Super cropping is one of the best ways to not only produce a healthy and resilient pot plant but one that’ll grow a huge amount of big, fat, juicy buds. That’s because using the super cropping technique results in a bushy plant rather than one that grows similar to a christmas tree with one giant cola at the center. Once giant cola is cool and all but what’s better than one giant cola at the center of your cannabis plant? How about a plant with multiple fat colas.
We’ve also noticed that we’ve been able to grow a bushier, stalkier and just overall more hearty pot plant by practicing super cropping vs topping. Plus unlike topping your cannabis plant or extensively defoliating it as it grows supercropping will won’t dramatically slow down your plant’s growth. Sure the branch that’s been bent will need a little time to recover, this happens any time you stress weed, but while it does the rest of the plant is going to grow like gangbusters. The rest of the branches will perk up and begin growing rapidly. This is because the plant thinks it’s under attack.
As a result of thinking that it’s being attacked the plant will boost its growth and chemical production in an effort to survive and pass on its genetics. This ultimately means bigger and juicier buds. After all the end product we’re all looking to capture is THC which is the stuff pot plants make to protect itself. Anyhow super cropping leads to an even and flat canopy at the top of your plant. This even canopy once flowered will be filled with multiple giant and juicy colas.
To get a pot plant to grow laterally you have a couple choices. Super cropping of course is one of them. There others techniques for growing a plant that’s bushy and broad rather than tall but they require tying down or cutting your plants. Super cropping , however,can be done quickly by hand and it’s really simple to accomplish. Tying down plants become cumbersome quickly. This technique results in a plant that could be tough to access. And cutting your plant, as in topping or removing the growing tips of your plant, could result in more harm than good. It takes the plant quite a bit of time and energy to heal the wound and begin regrowing again.
We used to rely on topping for years. We’d use scissors or sometimes just our fingers to pluck off those growing tips. Our plants would bush out to some degree but would also still continue to grow vertically at a fast pace. It wasn’t until we decided to give super cropping a try based on a recommendation by a friend named Joe Snow that we realized the potential of super cropping cannabis. Snow also turned us on to no-till growing. This is really awesome organic technique. The best part about it is that once you mix your soil you don’t ever had to make any more. You just keep reusing the same medium over and over. But we’ll save that stuff for another day. Anyhow we saw the results of Snow’s super cropping technique and were very impressed. He had a room filled with bushy cannabis plants that each had several large colas.
You’ve probably seen photos of those outdoor pot fields filled with bushes that are taller than most people, right? We’re talking about pot plants that’ll deliver around ten pounds a piece here. Well the way growers get these plants to grow so massive and to produce so much weed is typically via super cropping. So this is a technique worth mastering.
So what exactly is super cropping? Super cropping or what some people call High-Stress Training (HST) is where you bend the tops of pot plants rather than cut them. The idea is to only damage the inner tissue of the plant and then fold it over. You don’t want to cause any damage to the outer skin of the plant. If you do it’s not the end of the world. There are ways to help the plant heal that we’ll cover at the end of this post. Softening the inside of the plant stem makes it pliable so that you can easily bend the plant rather than break it. Hurting or stressing the plant in this way results in not only a stalkier and bushier marijuana plant but one that’s also more resilient and able to produce more mass including more THC and other cannabinoids.
Think about it for a second. If a pot plant, like a person, is coddled during it’s childhood—meaning that if the conditions are perfect and it’s given everything it needs to survive during every second of its life the plant or person is not going to do so well on it’s own in the real world. However a plant that’s been stressed and recovered will be stronger because of that struggle. As a result of that added strength and resilience it will be able to better protect itself. And you know what pot plants make to protect themselves? You got it, man—THC.
THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol is the stuff that causes people to get high, man. It’ll also cause other mammals to get high. But not all mammals dig being high. And the pot plant knows this. So out in the real world animals like deer or raccoons or whatever might eat marijuana leaves and flowers. This prevents the plant from making seeds and reproducing. Afterall that’s the mission each plant thinks it’s supposed to accomplish—reproducing. So to keep life moving pot plants create this substance to prevent animals from eating all its buds. So when you stress out your cannabis plant by super cropping it your increasing its ability to create THC and other cannabinoids like CBD and CBN as well. So you’re basically taking advantage of the plant’s natural desire to put bud and cannabinoid production into overdrive when it feels attacked. A total win-win, right?
Not only will the plant create greater amounts of cannabinoids after it’s been super cropped it will immediately begin to create a protective nodule where the damage occured. You’ll notice this as the plant heals. This ensures that the transpiration of essential nutrients and water is not restricted. In fact once the damage heals the plant can transport more water, nutrients and other good stuff compared to before.
Plus as that branch heals you’ll notice that all the other branches will begin to pop up and shoot for the light. So by the time the super cropped branch heals and moves back in to place you’ll likely have several tops all about the same length. This is why super cropped plants grow laterally. The bending allows the other branches to grab newly exposed light and take advantage of that access.
When to start supercropping
The best time to begin super cropping is when your plant is young. Once the plant is a few weeks old you should begin to notice a terminal or center branch growing above all the others. When that center branch looks like it’s tall enough to fold over, and there are at least a couple branches below it—you’re ready to begin super copping. You aren’t restricted to applying super cropping to only that terminal branch. Feel free to super crop several branches at once. Keep in mind that you’re not trying to overwhelm and kill the plant all at once—just stress it out a little bit. So be strategic with your super cropping. Bend a few branches now and then go back and bend a few more branches in a couple days. Each time you do so you’ll be changing the way light hits the plant opening up new section of the plant to that much need light all the while spreading out the canopy.
Feel free to continue super cropping your pot plant throughout its vegetative stage. This is when you’ll be developing the shape and structure of the plant before it goes into flowering and begins to produce buds and cannabinoids. Yes you can continue super cropping into flowering if you wish. But we wouldn’t recommend it beyond the third week. Those first two weeks after flipping the lights to 12/12 is commonly referred to as the transition period. The plant isn’t quite ready to flower but it’s rapidly stretching and preparing to do so. So feel free to do a bit of super cropping during this stage. But once you start seeing those familiar little cotton balls that signify flowering has begun you should back off on the super cropping. It’s best to allow the plant to concentrate on just flowering and producing buds and cannabinoids during this critical stage.
Here’s how to do it
Here’s how to super crop
- STEP ONE: Choose branches that are old but still pliable.
- STEP TWO: Squeeze the branch with firm pressure between your thumb and forefinger. Wiggle the stem between your fingers slowly back and forth for 10 or more seconds while maintaining pressure until it feels like the inside of the stem has softened.
- STEP THREE: Slowly and gently bend the stem over.
For stiffer stems. you may need to wiggle back and forth for up to 60 seconds while squeezing/crushing the stem between your fingers, before it “loosens up” enough to bend without breaking the skin. Don’t ever just quickly snap your plants as you’ll cause considerable damage.
If you do snap the branch and tear open the skin you can repair your plant. You can see that we damaged the skin of a plant in the photo above. We like to use medical tape to wrap around the wound. This not only protects the plant from disease and pathogens it also gives it some support and stability as it heals. Leave the tape on the plant for about a week. After that week slowly and gently remove the tape. It should have healed. It’s normal for the skin to be a bit more pale in the area of the wound. If it’s not fully healed simply rebandage the area and wait a few more days. The area that’s healed will have the capacity to hold more water and nutrients than ever before. So it’s almost as if you’re doing your plant a favor by hurting it a bit and then caring for it.
So that’s super cropping in a nutshell. Like we said, we’ve been employing this technique lately and have been super happy with the results—more buds that are juicier and fatter than ever before. It’s simple and effective making it total stuff stoners like.
Let us know if you’ve ever tried super cropping weed and how it went in the comment section below.