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A Continuous Evolutionary Grow

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Schwazzing update.  The more i defoliate, the more encouraged i am by what's happening. The plant is Ice.  Day 4 of flowering.  Almost no fan leaves.  Buds are popping everywhere.

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I did that to a plant outside a long time ago. It wasn't any pre ordained method, I just defoliated the crap out of it in late summer. I thought I had killed it. I went out the next day and saw how much I trimmed it. I sort of freaked out and thought I'd lose the plant. Next thing I know it started budding like yours; buds everywhere. And, since there was no foliage, all the buds flourished. 

I never did it again to that extent. I just got lucky on the time I chose to do it. It was a hell of a haul. 

peace

mrG

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Thoughts on schwazzing.  

On the surface, it doesn't seem to make sense that stripping a plant of its leaves would help it produce bigger yields.  After all, the leaves are the energy factories for the plant.  I haven't seen bigger yields with this method yet, because my first experiment is still growing.  But i can see that it works. So, why would this make sense?

Ice grew for almost six weeks from seed.  She was FIM'ed above the fifth node sometime around week three.  She grew into a small bush.  A healthy plant, she has a fat main stem by this time.  14 branches.  And she is covered in leaves.  She also has a 3 gallon root ball.

Just before flowering the plant, (almost on a whim after reading about the method) I strip all of the fan leaves.  Is the plant defeated?  No.  Is it dead?  No.  It wants to grow.  But it has no leaves.  So it does what any self-respecting plant would do in that situation.  It starts growing new leaves.  And where does it grow these new leaves?  At all the budding sites that will soon turn into blossoms.  

The buds grow because that's the path to survival and reproduction that nature built into the plant.  It has to grow buds when the leaves are gone, because that is the only way forward for the plant.  So it grows buds because it has to.  And it can grow buds, because the branches are there.  The roots are there.  It is not a setback to lose its leaves.  The infrastructure is already there.  This is just an opportunity for new growth.  The buds are suddenly stimulated into growing when all that shade gets cut away.  Now it has light.  And also, the plant has no leaves.  The plant wants leaves. ( It is a self-respecting plant, after all.)  So the conditions for buds to grow are there.  The plant just needs leaves.

My only regret was to veg the plant for only two days after schwazzing before putting her on a 12/12 diet.

22 hours ago, Gardener said:

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More thoughts on schwazzing.  The tall plant in the middle is Master Kush.  MK Is four weeks old.  She was FIM'ed a week ago.  She already lost her first- and second-node leaves.  From the third node up she is still wearing the leaves.

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These are the buds growing from the fifth node.  These are not big enough yet.  Losing the leaves would be a set-back for the plant.  I want these buds to look more like...

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...these buds.  From the fourth node.  They already have their own stems.  The first leaves are unfurling.  These buds look more ready than the ones above.

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And these are the buds and leaves from the third node.  The leaves could come off.  The growth tips are becoming branches.  (And out from both sides, below the third node, are the tips of the branches from the second node.)

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Still more thoughts on chwazzing.  The bushy plant on the right is Wonder Woman.  Day 39 of veg.  She was actually schwazzed yesterday morning.  But i left some leaves because they were nursing along some tiny buds.  Today, those buds were bigger, so the plant lost more of its leaves.

1 hour ago, Gardener said:

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These are the upper branches.  Under a heavy leaf canopy, the plant would not produce big flowers here.  The buds would never be stimulated to grow.  With leaves, the plant's energy would be directed toward growing a bigger, taller plant.

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Take away the leaves.  The plant cannot grow taller.  The plant needs new leaves.  The buds are tiny.  In a week, these branches should be covered in young new leaves growing from each budding site.

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The bottom branches were covered in fairly well developed buds.  But the buds weren't getting any light.  Now, with the canopy largely gone, the buds inside, at the bottom of the plant, are stimulated to grow.

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I never did it fro the start like that, only after it had vegged outside for a good month to two months.  Then, when I did it it was close enough to flower time maybe, that it just went off like crazy on budding. I always had the thought that you have, that survival is inherent and that it's natural,  in that sort of stress event, that maybe the plant decides it's time to go for survival. It sure amazed me. Wish I had pics. Good memories outside, in the mountains of western North Carolina. 

peace

mrG

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When the plant is a giant mass of leaves, the only growth option is to grow taller tops.  Strip away the leaves and the only growth option is through the budding sites.  As long as the plant is healthy when you do it, and you don't take too many immature leaves, it should stimulate the budding sites.  Taking immature leaves sets the plant back.  Growing leaves are on growing stems.  Grown leaves are on grown stem.

Don't think of it as removing energy from the plant if the leaf itself is mature.  Think of it as redirecting where the plant is going to grow next.  Removing leaves creates the need for new leaves.  Cannabis always grows where new leaves are growing.  It never really grows without new leaves to power that growth.  

The buds are the only thing that ever grow on a cannabis plant.  When the plant is tiny, it grows taller and taller through the bud on top of the plant.  New leaves help new stem to grow.  Remove the leaves from grown stem, and  buds will grow laterally.  Every developing leaf helps develop a bud.  Remove the leaf after it has grown.  The bud is the only thing that can grow next. 

The first defoliation stimulates branches to grow from the main stem.  The second defoliation stimulates buds to grow on the branches.  Cannabis is an annual.  But if it could survive from year to year, then defoliation would be akin to an enforced autumn.  The loss of leaves in autumn precedes the new growth of spring.  Imagine a tree.

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First defoliation of Master Kush.  Here are before and after pictures of the plant.UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_1b4b.thumb.jpg.d3ebb817b6f52163267602805aab827f.jpgUNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_1b4d.thumb.jpg.c189045552dff4536093448c1c4fe67d.jpg

 

I took fan leaves off of the main stem.  The plant was FIM'ed above the fifth node.  I left the leaves on the fifth node, and on the FIM point.  Here are the buds at the fourth node before the leaves came off.

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Close-ups of understory branches.  The plant lost its leaves.  So this is now where it will grow new leaves.  The main stem isn't going to generate any new leaves, because it was FIM'ed.  The main stem cannot generate new leaves.  The main stem cannot continue to grow.  FIM'ing the plant forces the outward growth of these new growth buds.  Each one a branch in the making  Defoliating the plant gives these branches more light.  And it puts the survival of the plant into the branches.  Master Kush must now grow branches in order to survive.  There is no other way for the cannabis plant to continue to grow, but to grow from the buds that grew at the base of each leaf along the stem.  Cutting the leaves forces the buds to grow.  Cutting the leaves cuts the plant's energy.  The plant now needs another set of leaves.  The means to grow new leaves exists.  This is not a setback for the plant.  This is an opportunity to grew in a new direction.

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Hi Gardner 

how far in to flowering do you defoliate ? 

I normally do week 1 and week 3 of flowering but recently I read some people also defoliate on week 5 with great results 

I too just stripped them down as well it really helps bud development 

I think I will try week 5 as well 

peace

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Sometimes it is good to clear out a flowering tent and start with new plants.  I am all in on defoliation now.  Here is the current state of my grow.

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Ice, on the right in the photo above, is the only plant in flower right now.  Seven days of pistils.  Here is a better view.

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The plant just to the left of Ice is Wonder Woman.  Not in flower yet.  But i have been prepping her for flowering.  She was defoliated earlier this week.  I defoliated Ice two days before she started 12/12.  With Wonder Woman, I wanted to veg the plant longer after defoliation.  She will probably start flowering after Monday or Tuesday.

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27 minutes ago, Papalag said:

Hi Gardner 

how far in to flowering do you defoliate ? 

I normally do week 1 and week 3 of flowering but recently I read some people also defoliate on week 5 with great results 

I too just stripped them down as well it really helps bud development 

I think I will try week 5 as well 

peace

I recently started defoliating the plants before flowering. The idea is to stimulate all of the buds to begin growing before flowering is induced. Budding sites that are actively growing are going to outperform buds that have been slumbering under leaves.

I'm having a hell of a lot of fun with this. It's a little bit like cultivating bonsai plants.

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