Whole Leaf Tobacco

tips on getting leaves to yellow

Deano

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Hey Guys,

Im having some mixed results with my leaves. Some are yellowing and some aren't. Anyone have advice on how they yellow their leaves before hanging?
 

Youn

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Hi, some people use to pile their leaves for yellowing before hanging, especially in case of dry conditions. The trick is to move the leaves daily in order to avoid molding and have a homogenous yellowing.
Tell us more about your curing conditions and wait for an experienced guy to give better advice, I'm just a beginer.
 

Deano

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Im growing virginia gold, and i think Barley(?) Leaves are ripe I think (yellow tips).
Harvesting individual leaves at this stage although I have a big v.gold plant and I may hang the whole thing upside down.
I guess Im just trying to get it to yellow before I hang it...
 

deluxestogie

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The risk to Virginia Gold and Burley allowed to mostly yellow in the field comes down to your weather. Leaves that are yellow ripe on a plant can be ripped to shreds by wind, and can have their flavors and nicotine washed away by soaking rain. So just keep an eye on the weather, and you can allow them to stand as long as you wish.

Bob
 

Deano

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Been having hot days with nights getting humid.The leaves are still pretty hardy when i pick them. Should I leave them in the sun for a day or so to yellow before hanging?
 

GreenDragon

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Can you post some pics of the plants themselves? Yellow tips may not necessarily indicate ripeness as it can also be caused by a multitude of things. How long ago did they flower? Did you top them? Better indications of ripe leaves are alligator surface, lightening of the whole leaf, and crisp snapping of the leaf when picked.

Seriously, I'm not trying to be a jerk - we all go through this on our first grow. It takes experience to learn when to pick the leaves, and it does vary some by variety. Rule of thumb, the longer on the plant, the better. Don't rush the harvest unless inclement weather is imminent. Also, the riper the leaf when picked, and the lower the stalk position, the faster it will yellow. If some of your leave are taking a very long time to yellow, it's probably an indication they were picked too soon. Those will be ok, just not Great.

Trust me, you learn so much on your first grow; there is no replacement for first hand experience. Also, you learn a lot of patience! LOL Take a deep breath, relax, and enjoy the experience. :)
 

ChinaVoodoo

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Been having hot days with nights getting humid.The leaves are still pretty hardy when i pick them. Should I leave them in the sun for a day or so to yellow before hanging?
Assuming that we're talking about leaves that are already picked,

NO!

Don't put them in the sun. This could easily result in drying green. Put them in the dark, in a cardboard box, or put them on a table or in a shed and cover with something like paper. A cardboard box kinda breathes, prevents wet spots and allows ethylene gases to concentrate within. This ethylene promotes ripening, same as it does with fruit.

Like @Youn said, go through regularly and remake the pile. This also allows you to catch any problems such as mold.

If a leaf is yellow, you can put it in the sun.
 

GreenDragon

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..."put them on a table or in a shed and cover with something like paper ... Like @Youn said, go through regularly and remake the pile. This also allows you to catch any problems such as mold."
+1 on this. I piled my leaves, but had to take the pile apart every day and rebuild to prevent mold. However, it did help with the yellowing process. Good luck!
 

Deano

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awesome... Thank you guys so much. Ill pop up some pics when I get home...I think that cardboard box sounds good...Definitely learning alot with this first grow. Im going to let them stay on the plant longer( I get impatient!)
 

Deano

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BTW I live in Auckland, New Zealand and summer here is crazy.Hot and dry 45% humidity then 98% and rainy for the last 2 days....gah
 

JennyLeez

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I too had the same hassle last year with my first grow. I found the box idea that China speaks of on this forum. Our weather is similar except we do not have that high sticky humidity you have.
I have a couple of large boxes. I layer the leaves in the box with newspaper in between each layer. A layer of leaves, a layer of newspaper. This keeps them dry and they do not rot. Each day I take them all out and re layer with dry paper. I dry out the wet newspaper by hanging it around the shed and use it next day. The leaves go in green and after 5 to 7 days depending on the weather they are completely yellow and ready for hanging. My boxes take around 100 leaves so I am able to push the plants through quickly.
If I hang them with any green left in the leaf, with our temps, they dry green. So picking and hanging them does not work for me. They would dry bright green like lettuce :)

Cheers
 

davek14

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Here in Ohio, I've never had to worry about leaves drying green hanging them in an unattached garage. I have to keep an eye out for mold in the fall, if anything. Last summer I pushed some to the limits of the season and had to hang in the basement. Hanging in a dry house gave me yellowing issues.

I wonder, does light matter too. Will a plant yellow better in a dark place? My garage is fairly dark as well, whereas my basement has a fluorescent light on constantly for our dog. Seems the plant might try to keep photosynthesizing.
 

JennyLeez

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Will a plant yellow better in a dark place?
I am guessing yes. My boxes are completely covered and dark.
Mold is something I dont have to worry about. In the cooler months I use heat lamps to take the chill off the cooler nights. Our temps in winter do not go below 3°C and it does not snow here.

I grew a few plants of Golden Wilt this year. Really cool bright leaf. They yellowed easily on the plants and these I was able to pick and hang. I will definitely be growing more next year as easy to cure. I suppose I should smoke some first to see if I like :)

Cheers
 

ChinaVoodoo

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I read a study that confirmed that if leaves which are attached the the live plant are individually put in absolute darkness, those particular leaves will begin to ripen independently of the rest of the plant. It follows then, that picked leaves will behave similarly.
 

deluxestogie

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Humidity and color-curing: During leaf senescence, the active destruction of chlorophyll (green) and the slower production of xanthocyanin (red) are both living processes. Carotinoids (yellow) already exist in the background, hidden by the chlorophyll. If the leaf remains alive long enough for the chlorophyll to break down, and is then rapidly dried, you get a yellow leaf. If the leaf is kept alive (not allowed to fully dry) for even longer, then xanthocyanins are produced more abundantly, and you get a deeper leaf color, from reddish yellow to deep maduro brown. So a prolonged, more humid color-curing condition result in darker leaf.

Practically speaking, most of us cannot exercise full control of color-curing conditions. So, knowing the finer details of the leaf physiology won't help us much. But understanding that the leaf must remain alive until it yellows is meaningful.

Bob
 

stic

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I have about 2.5kg of 'cured' leaf; it's a mixture of mid brown to light brown, and this comes just from hanging the leaf in a back room (approx humidity 65-70%), temp range from 14-15 overnight, to 22-23 day (that's Celsius).

I have taken some of the fresh leaves down and am piling them, as this resulted in a better browning last year.

I have a concrete floor, so just tipped some water on the floor to keep humidity high, seemed to work.

I'm leaving my leaves on the plants until they turn a very pale green (almost yellow), not sure if this is right...
 

burge

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I am not sure if this helps but sometimes there is chlorophyll in the virginia. Green spots I have noticed that with our temperature swings the leaf will yellow in the vapour proof bag.
 

Deano

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Thanks guys, I've just tried the cardboard box idea and will post some pics in the next few days. I've been giving them a light misting as it's very hot and dry the last few days(Auckland weather is completely inconsistent). Did smaller leaves have coloured a bright yellow. Noticed its really easy to bruise them when I move them to circulate the air
 
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