Should I Trim My Pot Plants Wet or Dry?

Trimming in process. (Photo by StinkBud)
Dear Dan,
First off, thank you for the years of continuous grow advice. I wanted to know your opinion on “dry trimming” instead of “wet.” I myself have switched from wet to dry and honestly wouldn’t go back to my old methods. As always your guidance on the subject is much appreciated. Thanks again. — Kyle B. 

Dear Kyle,

I appreciate your kind words!

Trimming wet means taking off all the fan leaves and sugar leaves before drying, and trimming dry means hanging your plants up with the leaves intact and then removing them after the branches have dried out. Basically, it comes down to personal preference and how you wish to accomplish this, but both methods have their drawbacks and advantages.

Trimming wet is easier because the leaves are still turgid, and their rigor makes them stick out from the flowers more. After drying, leaves will droop and curl closer to the buds, and it makes it a bit more difficult to clip them off. So the wet trim can be more convenient.

On the other hand, if you wait to trim dry, the plants will take a bit longer to dry out due to the water in the leaves. Slower drying can make for a smoother cleaner smoking experience, because the longer it takes to dry your crop, the more it will lose the “green” chlorophyll smell and taste.

My advice is to use the best of both worlds.

Trim off any large fan leaves and big sugar leaves that protrude out from the buds but leave behind some of the sugar leaf to keep the drying slow and to protect your flowers and their essential oil-filled trichome glands. Then, after the branches have dried and snap instead of bending, do your second more thorough trim just before starting the curing process in glass jars.

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