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Grow Q&A: Yellowing Older Leaves

Dear Dan, As my outdoor plants are budding, the big fan leaves are starting to yellow from the bottom of the plants. Should I cut them off? Please let me know and thanks! – Mark

Dear Mark,
It’s perfectly okay and quite effective to remove any leaves that are yellow from your plants. Typically, as plants mature, the lower leaves will start to yellow as they are no longer being used to convert light into cellular growth. Picking the yellow leaves off will allow more light to reach lower branches and prevent diseases and pests by removing the vulnerable places where they thrive. This is the reason why the sticky pest strips are yellow – evolution has led bugs to become attracted to the color of struggling plant growth so that they can begin their attack at a weak spot on your bushes.

Removing healthy leaves is not recommended however because those are the “power plants” that absorb light and give the plant energy to grow. Some selective removal is okay but always err on the side of caution when taking off fan leaves. Remember that the natural yellowing that occurs towards the end of the cannabis life cycle are natural and a good sign that nutrients are leaching out of your plant, for cleaner burning and better tasting buds.

Have a grow question? Ask away at deardanko@hightimes.com

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Written By

Danny Danko is a writer, photographer and the Senior Cultivation Editor of High Times magazine. He has selected High Times’ annual Top 10 Strains of the Year since 2005 and is also the creator and founder of the High Times Seed Bank Hall of Fame, author of The Official High Times Field Guide to Marijuana Strains and the forthcoming book Cannabis: A Beginner's Guide to Growing Marijuana. He hosts the podcast High Times presents "Free Weed from Danny Danko."

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1 Comment

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    james reynolds

    July 16, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    What about a nitrogen deficiency?

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