Sugars are the energy that sustains life. In human bodies, glucose provides healthy energy, and we get it from the food we eat. For plants, creating the sugars they need is the job of photosynthesis. If you want to grow potent and healthy cannabis, help your plants make plenty of sugars and get them where they will have the best impact: Bigger buds.
How plants produce sugars
Photosynthesis takes sunlight absorbed through leaves, water, & CO2 and converts them into sugars. These sugars allow plants to uptake nutrients from the soil and grow. The size of your plants, and ultimately, your harvest is directly controlled by how well this process works.
Sugars are used by new leaves in the early stages, and bud production in the latter part of a plant’s life. As much as we would like, adjusting where sugars travel in a plant cannot be achieved through manipulating light, CO2, nutrients, or temperature.
Where sugar goes and why
Because sugar is produced in the leaves, this is where it is most highly concentrated. Sugars move to where they are being absorbed the most, like electricity.
This means that older leaves, which create more sugars than they require, spread the excess towards other areas of the plant. New leaves take in sugars from older leaves since they need more than they can make at first. Buds use more sugar than any other part of a plant.
Manipulating yields through trimming
To maximize your yield, you need to help a plant focus on bud production. Upper canopy leaves get the most light, meaning they will have the best photosynthesis. These leaves are vital. Undergrowth that receives little light may end up using more sugars than it makes. These leaves can be removed, but only if they are lacking in light.
Once your plant is in the flowering stage, new growth on the lower half of the plant should be removed before it has a chance to suck up sugars. Sugars will go to the nearest place needed, and you want them all going up.
Older fan leaves produce lots of sugars, given the right light, more so than new, smaller leaves at the top. Giving them more light by removing young leaves that block their light source can be better than removing them. However, leaves at the top of the plant will naturally have more chloroplasts, giving them greater efficiency. The best practice is a solid upper canopy and removal of most, if not all lower leaves.
The plant itself will give up on leaves that receive too little light in the flowering stage. Watch and see! It already trims itself for better flower production, you are just helping it speed up the process and save vital energy for producing those big, fat colas we love.
Do you train your plants? How much do you take off the bottom of the plant? How much is too much? Share your experience on social media or in the comments below.