Obviously, every grower wants to increase their yields. Growing cannabis is a labour of love, which is why cultivators want more of it! There are various common sense methods for maximising your crop. These include proper lighting. Nutrients are an essential part of the mix, of course. Watering is a crucial aspect of growing healthy, unstressed plants and temperature control is another given.

Essentially, creating the most stress-free environment is the goal of every grower. A healthy cannabis plant is a happy cannabis plant. And a happy cannabis plant produces the most amount of bud. That makes us growers very happy.

There is another way to increase the yield of your crop. It is a form of “stress,” but it produces positive results. However, it is not a method that you should rely on as a newbie. This is a procedure that should only be attempted by experienced growers. And while it has considerable upsides, the process also poses some real risks.

Defoliation Process

A CONTROVERSIAL METHOD

The first thing to mention here is that defoliation is a controversial method for increasing yield. There are experienced growers who swear by it and others who shy away.

In essence, defoliation involves removing the small leaves from the lower nodes of the plant as they grow. You need to do this gradually and gently. Stripping a young plant of too much too early is stressful, but the idea is to concentrate the plant’s attention on the upper-most or strategically located buds. When buds are more exposed to the light, they will grow more densely and increase your yield, sometimes dramatically.

Incidentally, cannabis is not the only crop this technique works on. It is also used successfully in other kinds of agriculture. In fact, cowpeas can experience increased yields up to 50% when defoliation is performed correctly.

Happy indeed is the canna-farmer who uses this technique so successfully!

Defoliation Big Buds

HOW TO DEFOLIATE EFFECTIVELY

The idea here is to trick the plant. You do not want to stress it. You want it to feel loved, bathed and well groomed. This way, it literally feels ready to expand. This is a very good way to also encourage the full extension of branching.

The way to start is to first remove shabby leaves. Then it gets down to a bit of artistry. The idea is to remove the leaves that will impede bud growth. This also means removing upper leaves if they threaten to shade too much below. However, a lot of defoliation occurs on the bottom branches of the plant. Especially when growing indoors, the buds at the top of the canopy receive optimal light.

This pruning process will not only help shape the growing plant, but also promote dense and thick bud growth in all the right places.

There are many different techniques for shaping plants depending on the conditions of the grow operation. This is where experience comes in. Growing your plants on a southern, exposed slope is one of the other ways to assist this process. The pruning you would do here is partly determined by the grow environment. Outdoor crops are defoliated differently, of course. The only light source is the sun.

For most indoor growers, this means removing “distractions” lower down on the plant. This encourages the plant not to waste resources on a node which is only going to produce “popcorn” buds. These are buds that are loose and wispy. While they produce the same results as any other, they aren’t as preferable of a final product.

Defoliation Lower Nodes Branches Leaves

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT

Again, defoliation is not a good idea for beginners. It is far more important to hone other aspects of your grow techniques first. Make sure you have a decent grow space. Water and feeding is really important. Of course the lights – both placement and timing – are a big part of making sure you have a successful grow.

Once you have mastered all of these other issues, turn your attention to sculpting and pruning your grow. Many people begin experimenting with what is commonly known as “lollypopping” as they improve their grow practice.

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