Schwazzing is a term used to describe an intense form of defoliation. The process involves removing many fan leaves from a plant, allowing much more light to pass through to bud sites.
In the absence of pretty much all of its leaves, it may be the case that all of the plant’s energy, now spare, is distributed to the buds instead. This may explain the explosive growth of the buds when plants are subject to such methods.
Schwazzing then takes place for a second time 20 days after the initiation of bloom, roughly ⅓ of the way through the flowering phase. During this time, new fan leaves will have grown back, and in doing so, will have started to once again form an obstructive canopy, preventing large amounts of light from directly stimulating the buds.
Weed plants respond in a similar way after such tough love. However, Haupt makes a point that after the gym, muscles will only respond well when fed adequately. This metaphor translates into the notion that plants must be given appropriate nutrients after the removal of their prized and precious leaves.
If somebody told you to chop off the vast majority, or all, of your cannabis plant’s leaves in order to massively enhance yield, would you listen to them? Or would you merely disregard the claim as the suggestions of a mad man?
The removal of such large amounts of leaves will expose bud sites to light that previously would have been obstructed by the canopy.
Schwazzing typically takes place twice within the grow cycle of a crop. The first bout occurs just before the flowering phase is initiated. The grower will remove the vast majority of fan leaves from plants, leaving them looking almost bare.
Haupt compares schwazzing as kind of like going to the gym. In the gym, a muscle is beaten up and exposed to stress. Muscle fibres are torn and damaged, only to grow back stronger during the anabolic phase.
Well, the person in question might actually have a valid point. Something about severing off the fan leaves of your indoor crop during the flowering phase seems to rapidly ramp up the size and vigour of cannabis buds. Defoliation is the term usually assigned to the practice of clipping off a few leaves, but a new term has been developed for fully stripping a plant of its leaves, named “schwazzing”.
Schwazzing may seem quite extreme, involving the removal of many leaves from a cannabis plant. Yet, it's said to boost yields by exposing buds to more light.