A Guide to Super Cropping Marijuana Plants for Higher Yields
Are you looking for a relatively easy way to get your cannabis plants to produce dense and heavy buds aplenty? If so, then this is the place for you, as we will explain what super cropping is and how it can do all of that and more if you know where to start.
What is super cropping?
Super cropping is a method of training cannabis plants, and though most cultivators aren’t quite sure exactly how it works, if it’s performed correctly, you can get your plant to produce larger buds and more substantial yields by methodically inflicting trauma to stimulate growth and increase light efficiency.
Is super cropping a form of high-stress training (HST)?
Yes, super cropping is one of many different high stress training techniques used by cannabis growers. The reason it fits into this category is that you need to hurt the plant, which in turn causes stress to the maturing plant.
Benefits of super cropping
- Expose whole buds to the light
- Removes just enough plant materials to stimulate new growth on barren branches
- Most significant yields
- Higher quality product
- Minimal risk
- Excellent for beginners
How super cropping impacts yield
As you work to remove very specific portions of the plant, like the fan leaves, you will realize how much of what you see is truly unnecessary and, in some cases, even detrimental to your cannabis plant’s growth. Fan leaves soak up the sun and help to feed the plant, but they also block it out from lower portions that are often left unattended. Removing the unnecessary bits, a piece with help to improve the number of nutrients that you plant receives thereby increasing growth.
Why does it work?
There isn’t much for scientific study into super cropping, so we can’t say with certainty why or how this high-stress method of training cannabis plants can work so well, but we can speculate on what could be responsible for the massive stint of growth after it’s been performed.
It is believed that causing small and calculated amounts of trauma and damage to a marijuana plant, releases a rush of hormones and other chemicals to the cut site. This reaction is meant to heal, but if there isn’t too much damage to come back from, it will eventually stimulate extra growth that otherwise would not have occurred.
When can I start super cropping?
Super cropping should be performed as soon as you notice that your cannabis plants begin to differentiate. What that means is that once you start seeing small buds making an appearance, it is likely time to get to work. The window of time in which this method remains effective is incredibly small, so it is important to start it as soon as possible.
When to stop super cropping
This is a question that experts everywhere seem to have slightly differing opinions on, as some marijuana strains are tougher and can handle remaining in this state of limbo for much longer. There are a couple of things however, that most growers will use as guidelines for the ideal time to stop super cropping.
1. Halfway through the flowering cycle
Stopping at this point will ensure that your plant has plenty of time left to continue producing buds. If you keep going, the portions of the plant that are trimmed away will not grow back, which will ultimately reduce your yield.
2. When lights on indoor plants are switched to 12 hours on 12 hours off
This usually happens once your cannabis plants reach nearly full maturity, as it helps to boost the size of the buds and the production of cannabinoids. A process that you do not want to be hindered with further trauma.
3. If plants begin to show visible signs of stress
If your marijuana plant starts to change to a yellow or brown shade or shows any other major signs of distress, then you should stop super cropping immediately. Going any further can kill the plant, so if you notice this symptom, then it is time to stop and focus on essential nutrients and care for recovery.
4. After the very first round of cuts
Some cannabis growers feel that too much manipulation can cause irreparable damage that simply isn’t worth the risk, and to them, the best time to stop super cropping is immediately after they’ve cut away the first round of trimming. This allows for plenty of healing time, and the least amount of risk while performing a high-stress training method, but the splints and ties remain in place until the plant forms in the bent way naturally, which typically occurs after one week.
How to perform super cropping step by step
This is an excellent starting point for anyone who needs to know how to super crop cannabis, however, pay attention to each direction. Seeing that each plant is different, we’ve provided some guidelines rather than precise instructions.
1. Remove excess fan leaves
Cut away only the largest sun blocking fan leaves, as they tend to add unnecessary weight and removing them will help to improve your plant’s exposure to the light.
2. Pick a branch
Choose a branch that contains at least one cola and has a stem that is still relatively easy to bend. Start with the oldest branch growth, as it will sustain through this type of treatment the best.
3. Bend the branch
Grip the middle of the branch where you would like it to bend and press down hard until you feel some slight crunching. This should loosen up the plant fibers and bend the branch downwards.
4. Tie the branch down
In some cases, ties may be necessary to get the effect right, and this can be done with twine, elastics, and a twig or stick that is sunk into the soil. Continue to repeat steps 2, 3, and 4 until your plant’s branches form a canopy.
5. Tape up injuries and breaks
Healing tape is a handy tool in any grower’s toolbox, especially through high-stress training techniques like super cropping. Once you are finished with bending and typing, go over your plants and look for any cracks or cuts and get them bandaged up.
6. Remove tape and ties after one week of healing
After a full week of waiting, the plant will be ready to let loose from any restraints, and at this point, some people like to do a second round of bending for all the latest growth.
How long until plants recover from super cropping?
It is always recommended to wait at least one week in between super cropping to allow the plant time to heal, but in some cases, it can take up to 2 weeks before you really start to see the fresh new growth begin to appear.