There are several ways to increase the yield of your marijuana plants. Low-stress training (LST) methods allow you to do so without causing significant harm to your plants. High-stress training (HST) techniques, on the other hand, are more dangerous and have a higher potential of harming your plants. However, if you get it right, you may profit from big yields when you learn how.
The simplest method of extreme cropping is known as super cropping. It’s one of the most well-known and traditional approaches because to its ease and efficacy. You will appreciate the great colas it yields if you execute it properly. If you botch it up, you’d better hope that duct tape can help your plant mend!
The process of super cropping involves putting pressure on the plant to deliberately damage its tissues. It can lead to a greater number of buds, bushier plants, and even stronger cannabis. If you’re up for the challenge, keep reading to learn how to do super cropping.
What Is the Purpose of Super Cropping?
To comprehend the need for super cropping, it’s important to understand why cannabis plants produce resin. Cannabis plants secrete resin to defend themselves against predators. It consists of a variety of chemicals, including THC, the cannabinoid. As a result, the more resin a plant generates, the better. Sticky, resinous buds are popular among growers because they know that euphoria awaits!
Each plant has thousands of tiny glands on its buds and leaves, each of which produces resin. The substance softens as it is heated by the sunshine, allowing it to run down the leaves and nuggets. Cannabis plants use it to protect themselves from insects, drying out, and low temperatures. They start producing resin when they are injured. Growers that learn how to harm a plant without breaking it will benefit from resinous buds.
Cannabis super cropping is a technique in which marijuana plants are selectively developed so that they have a greater THC content. You may do it to improve yield and get higher-THC cannabis. However, you can also accomplish this by making your plants skinnier and more light efficient. A plant is super cropped when half of the stem is bent, with the apex progressing horizontally. Vertical side shoots develop as a result of this process, resulting in a larger surface area for the entire plant. If you only have a few plants, this is an excellent approach to utilize them.
When growing plants near to or beneath their grow lights, some growers utilize this HST approach. If you can’t raise the lights higher, you’ve got a problem. Because sativas develop tall, super cropping is ideal for them.
Pros and Cons of Super Cropping
- Relatively quick and easy.
- You don’t need much equipment.
- Ideal if your plants are growing too tall for their space.
- Provides higher yields and greater potency.
- Creates possible sites for infection.
- Mistakes are potentially costly.
- The process can backfire spectacularly if a plant reacts badly.
- Slow plant recovery time.
Your Guide to Super Cropping Marijuana Plants
Before you begin, you’ll need the following:
- Some experience of growing cannabis.
- Soft plant ties, or something else to tie down branches that isn’t sharp.
- Duct tape.
- Your fingers.
The super cropping method entails shattering stem tissue, making it simple to bend. If you try bending the branch before this ‘softening up’ technique, you increase your chances of a broken branch. The objective is to snap the branches that emerge below the flower cluster. In theory, your bud is positioned on one side and exposes a side of the cluster to light in the image above. Here’s where things get interesting.
1 – Select Your Branches
Your first task is to find the most pliable (bendy) branches. Look for green parts rather than the older, firmer ones at the bottom of the stalk. If your plant already has several colas, super crop the same site on several of them. If it has a single cola, opt for the greener growth near the top.
2 – Squeeze & Bend
Your aim is to damage the plant’s inner tissue without hurting the exterior. This process helps make the stem easy to bend. Grab the branch and firmly squeeze it between your thumb and forefinger. Imagine that you are trying to crush that part of the branch. Wiggle it between your fingers for at least ten seconds and keep applying the pressure.
Keep wiggling the area until the inside of the stem feels softer. Once it feels loose, gently bend it in the direction you want. Use a plant tie to secure it in place. If the stem feels particularly stiff, you may need to squeeze and shake it for up to a minute. You should never try to force the issue. If a branch feels like it will snap, there’s an excellent chance that it will.
If you don’t bend the branch enough, it will return to its original shape within a few hours. This is why you must secure the stem. If the plant seems broken and is at a 90-degree angle from where you bent it, and the branch remains down, you have succeeded in your mission.
3 – Fix Any Damage
If you are new to super cropping, this step is inevitable. If you’re lucky, the damage is minimal, so no duct tape is required. However, you will need strong tape to reinforce the plant and help it to heal. You know there is real damage if you see a crack or open slit on the exterior of the stem.
If you don’t crack the stem, securing it with twisty ties or zip ties will suffice. The original site of the bend will now grow a large knot that helps transport more nutrients and water than before.
4 – Remove the Tape
After about a week, remove the tape. Don’t panic if you see discoloration in the healing area; this is normal. If the site has a gray hue and looks damaged, put the tape back on until you see the protective knot. As long as your plant has the tape in place, it will continue to use water and nutrients as usual. If you see some branches trying to straighten, tie them down LST style.
The result is more branches and buds, not to mention a bushier plant. Super cropping is especially useful when trying to grow in a small space – or in secret!
When Should I Start Super Cropping My Cannabis Plants?
One of the great things about super cropping is that you can complete the process relatively quickly. However, unlike other HST methods, you require patience. You can FIM, top, or LST plants once they develop a couple of sets of leaves in the early vegetative stage. With super cropping, you need to wait until the fourth week of vegetative growth. It works best on weed that has developed a little and plants that are at least 30cm tall.
You have a relatively short window to begin. Once your plants make the transition to the blooming stage, they undergo hormonal changes, and super cropping loses its effectiveness. When you super crop on time, the plant gets confused because its auxin distribution becomes manipulated. When this happens, it is unsure which branch is the main stem.
If you leave it until the flowering stage, however, the plant’s energy becomes focused on flower production. Its shoots also grow too rigid to bend for super cropping. Attempting to complete the process at this stage will only result in broken branches.
Unlike LST, autoflowering strains are not ideal for super cropping. While the technique is quick and easy to apply, your plants require a long vegetative cycle for full effectiveness. Ideally, the method will have an additional 6-8 weeks of vegetative growth to look forward to. You simply don’t get this amount of time with autoflowering strains.
Also, super cropping is a labor-intensive technique, which means it probably isn’t realistic for growers with extensive gardens.
You’ll Get Better – With Experience!
It is highly likely that you’ll make a few blunders at first. Unlike LST, it takes time and effort to get used to the ‘feel’ of super cropping. Different strains have varying structural strength and tolerances. You will find that some plants break easily, while others bend perfectly with little damage.
On the plus side, cannabis is a robust plant, and it heals extremely quickly. If you crack or break a branch, stay calm. In at least 90% of cases, your plant will recover as long as a broken limb is taped back before its leaves begin to droop. If you break a branch and the bud is hanging upside down, create a splint, or use wide tape to ensure it goes back into the right place.
At first, you will need to use plant ties or an alternative to ensure the branches remain where you want them to. In this case, tie branches on the trunk side of the scar rather than the bud side. Eventually, when you get more accustomed to the process, you will not need to tie down the branches because you have bent them correctly.
Final Thoughts on Super Cropping Marijuana Plants
You can sum up the super cropping process like this:
- Pick the branches you want to super crop.
- Pinch them between your thumb and forefinger.
- Wiggle the branch until it gets soft and pliable.
- Slowly bend the branch into position.
- Tie it down if necessary.
- Repair with duct tape if damage occurs.
When you super crop your cannabis plants, you potentially increase its resin production. The result is weed with a higher level of THC. There are certainly a few downsides, and it is something novices should avoid. However, once you get the hang of it, you’ll wonder why you didn’t try it earlier.
It’s a fast HST procedure that can be used from 3-4 weeks into the vegetative stage. If you wish to keep your plants compact, don’t start the process until they’re at least 12 inches tall. When your plants reach the flowering stage, it’s time to quit super cropping. This is because vertical side branches cease to develop. Super cropping may be tried in the bloom phase if your only aim is greater resin production, but this isn’t recommended.