Super Cropping Marijuana: 3 Steps to Higher Yields

harvested marijuana buds

Super cropping is an increasingly popular method among marijuana growers, aiming to yield larger, more potent crops.

This high-stress training (HST) technique manipulates the plant’s natural defense mechanisms to improve cannabinoid production.

Here’s a comprehensive guide on why and how to supercrop your marijuana plants.

Understanding Super Cropping

grower trimming marijuana plant as part of super cropping

The Why

Marijuana plants, like many organisms, have natural defense mechanisms. When stressed or injured, they produce more resin-containing cannabinoids like THC and CBD.

This resin acts as the plant’s defense against trauma, pests, and disease. By strategically injuring the plant through super cropping, growers induce a higher resin production without killing the plant.

This process, in essence, taps into the plant’s survival instinct, stimulating it to produce more THC as a deterrent against potential predators.

The Benefits

  1. Increased Resin Production: Physical trauma from super cropping stimulates the plant’s resin glands, leading to a higher concentration of cannabinoids in the buds.
  2. Bushier Plants: Super cropping encourages plants to grow outward rather than upward, resulting in more compact, bushier plants. This can be especially useful when growing space is limited or when cultivating Sativa strains, which naturally grow taller.
  3. Light Optimization: Super cropping expands the plant’s surface area exposed to light. This ensures more of the plant benefits from light exposure without the need for pruning.
  4. Greater Yields: With increased light exposure and surface area, the plant produces more branches and leaves, resulting in more colas and buds.

The Super Cropping Process

1. Topping

supplies for topping step in super cropping process

This initial step involves cutting the top of the plant to break its apical dominance. This encourages the plant to grow multiple main stems instead of just one.

Ensure that you use sterilized gloves and sharp scissors for a clean cut. Sanitize your bud trimming scissors or pruning shears with alcohol before using and only use sharp tools here. Topping is best done around weeks 2-3 of vegetative growth.

2. Knuckling

supplies for knuckling step in super cropping process

This technique involves pinching and bending the plant stems without breaking them. By slightly crushing the internal tissue while leaving the external layer intact, the plant is trained to grow in the desired direction.

This action, often referred to as “knuckling,” should be performed on mature branches, ideally those taller than the rest.

If a branch is accidentally broken, it can be mended using tape or a bandage and should heal within a week.

3. Tying Down Branches

Since plants tend to heal quickly, some branches might revert to their original position after knuckling.

To prevent this, the branches can be tied down using gentle materials like zip ties or strings.

When to Super Crop

For novice growers, the best time to super crop is during the late vegetative stage, ideally 3-7 days before the plant enters the flowering stage. This is because, during flowering, plants channel their energy into bud production, sidelining the healing process.

Super cropping is not recommended for plants that are already under stress due to pests or nutrient deficiencies. The technique requires the plant to be in optimal health to handle the induced stress effectively.

Additionally, it’s crucial to note that while super cropping can be immensely beneficial, it’s not the only method to increase yields. Growers can explore other training methods and combine them for better results as they gain more experience.

Final Thoughts

While super cropping might seem counterintuitive, it leverages the plant’s natural defense mechanisms for the grower’s benefit.

It’s a testament to nature’s adaptability and resilience, and with practice, growers can maximize their crop’s potential in terms of both yield and potency.

Whether you’re a seasoned cultivator or a rookie, understanding and mastering super cropping can be a game-changer for your marijuana cultivation journey.

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