Pruning outdoors

I am growing outdoors. When do I prune the plants? Do I take off all the fan leaves? Do I take off branches too? If I take off some branches, would the other colas on the ones that are left grow bigger?

There are several reasons why plants are pruned. The most important reason is for stealth. Pruning a plant to keep the size down or to alter its shape helps to disguise it.

Another reason to prune the plant is to improve the yield. Short or lower branches that are shaded draw resources that would otherwise go to more productive parts of the plant that are in bright light. Removing these branches will improve the health of the plant and increase the size of the re-maining branches.

Additional branches can also be removed, which will increase the size of the buds on the remaining branches, however, the plant will produce less total bud by weight.

If branches are to be removed, the pruning is best done just as the plant switches from vegetative growth to flowering. This way, the plant doesn’t invest resources into non-productive growth, although branches can be pruned at any time during the flowering period.

Not all fan leaves should be removed. Fan leaves are the plant’s sugar factories. Sugar fuels both the plant metabolism and plant growth. Removing the shade leaves results in less growth and smaller buds. The only shade leaves that need to be clipped off or trimmed are ones that shade the buds.

These leaves block light, the energy source, from getting to the parts that can use it the most. If only part of the leaf is shading the bud, it can be trimmed.

Leaves shading the buds should be removed whenever they are spotted after the first few weeks of flowering because the more light the bud gets the bigger it will grow.

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