Tom’s Facts On Super Cropping Marijuana ! What is it ? Why we do it ! How do you do it ?
- Introduction – The Super Cropping Confusion !
- Super Cropping Evolution !
- HST- High Stress Training !
- What Is Super Cropping ?
- The Why We Do It Controversy !
- What Super Cropping Really Does !
- When To Super Crop !
- Super Cropping In The Flowering Stage ?
- How To Super Crop !
- The Easy Way To Super Crop !
- Two Videos, Showing How To Super Crop The Easy Way, Never Breaking A Stem !
- Close-up Pictures of Super Cropping !
- Conclusion !
The Confusion! There seem to be a lot of confusion on what Super Cropping marijuana is . The confusion is not only with what it is, but also how it should be spelled. Is it Super Cropping, or Supercropping or Super-Cropping ? I realize the spelling isn’t all that important when you’re growing organic marijuana but it just goes to show you that there is no general consensus on how to spell it, let alone what it is. Some folks will say it’s LST (low stress training) and some say it’s HST. (high stress training) Then there’s the confusion on what it is. Some folks say it’s many techniques , while others say it’s only one technique. Who’s right ? Could they all be right? I have to say “Yes and No.” Confusing ? I can accept all the spellings of the term, but the one I’m going with is Super Cropping.
Super Cropping Has Evolved ! Over the years the term Super Cropping has evolved but a few of the web sites talking about it have not and are stuck in the past. At one time Super Cropping did mean using different techniques to manipulate the growing plant. Those techniques included, “Crimping” ( the twisting or crushing of the stem), “Bending” (bending of branches toward the light), “Tying” (tying branches down for shape and light penetration), “Topping” (cutting the top of the plant off), and “Fimming” (cutting only 80% of the new growing tip off). These terms are now considered their own techniques with Super Cropping being a combination of “Crimping” and “Bending”.
HST ! Super Cropping is definitely “High Stress Training.” Anytime you damage the cellular structure of a plant to obtain desired results you are putting the plant under high stress. Now this doesn’t mean your plant is going to go into shock and be in distress. This only means that part of the plant was damaged and the plant has to use some of its resources to repair the damage. With LST (low stress training) none of the plants cellular tissues are damaged.
What is Super Cropping ? Super Cropping is a training technique incorporating crushing the stem of the plant and bending it down at a 45* angle to an area you would like it to be.
The big controversy is why do we do it, and what does it accomplish when we do it? There is a large group of people with the consensus opinion that Super Cropping not only will dramatically increase your yields but it will also increase cannabinoid production. They believe that marijuana plants use THC to protect themselves from predators. The belief is, when the marijuana plant is damaged by an animal, such as a deer, (deer eats some of the plant, or breaks a few branches) the damage results in stressing the marijuana plant. They also believe that; “This animal caused stress will put the plants bud and cannabinoid production into overdrive as a last-ditch effort to protect themselves.” I have heard this referred to as. ” a consequence of its’ nature”. Their belief is; “This special stress response that takes place within the plant, intensely escalates the plants yields and for its’ own survival, the growth mechanism within, will cause the plant to become bushier, creating an environment for increased bud production that will result in higher levels of THC.” Their words, not mine. The way, they believe, the plant accomplishes this ; “When the inter cambian layer is damaged with little damage to the outer skin (soft bark) the plants cells are put into hyper-drive as they work to repair the damage. These cells not only repair the damage, they strengthen it with larger cells than before. With these larger cells the stem is able to receive more nutrients and water quicker than before.”
Second Opinion ! There are just as many folks with the consensus opinion that the beliefs stated above are BS. (bull shit) I believe most of it is speculation, wishful thinking and yes BS. The parts I agree with : Plants use THC to protect themselves from predators ; damaged plant parts causes stress to the plant ; broken plant stems once repaired are stronger than before the break. Super Cropping will help to increase yields and plants will become bushier.
Evidence ? I have not seen any scientific evidence that putting the marijuana plant under any kind of stress will increase any cannabinoid production. I also see no scientific evidence that repaired damaged plant cells grow larger enabling more water and nutrients to the plant stem and beyond. I suppose this could be true, as I am not a scientist, but I don’t believe it !
Super Cropping will make the plant fuller and bushier and speeds up bud site production. When the stem of the plant is crushed and bent over at a 45* to 90* angle its’ growth is severely retarded. The growth of this stem is slowed down dramatically because the energy going up the stem is being used to repair the damage. There is also a lot of energy in this stem being used trying to upright itself and bending toward the light. Super Cropping allows you to keep the end cola while letting other parts of the stem catch up forming more colas. With the tip of the plant and or tip of the branches slowed down, more of the plants resources go into growing lower branches allowing them to catch up to the top making a wider, fuller, and a more even canopy with more tops.
Super Cropping is usually done in the vegetating stage of growth. However, there is a place for Super Cropping in the flowering stage that I will go into a little farther down the page. When you first begin Super Cropping will depend on the type of grow you have and how you want your final flowering plant to look. If you need a really short bushy and wide plant start when the plant is very young, a foot tall, maybe even shorter. Some folks will want to wait until the plant is taller, 18″ to 24″ tall. Many folks combine methods of manipulation. You may want to FIM first then Super Crop. You may want to top the plant first then Super Crop. Some folks will Super Crop and then use a LST method to finish training. There are even some that will use LST first than Super Crop. There are many scenarios of training and you will have to experiment to see what you like best. All varieties of marijuana are different and will react differently to the training methods. A sativa will not react the same as an indica even with the same training.
Supering Cropping in the flowering stage is not usually done, but there is a place for it. When you Super Crop in the flowering stage you are not doing it to make the plant bushier or to increase branching or bud sites. Once into flowering it’s too late for that. The reason to Super Crop in the flowering stage is to make your plants canopy all at the same level. Sometimes after the initial stretch in the flowering room ( occurs during first two weeks of flowering) your plants may have grown some branches much taller than the others. To even out your plants canopy, so you can lower the lights for more light penetration, you may want to Supper Crop those taller branches. I recommend you do. By doing this you save the top colas and the rest of the plant will receive more light because your light may now be placed closer to the top of the plant. The closer the light the more light will penetrate the plant giving you larger and denser buds thus increasing yield and weight.
How Do You Do It ? Although Super Cropping is considered an advanced technique it’s very simple and anybody can do it. You don’t need any tools and you do not need any tape ! Most of the other web sites will tell you to get out the tape in case you don’t do it quite right and have to repair the branch. You will never need tape if you do it my way. Some websites tell you to; “Grab the branch and squeeze the stem with firm pressure between you thumb and forefinger. While maintaining the pressure slowly bend the branch back and fourth until you feel or hear a slight snap”. Another website puts it this way ; “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 rotate your hand holding the branch, by half a turn. Now you will notice that by doing this the branch has become pliable and you are able to manipulate the branch in the direction you plan to have it face, which is always towards the light, while making sure no outer bruising is caused. Continue bending until the inner wood slightly snaps. It cannot be helped if at times, especially when you are still inexperienced, to overly bruise the plant. No worries, this can be remedied with a bandaged like repair with grafting tape.” That was a long explanation!
Here’s another one from the web; “The key is to bend or flex the stem so that you damage the inner core of the plant without completely breaking the stalk itself.” This one from the web is a favorite of mine ; ” You have to be brave to Super Crop. With one hand support the lower stem. With the other, bend the stem into a right angle until you feel the inner core snap. Try not to tear the outer protective layer but if you do , splint with cloth or even gaffer tape.” OK, this is the last one from the web and the one I agree with the most : ” The most common methodology for crushing the stem is to pinch the stem enough that it breaks and separates a bit. Then turn your pinch by 90 degrees and pinch again. this will cause the tip of the plant to fall over at an angle.”
All of the above methods of Super Cropping will work but there is an easier way to go about it without ever snapping the stem in half or without ever damaging the outer skin. Pick the spot on the stem, you want to Super Crop, between two leaf or branch nodes. Grab the spot firmly with your thumb and forefinger and crush it very firmly. Staying in the same place on the stem move your thumb and forefinger around the stem 90 degrees and crush firmly again. Do it again at 30 degrees and again at 90 degrees. Crush the stem all the way around between your thumb and finger at the spot you want to bend the stem. After you have crushed the stem all the way around you will notice the stem is still standing straight up. Pick the spot you want your branch to go and bend it that direction to a 45 degree angle. This would usually be the bare area where there is no branch or away from the center of the plant to let more light penetrate the middle of the plant. If you have crushed the stem enough all the way around the outer skin will never break and there will never be a need for a splint or tape . Using this method the stem may be bent in any direction in the 360 degree circle with out breaking. How easy is that ? Very easy !
How Easy Super- Cropping Can Be !
The picture below was taken 24 hours after the branch was Super Cropped .
The picture below was also taken just 24 hours after being Supper Cropped ! If the angle of the bent branch isn’t great enough, the stem will stand straight up again.
Super Cropping is one of the easiest training methods for growing organic marijuana. Remember, Super Cropping is a very good way to control a fast growing plant that wants to stretch. The bending required will guarantee an even canopy while increasing top Colas, bud sites and the overall yield. If Super Cropping Marijuana is coupled with other training methods you can harvest a very good crop from a fairly small plant. Sativa dominate varieties seem to be better candidates for Super Cropping than indica dominate varieties.
Author and Photographer Tom D.