What is Super Cropping exactly?
Super cropping (also supercropping) is the name for a High-Stress Training (HST) technique where the plant is stressed by slightly hurting it in a strategic way. Super cropping is basically just a coined word for growing a bush-like plant by crushing its stems instead of cutting them off. This technique can be performed on virtually every cannabis plant (excluding autos) and can actually be done multiple times during the vegetative process.
Super cropping is most effective with 600 watt lights or bigger because they allow good light penetration. If growing a bush style plant from clones, it’s important to top the plant right after the clone roots. Doing so will provide a strong base where the extra branches start low on the trunk.
Cannabis plants become stronger after recovering from trauma. Things like bent or crushed stems can become even larger and stronger than undamaged stems. If the main cola (flower) of a cannabis plant is removed, the plant will put energy into growing the remaining colas. Each super crop basically doubles the number of potential colas on a plant.
What Does Super Cropping Do?
After super cropping the plant will grow bushier, produce more buds, and possibly even produce more THC! This is how the plant naturally responses to danger and protects itself. Growers take advantage of this technique to get bigger yields and more potent buds than would be produced otherwise.
If the goal is to harvest the biggest and the best buds, you should actively stress the plant in a way that will result in an increase in the production of cannabinoids. If the aim is to get a better harvest, “super cropping” is by far the best method of stressing your marijuana before harvesting.
Of the 483 known compounds in Cannabis, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the primary psychoactive component of cannabis and produced in the plants trichomes. The second major component is CBD. It is also considered to have a wider scope of medical applications than THC because of study results in treating epilepsy, anxiety disorders, nausea etc. Both are produced in greater amounts by plants that have been properly super cropped.
How do we ‘stress’ the marijuana plant?
Super cropping works along with Low Stress Training, or LST. LST is the simple process of training your cannabis plant to grow laterally. This is usually done by tying down the branches of the plant to stop it from growing vertically. Light is one of the most important factors contributing to the growth of a plant so when it comes to cannabis, light dictates when a plant produces its flowers and how well those individual buds develop.
The main idea of super-cropping is to get marijuana to expose as many branches as possible to direct light and induce the plant to produce more leaves, buds and flowers. To apply the method, a certain amount of stress must be applied to your plant.
By exerting gentle pressure firm enough to slightly damage the tissues, a grower can intensely escalate marijuana yields. Because of the special stress response that takes place within the plant, the risk of infection or splitting is also minimized.
The technique is really simple.
Choose the most suitable branches you want to super crop. Start by doing only a few branches at a time, you will make sure that the plant reacts well to the stress technique. Remember that the goal is to stress the plant, not kill it.
After selecting the spot, gently hold the branch between the thumbs and forefingers of your hand and while gently exerting firm pressure, soften the inner tissues and carefully roll the branch between your fingers until stem feels limp in that spot.
A severely damaged branch may be beyond natural repair, especially if the branch is visibly split. Applying grafting tape or Duct tape will help to strengthen the damaged branch during the healing process.
Super Cropping takes advantage of natural processes.
When it’s time for a plant to flower, the size of the buds it produces is largely dependent on light exposure. The more light (in the right wavelengths) a certain part of the plant canopy gets, the stronger and bigger it is likely to be. That’s why the crown of a plant usually has denser, bigger flowers than the bottom.
Super cropping allows you to manipulate a plant and its canopy for maximum exposure. By ensuring the entire canopy gets evenly exposed to light, growers encourage it to build big, dense buds. This is true even in areas normally be covered by foliage.
For its own survival, the plants growth mechanism will cause it to ‘set’ the break and keep the limb in place after it is done healing. Arranging super cropped tops horizontally creates an environment for increased bud production as colas that would have been under the main cola are exposed to direct light.
Super crop at the right time.
Be really careful because this method is designed to induce the plant to throw out a greater number of colas and new leaves. Being too aggressive can have seriously negative results. Following the logic of nature, this method works because the plant is deceived into believing that it is under attack by some force and therefore it will compensate.
In the process of healing, the branch will grow a protective nodule to strengthen the damaged area. This ensures that transpiration of essential nutrients and water are not restricted. Growing the nodule is a key step of maintaining the overall health of the plant.
Since this technique requires time for the plant to heal, the best time to super crop is in the plants’ vegetative or growing stage. During the second or third week of growth will likely be most effective time. How will you know? When the plant produces vigorous new branches but has not yet fully started the flowering stage, it’s time.
By super cropping, cultivators enjoy shorter and more controlled plants that produces a great number of branches and buds. Even though the plant needs more time to recover, proper super cropping does not retard the growth of the plant like pruning of the tops or picking leaves to induce growth.