different from defoliating photoperiod cannabis plants in that autoflowers don’t handle stress as well as photoperiod plants. 

However, this doesn’t mean that defoliating autoflowers isn’t worth the effort. 

Like all types of plant training, there’s simply a potential risk. 

In this article, we cover the risks and the benefits of defoliating autoflowers.

Cannabis defoliation
Cannabis defoliation

What is cannabis defoliation

Defoliation is a practice that’s similar to pruning

It removes excess or unnecessary foliage on your plants, so it can efficiently absorb light and direct the energy and nutrients to parts of the plant that are important, such as its colas. 

And while it is true that removing the leaves does hurt your plant, it’s only temporary, and the stress brought from it becomes beneficial to the plants’ growth.

Another similarity that defoliation has with pruning is that plenty of growers are skeptical about the practice since cutting and removing leaves from your cannabis plants seems counterintuitive. 

Why would a plant produce unnecessary foliage that would need pruning in the first place?

The answer to this is pretty simple. 

Auto cannabis seeds

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Plants produce more leaves to serve as a way to store nutrients and efficiently transfer those nutrients and energy to nearby areas.

These areas are the unnecessary growths since the buds around them are sparse and loose, which you would eventually weed out during the harvesting process

While there are growers who will still question the benefits of defoliation, there are growers who use the practice to improve both the yield and the efficiency of their grows.

Defoliation also produces healthier crops since removing unnecessary foliage such as old yellowing leaves allows for existing leaves to get more sunlight and improves the airflow around your plants.

Defoliation is different from pruning because it’s a safer alternative since it isn’t as aggressive or intense. 

However, just like pruning, you can over-defoliate your plants, stunt their growth, and remove potentially good buds. 

This is especially true for autoflowers. That’s why it’s essential to know how to defoliate autoflowers and when to defoliate autoflowers.

Download my free marijuana grow guide and start growing high quality marijuana strains.

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The risk of defoliating autoflowering marijuana

Removing too many leaves is a risk if you don’t know how to defoliate autoflowers. 

The plant needs its leaves for photosynthesis to produce energy. Additionally, the leaves also act as a way to store nutrients. 

If you remove too many, you can stunt your cannabis plants’ growth since your plants will not have enough energy or nutrients.

There’s also the risk of stress when you defoliate autoflowers which could cause them to hermie, a condition where your plants will begin to produce male flowers that would pollinate the buds of your female plants. 

A good way to prevent your plants from becoming hermaphrodites is by choosing cannabis seeds with stronger genetics since weaker ones produce plants that are more prone to hermaphroditism.

Despite the risk that comes with the practice, there are benefits when you defoliate autoflowers. 

By removing old fan leaves, your plants will have a better airflow, which reduces the likelihood of mold appearing on your plants. 

Pruning off excess foliage also helps with increasing light exposure on your bud sites.

Autoflower marijuana plants
Autoflower marijuana plants

How to defoliate autoflowers

The right time to defoliate autoflowers is during their vegetative stage because autoflowering marijuana has a shorter growing cycle than photoperiod plants. 

When it comes to defoliating standard cannabis plants, you can do it during both their vegetative and mid flowering stages.

When removing the leaves of your autoflowers, start with the lower ones first before moving up to the upper leaves. 

It’s also important to only remove only a few of them at a time to avoid overstressing your plants.

Remove big marijuana leaves
Remove big marijuana leaves

Remove the big Leaves

You want to start with the lower leaves first because the big leaves are often found in the lower part of your plants. 

These big leaves, or fan leaves as they’re also known, would begin to yellow at some point. 

Removing them helps your plants since those old fan leaves will block and overshadow newer leaves and bud sites.

Remove marijuana leaves that overshadow 
Remove marijuana leaves that overshadow 

Remove leaves that overshadow 

Once you’re satisfied with the trim you did to the lower part of your plants, you can move up to the upper leaves. 

You would want to remove the upper leaves to allow all the leaves on your plant to get loads of light and avoid any of the upper leaves overshadowing other leaves and bud sites.

Remove old yellow marijuana leaves
Remove old yellow marijuana leaves

Remove old yellow leaves

It’s a given that you would want to remove old yellow leaves since, at this point, they have exhausted all of their functions and are now just there waiting to fall off. 

Removing them wouldn’t take away any nutrients since the old yellow leaves have no more nutrients for the plant to handle.

Marijuana leaf tucking
Marijuana leaf tucking

Leaf Tucking: The alternative to autoflower defoliation

Another way for your buds’ sites to absorb light efficiently is leaf tucking. It’s a safer alternative to defoliation since it doesn’t involve trimming the leaves of your cannabis plants.

Instead, it’s a type of low-stress training where you tuck the large fan leaves down so that it doesn’t overshadow the bud sites of your plant.

It’s a fairly simple plant training method that doesn’t require anything, but just to be safe, you can tie the branches down with training wire to avoid the fan leaves from springing back in place.

The one drawback to this method is that tucking the leaves down makes for poor air circulation in your plants, leading to mold. 

However, this method is undoubtedly stress-free and is ideal for autoflowering strains.

Conclusion

So the question is, should you defoliate autoflowers? 

You can, and there is a clear benefit for your cannabis plants if you do. 

If you’re unsure where to start, try downloading and reading my free Marijuana Grow Bible.  

Once you do, you’ll be ready to apply defoliation and other plant training methods to both regular and autoflowering plants like a pro.

If you’re looking for high-quality autoflower strains with strong genetics to apply defoliation, shop at my online store, ILGM.com

We have a large (and growing) catalog of hardy autoflower strains.

Happy growing,

Robert. 

FAQs about defoliate autoflowers

What does defoliation do for weed plants?

Defoliation helps by removing old yellow leaves that block newer growths and bud sites from getting the sunlight they need. This trimming method also improves the airflow and the efficiency and yield of your plants by removing unnecessary foliage that eats nutrients that your main colas should be getting.

How many times should you defoliate weed?

When it comes to autoflowering strains, you can only defoliate them once, and that’s during their vegetative stage. This is because autoflowers have a shorter growing cycle. Since photoperiod plants have longer growing cycles, you can defoliate them twice. Learn more about the method in my article on defoliation.

Is it OK to remove fan leaves during flowering?

Removing your fan leaves is defoliation, and it’s generally not recommended that you do it during their flowering stage. This is because the stress brought on by trimming the leaves during flowering has a higher chance of causing your plants to hermie than in their vegetative stage.



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