What is “Schwazzing” and how does it increase cannabis yield?
Defoliation is a general term frequently used to refer to the removal of excess leaves from the plant in order to ensure that your cannabis plants grow properly and in a healthy manner. It is a method applied to several plant types and can be used in several ways to achieve different effects which are majorly focused on boosting the appearance, health, and performance of the plant.
If you’ve never heard of the term, Schwazzing, Lollipopping, and Topping are arguably the most efficient defoliation techniques employed by smart growers in the industry today. It is carried out with the aim of increasing light penetration and airflow to stimulate the overall increase in growth and yield of the plant. To carry this out, it is best to start with the unhealthy and discolored leaves and then work around the plant by removing any leaves which may hinder growth or obstruct light and air circulation.
Schwazzing involves the process of defoliating your cannabis plants in a particular time sequence with the aim of increasing the strength, size, and yield of the plant. The term was made popular by “Three a Light”, a book by Joshua Haupt in which it is described as a mode of increasing plant yields indoors up to 3 lbs. It is reputed to be an extreme yet highly effective variety of defoliation with particular attention to the time in order to increase your cannabis yield indoors. It is mainly carried out just as the plant is moving into the flowering stage.
The logic behind this is to remove the fan leaves from your cannabis plant at specific periods to enhance the growth of new and bigger buds. This is as a result of the fact that the cannabis plant as a wind-pollinated plant needs fresh air and breeze for the development of its buds. Also, instead of expending its energy on the development of leaves, schwazzing affords the plant the opportunity to channel its energy towards the strengthening of its buds. Defoliation also makes it possible for the plant to respond or react to stress by strengthening and producing more buds.
It is important to note that schwazzing or any other form of defoliation has a technique to it and any grower who decides to explore this method should proceed with caution and it is usually not recommended for beginners. This is because schwazzing must not be done too much or in the wrong manner to prevent stunting the plant’s growth or letting it die out.
When to Schwazz
Schwazzing is typically carried out twice in the plant’s lifetime, once at the commencement of the flowering stage and again after three weeks. These periods are actually critical to the survival of the plant because if it is carried out too early or late, it might affect the overall growth of the plant. The photoperiod is usually switched to 12/12 just after the first bout of schwazzing and more nutrients fed to the plants in order to recover as the plant almost becomes bare after schwazzing.
- Removal of the fan leaves must be carried out before flowering can be initiated.
- All unnecessary growth tips should be cut off in order to encourage the growth of only the best as the buds that get direct light and enough resources from the plant are bound to have better chances of survival.
- At about 3 weeks after the first defoliation, it is time to see if the plant is becoming denser. If this is the case, then its time for another round of defoliation to ensure that the buds continue to remain exposed. However, this needs to be carefully carried out in order to prevent excessive cutting which might stunt the growth of the plant.
- It is important to keep in mind that time makes it difficult for plants to keep flowering, as a result, it is necessary to keep the second round of schwazzing at a bare minimum by cutting only the essential ones so the remaining leaves can serve as a canopy for the plant.
- Provide your plants with enough nutrients after schwazzing as this helps them recover successfully.
- Defoliation has been recognized as a proven way of stimulating plant energy, once the parts draining it has been cut off, it guarantees an increase in plant yield.
- A major benefit of defoliation is the removal of leaves from your cannabis plant which has subsequently reduced the amount of trimming to be done at harvest.
- One major challenge with schwazzing is that it offers high rewards at high risk and it is advisable for growers who don’t have sufficient expertise and are not willing to take such high risks to engage in it. This is because there is a good chance of some plant varieties to not be able to withstand such extreme stress and possibly die despite being properly cared for.