Schwazzing to Increase Your Marijuana Plant Yield

Schwazzing weed is a process that involves removing most of the fan leaves of your weed plant so that all that’s left is their stems and buds. 

The idea of stripping your plants of most of their fan leaves may seem counterproductive to their growth and development, but by doing so your plants will gain more from what they’ve lost.

There are plenty of benefits to using this type of trimming method, but there’s one main reason why you would want to apply schwazzing: to increase your marijuana plant yield. 

In this blog, we discussed the advantages of schwazzing cannabis and how you can safely apply the schwazzing method to your own plants.

High Yield Marijuana made by schwazzing
High Yield Marijuana

Benefits of Schwazzing

Like with all other training techniques, the main benefit to schwazzing plants is that it increases yield and heightens potency. 

However, schwazzing separates itself from other plant training techniques by having you get more from less.

While other training techniques such as topping and fimming involve increasing the number of bud sites (colas) on your plants, schwazzing instead redirects the nutrients your plant has and focuses them on the flowers, resulting in large buds that are potent and full of flavor.

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    Also, by schwazzing your plants instead of topping or fimming them, you end up using a lot less space in your grow room while still getting the same yield as you would if you were growing topped cannabis plants. 

    Additionally, it leads to improved airflow in your plants which greatly reduces the chances of powdery mildew and other molds. 

    However, the most notable benefit to schwazzing is how it helps cut down on electrical costs and it makes it easy to handle pests

    Since there are fewer fan leaves, your plants won’t compete for light and there’s no blindspot for pests to hide in.

    Schwazzing Marijuana Plant
    Schwazzing Marijuana Plant

    Is Schwazzing the Same as Defoliation?

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

    Schwazzing techniques and the term itself were developed by Joshua Haupt, a cannabis grower, and entrepreneur who wrote the book ‘Three A Light.’

    It includes different plant training techniques for getting more from less. 

    Unlike my free Grow Bible, it evangelizes using nonstandard techniques, which is what schwazzing is.  

    Defoliation, on the other hand, is a common type of pruning that improves and enhances the healthy development of both your plants and their buds. 

    It’s done by removing the small leaves and flowers on the lower parts of the stem.

    It may sound similar to schwazzing, but the key difference between the two is how aggressively they prune the plant

    While schwazzing completely strips the plant of its fan leaves, defoliation only removes small, nonessential leaves and flowers that slow down plant growth. 

    Another big difference between the two is that you can defoliate your cannabis during its flowering stage, whilst schwazzing has key times where it can only be applied.

    What they do have in common, though, is that they can be applied to autoflowers.

    However, we don’t recommend schwazzing autoflowers for new growers since it can permanently damage your plant if you aren’t careful.

    Schwazze Technique
    Schwazze Technique

    How to Schwazze to Increase Your Plant Yields

    Remove Fan Leaves Before Flowering Begins

    You should complete schwazzing twice. The first time is just before you adjust your cannabis plants’ light cycle

    Don’t worry, your plants will bounce back if you feed them the needed macro and micro nutrients to replenish the ones they lost by having their fan leaves pruned. 

    It’s also crucial that you put as much importance on your micronutrients as you do macronutrients when feeding your schwazzed plants.

    Know how to perfectly time your harvest so you can maximize your yield. Download our free mini harvesting guide.

    Harvest Guide

    harvest guide
    • Time your harvest for Perfect Taste
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    • Don’t waste any Precious Bud

      Remove Larger Fan Leaves 20 Days Later

      Complete the second schwazze 20 days after the first. But before you do, carefully monitor the condition of your cannabis plants before schwazzing again. 

      This is so you can check whether your plants have adapted well against the stress.

      How can you tell? If they grew new fan leaves, they handled it. 

      Now you’ll need to remove them once more. However this time, make sure to leave some to help with the process of photosynthesis.

      Which Strains Do Best as Schwazzing Weed?

      Some strains are better at schwazzing than others. Here are a few that I recommend. 

      White Widow

      This relaxing indica dominant hybrid strain will provide you with a steady cerebral buzz and a calming body high. 

      Its sedative qualities are further enhanced by its high THC content of 19%.

      white widow

      Buy White Widow Feminized Seeds

      • 60% Indica 40% Sativa
      • THC levels up to 19%
      • High yielding easy
      • Mind opening euphoric high

      Purple Haze

      Enjoy this sativa dominant hybrid that delivers a mood-boosting, energizing high which will keep you feeling happy all throughout the day. 

      With a THC content of up to 20%, you’ll find yourself giggling from the euphoria. 

      purple haze

      Buy Purple Haze Feminized Seeds

      • 30% Indica 70% Sativa
      • THC levels up to 20%
      • Great yield & easy to grow
      • High energy long-lasting buzz

      Big Bud

      Big Bud’s THC content of up to 16% provides a steady yet strong buzz that delivers positive vibes and a sedating high. 

      You’ll find yourself feeling happy while sinking into your couch since this strain is known to put people to sleep.

      big bud

      Buy Big Bud Feminized Seeds

      • 60% Indica 40% Sativa hybrid
      • Feminized seeds for guaranteed bud
      • Known for its easy to grow high yield
      • Pleasant earthy flavor with a spicy undertone


      When toked, Chocolope will both energize and motivate you. It’s the perfect morning strain to help you get through a busy day. 

      With a THC content of up to 19%, you won’t have to worry about ending in a crash, instead you’ll be left feeling happy and relaxed.

      chocolope strain

      Buy Chocolope Feminized Seeds

      • 10% Indica 90% Sativa
      • High THC levels up to 19%
      • Very high yield outdoors
      • Energizing daytime high

      The Risks of Extreme Defoliation (Schwazzing) During Flowering

      Schwazzing is no different from any other plant training that involves applying intense stress on weed. It has its risks. 

      Before you go into schwazzing or applying any similar kind of high-stress training, it’s important to understand the dangers that come with training your weed plants.

      One such common risk is hermaphroditism, which is caused by overstressing your weed plants.

      Once your weed has hermied, there’s no salvaging it since there’s no guarantee that the flowers that it has aren’t already pollinated. 

      Additionally, the hermied plant might end up pollinating the rest of your garden which means losing everything you worked for.

      Other common risks such as slow growth, contamination, and less yield are also associated with schwazzing.

      In fact, slow growth is what you should particularly look out for when schwazzing your weed plants. 

      Since you’re pruning off most of the fan leaves, which are responsible for transpiration and photosynthesis, schwazzing can significantly hamper your plants’ growth. 

      One way to avoid these risks is by being careful and applying the needed nutrients for your weed plants.

      The most effective way to do this is to use a schwazzing feed schedule to ensure your plants get the nutrients they need to bounce back.

      Other Pruning Methods

      Besides topping, there are more techniques to prune your plants for more yield. Find a short explanation in my pruning article, or head directly to a technique below:


      Schwazzing is an optimized way of getting the most out of less from your cannabis plants.

      However, like any kind of high-stress training, it has its risks and is best left to those with experience, otherwise, you might not see results.

      If you want to try schwazzing cannabis or any kind of high-stress training, it’s important to purchase strains with strong genetics. 

      My seed bank has a large catalog of high-quality seeds that you can purchase.

      Whether you like your marijuana plants thick and luscious, or bare-bones with nothing but buds,  you need to know what you are doing. 

      My Marijuana Grow Bible will teach you all the basics of cannabis cultivation so you can start growing like a pro!

      Happy Growing, 


      Avatar for Robert Bergman

      Robert Bergman

      Robert Bergman is an Amsterdam-based marijuana grow expert who has years of experience from small grows to massive operations. His passion for growing led him to develop his own Gold Leaf strain. Now, Robert is dedicated to sharing his knowledge with the world.... [Read full bio]


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