Should You Remove Fan Leaves During Flowering?

Growing and harvesting the wonderful fruits and flowers nature has given us is a rewarding activity. It doesn’t matter if you are a plant enthusiast or thinking of growing on a larger scale; it is always good to ask questions! For example, are you unsure whether or not to remove the fan leaves on your plants during flowering? 

Yes, you should remove fan leaves during the flowering stage using the correct technique. Removing fan leaves will open up light and produce a better air exchange to the lower canopy. It will also ensure that more energy can go to your plant’s valuable parts and make for a bigger harvest.

Trimming and defoliations is a crucial technique that can assist in keeping your plants as healthy as possible. If done correctly, trimming your fan leaves can give your plant’s harvest a significant boost. However, many growers do not know the importance of trimming during the flowering stage, but we can help with that!

Removing Fan Leaves During Flowering

Your plant experiences a rapid growth spurt in the flowering stage, and any significant pruning at this stage could lead your plant into a state of shock. Any time you remove the fan leaves, growth will temporarily slow down, and nutrients can be left behind in the substrate, causing growth to pick up rapidly.

However, it is still extremely important and effective to remove the fan leaves and be done correctly during the first to last flowering period. Removing fan leaves is just like any other form of pruning. However, if done correctly, it will benefit your plant tremendously. 

Trimming the fan leaves is one of the most popular and easiest ways to boost your harvest. Many gardeners do some amount of pruning to keep their plants neat and healthy. For others, removing the fan leaves is the best way to deal with plants as they can sometimes grow out of hand and become challenging to look after.

Proper pruning will remove 20-40% of the mid to upper foliage every 5-7 days, depending on the type of plant when trimming the fan leaves. Healthy leaves at the bottom of the canopy should be kept to trap valuable light from being wasted or lost.

The more quality light a flowering plant receives, the larger it will grow and the faster it will mature. 

The Benefits Of Removing Fan Leaves During Flowering

There are few risks when it comes to removing your fan leaves during the flowering stage, and it has a lot of benefits to each and every type of plant. Trimming ultimately helps the size of your plant stay small while still maximizing its production and quality of production.

This is especially important in situations where gardening spaces are small, and the number of plants you have is limited. In other words, when removing the fan leaves off of your plants, you can enjoy the maximum yield from fewer plants.

Trimming your fan leaves simply involves the process of cutting or clipping the bigger leaves off of parts of the chosen plant. Trimming fan leaves can be seen as just the same as grooming your plant. During the life cycle of all plants, a specific amount of leaves will die.

By trimming the fan leaves before they die, simply remove the dead leaves at a much faster pace. Thus, preventing your plant from wasting its resources on the dead parts. In addition, the leaves die slowly over a long time, so helping your plants get rid of them enables them to direct their resources on the other vital parts.

If done correctly, you can make your valuable fruits and flowers even more valuable! However, despite all the benefits of removing the fan leaves from your plants, it is never advised for beginners with little to no experience with their plants. Trimming the correct number of fan leaves is a delicate process and having a plan is important.

It could lead to a huge loss or damage to your plants if you do not trim the fan leaves correctly, and if you do not have any knowledge of trimming, it could be best not to prune at all.

How To Trim Fan Leaves Correctly

When you are learning new techniques or working with new genetics, it is always good to start small and be conservative. For example, the heavier you trim a plant’s fan leaves, the more stress that plant will be under. Some genetics can take a lot of stress without too many negative consequences. Other genetics could be more on the sensitive side, causing self-pollination or stunting.

There is some good news! First, there are plenty of more moderate approaches to trimming your plants’ fan leaves that the everyday grower can implement without any high risks involved:

  • Remove the leaves at the bottom of the plants as these leaves receive little light and will eventually die off.
  • Fan leaves that create heavy shadows over budding or flowering sides should be removed to increase the percentage of light penetration throughout the canopy, rather than just the tops of the plant.
  • Fan leaves that are growing in an inwards direction towards the plant should be removed.
  • Bud and flowering sites that are lower down on the plant may also be removed so that the plant will be able to focus on the sites closer to the top.
  • Dead and dying leaves should always be pruned immediately.

It is important to remove fan leaves during flowering in pretty much the same way you would during the vegetative state. One thing to keep in mind is that you should always remove a plant’s fan leaves in intervals, giving at least a couple of weeks in between each session.

Trimming the fan leaves of a plant every day will forsake your plant into a perpetual state of shock. When your plant goes in a state of shock, it may impede growth instead of encouraging it. However, if done correctly, you will notice a burst of growth in the following weeks after removing fan leaves.

By removing fan leaves more regularly, you are touching each plant more often. Use this time to inspect your canopy and leaves for any signs of disease, discoloration, and pests.

After Trimming Fan Leaves

After you have trimmed your plant’s fan leaves during the flowering stage, it is important to give them some time to recover. As mentioned, trimming fan leaves inflicts a significant amount of stress on the plant, so allowing time for recovery is vital.

Make sure that you provide an adequate amount of water, light, and nourishment in the first few days after pruning to facilitate recovery from the shock. However, within a week, you should be able to notice a fair amount of new shoots and leaves. 

Once the recovery time is over, and your plant is back to its normal growing time, you can once again remove fan leaves. Always remember that the excessive removal o shoots and leaves are a big stressor and can inhibit growth and fruit development!

It would be good to keep in mind that removing fan leaves is not completely necessary, and most seasoned growers don’t usually bother with trimming. Despite this, it is a well-known fact that a moderate and controlled way of pruning has massive benefits to your plants. 


Trimming the fan leaves of your plants during the flowering stage could be both a fun and rewarding experience! You can also learn a significant amount of different kinds of plants and how well they can cope with stress.

Pruning during flowering should be extremely light and limited. One example of appropriate trimming of fan leaves would be the removal of those that are shading healthy bud or flowering sites. The pruning of damages, diseases, or dead plant tissue can also be carried out throughout the vegetative cycles. Removing these leaves will ensure that they don’t fall and become absorbed into the growing medium.

Remember to always trim with caution, and remember, it’s all about trial and error! But, when you get the hang of it, you ultimately will have a more significant and healthier-looking harvest if you prune the fan leaves! 


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