What is Schwazzing, and what are the benefits?

Schwazzing means stripping your cannabis plants of all the fan leaves (larger leaves protruding from the branches). Essentially, you must remove all fan leaves from your plants at the beginning of the bloom phase and again at the beginning of the third week of bloom.

You may think that removing most of your plants’ fan leaves will be counterproductive to their growth, but what they gain from this is more significant than what they lose.

This type of trimming has various benefits, but schwazzing has one main advantage: You can increase the yield of your marijuana plants when you use it. 

Schwazzing cannabis has many benefits, and we’ll discuss how you can safely apply it to your plants.

Schwazzing Benefits

Schwazzing plants, like other techniques, increases yield and potency. 

The advantage of schwazzing is getting more from less, which makes it unique from other plant training methods.

Schwazzing is the opposite of topping and fimming, which functions by increasing the number of colas on your plants. Instead, schwazzing directs your plant’s nutrients into your flowers, producing large buds full of flavor and potency. Topping cannabis plants forces them to grow bushier, which makes them healthier and more productive. 

Fimming is the process of removing the tip of the new growth on a marijuana plant right where it meets the foliage. As more light reaches the remaining buds, their weight will increase. 

In order to maximize the cannabis plant’s yield, it is wise to use fimming in conjunction with other growing methods. A fimming plant ultimately yields twice as much, as two buds are produced. 

Topping is the process of cutting off the main stock of a cannabis plant which forces the plant to grow bushier, which in turn delivers a healthier plant with a higher yield. Topping is done during the vegetative stage to help push growth hormones and its energies to the inside branches from the main stem. By cutting off the main branch, you should create two v-formed branches, both of which will now produce flowers. The plant grows out horizontally rather than vertically and can be combined with a Scrog to allow for optimum space and light.

 While you might use less space in your grow room by Schwazzing your cannabis plants instead of topping or fimming them, you still get the exact yield as if you were growing topped plants. 

As a result, you will see less mold and powdery mildew instances in your plants since airflow is improved. 

Schwazzing is typically noted for its ability to help cut down on electrical costs and for how it makes pest management easy. 

Your plants will have less competition for light, and there are no blind spots for pests to hide in since there are fewer fan leaves.

Schwazzing Vs. Defoliation

Although schwazzing and defoliation both give the same benefits, they’re entirely different techniques. 

 Josh Haupt, the author of ‘Three a Light,’ a book that discusses nine critical factors for achieving your best growth, spearheaded this movement which focuses on non-standard methods, including schwazzing.  

By contrast, defoliation is a method of pruning that allows both your plants and their buds to develop to their fullest potential. The lower leaves and flowers on the stem are removed to achieve this.

Schwazzing sounds similar, but their main difference is their approach to pruning plants. 

In comparison to schwazzing, defoliation only removes smaller, non-essential leaves and flowers that slow the growth of the plant. 

Schwazzing also differs from defoliating in that it can only be applied at certain times during flowering, while defoliation is possible throughout the growth cycle.

Nevertheless, they can all be applied to autoflowers. 

If you’re not careful, schwazzing autoflowers can permanently damage your plant. We do not recommend it for new growers.

Note: While feeding your schwazzed plants, it’s essential that you consider your micronutrients just as much as your macronutrients. 

Increase plant yields by using Schwazze’s technique

Before flowering begins, remove fan leaves.

It is recommended that you schwazz twice. Once before adjusting your cannabis plant’s lighting cycle and once immediately after the adjustment. Lighting Cycle are as follows:

A cannabis grower’s light cycles are adjusted by subtracting the number of “Lights on” hours from the number of “Lights off” hours.

24/0: Lights remain on 24 hours a day 

18/6: The lights are on 18 hours a day; off six

12/12: Lights are on and off for 12 hours each. Photoperiod plants use the 12/12 timing during the flowering period.

Plants require light to photosynthesize (Photosynthesis consists of the conversion of carbon dioxide and water into food by plants and other organisms), so the light cycle is crucial. In other words, the more light they are exposed to, the better their photosynthetic rate will be. During the blooming phase of a photoperiod plant, we only have 12 hours of light. The growing community, however, is confused about whether photoperiod and auto-flowering plants need longer periods of lighting for vegetative growth.

 Generally, autoflowering cannabis produces harvests around 10-11 weeks after germination when using the 18/6 light cycle.


After three weeks, remove larger fan leaves.

Three weeks after completing the first schwazze, complete the second. Schwazzing again can be dangerous, so make sure your cannabis plants are in good health before you do so.   

To determine whether your plants have adapted well to the stress, you need to pay attention to the leaves. If they grow new leaves on their fans, they handle it accordingly. 

Now that you have done the first step, you will need repeat the process. However, please ensure that some of the fan leaves are left to assist in the photosynthesis process.  

Schwazzing Risks During Flowering

Schwazzing applies intense stress to the cannabis plant, as does any other plant training. There are risks associated with it.
You should be aware of the dangers of schwazzing and using other high-stress training methods, such as fimming, topping and defoliation, before you begin.

The overstressing of your plants can lead to hermaphroditism (Having both male and female reproductive organs). Since you cannot be sure that the flowers on your cannabis plant haven’t already been pollinated once it has hermied, there is no salvaging it. Hermaphroditism is an undesirable trait in plants where the cannabis plant grows both female and male flowers. This is detrimental because it increases the chances of producing seeds and lowers both the abundance and the quality of the product in the end.

The risks associated with schwazzing also include low yield, slow growth, and contamination if not done properly. 

It is important to carefully observe your plant for signs of slow growth when schwazzing your cannabis plants.

Being cautious and using the proper nutrients for your cannabis plants can help you avoid these hazards.

Conclusion of Schwazzing Your Cannabis Plants

If you’re an experienced cannabis grower, schwazzing your cannabis plant can significantly benefit its growth, meaning a higher yield and more potent buds. However, the stress of Schwazzing your plant can cause hermaphroditism in your cannabis plant which could then pollinate the rest of your garden. It is best to carefully remove a hermaphroditism plant before it spreads its pollen. It is also possible to kill a cannabis plant from schwazzing so experience in this technique is extremely important.