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How Many Times Can You Super Crop a Plant


Last Update:

26/04/24

Publish Date:

26/04/24

Author:


Super cropping, also known as high-stress training (HST), is a deliberate, controlled method that involves bending the plant’s stems.

This technique is not just about bending; it’s about boosting plant growth and enhancing yield potential.

This article sheds light on the optimal frequency of super cropping and how it influences plant development.

Key Takeaways:

  • You can super crop a single plant multiple times during its vegetative stage. You can even super crop plants in the first 2 weeks of flowering.
  • The plant needs to be healthy to handle the stress of super cropping. Avoid super cropping plants that are dealing with pests, nutrient deficiencies, or other issues.
  • For new growers, it is advisable to super crop plants only once, during the late vegetative stage, ideally 3-7 days before flipping to flowering. This allows the plants time to recover before focusing on bud development.
  • For more experienced growers, you can super crop a second time during the first two weeks of the flowering stage, as this is a period of explosive growth (“stretching”). After that, it’s recommended to let the plants recover and focus on flowering.
  • Some growers find super cropping early on in the vegetative stage, as soon as the third node appears, can help spark rapid growth and create bigger, stronger plants. This is often done in combination with low-stress training (LST).
  • Autoflowering plants shouldn’t be super cropped because their predetermined life cycle can be disrupted.

Understanding Super Cropping

Super cropping is strategic manipulation of their physical structure to trigger stronger growth.

From my experiences, the subtle snap you feel under your fingers as you gently squeeze and bend a branch is a critical point.

It’s about applying just enough pressure to make the stem pliable without breaking it, a technique perfected after numerous trials and a fair share of errors.

This practice has shown me that plants respond by thickening their stems and increasing resin production, visibly enhancing their vitality and yield.

Basics

Through countless seasons, I’ve refined my approach to super cropping.

Here’s the distilled essence of what works:

  • Choose the right branches: It’s important to select branches that are green and flexible. Woody stems are too rigid and often snap, a lesson I learned the hard way.
  • The gentle squeeze: I apply a firm but gentle pressure between my thumb and forefinger, feeling the stem’s resistance decrease as it becomes ready to bend.
  • The strategic bend: I then coax the branch downwards to about a 90-degree angle.
  • Securing the hero’s pose: Using soft ties, I secure the bent branch. This support system not only keeps the plant stable.

Best Time

The timing of super cropping can dramatically affect the outcome.

My optimal windows for super cropping have been:

  • Late Vegetative Stage: About a week before switching the light cycle to 12/12, I perform super cropping to maximize the structural integrity before flowering.
  • Early Flowering Stage: If a plant hasn’t been super cropped earlier, I’ve found the first two weeks of flowering also the period when it can be applied. This period is when plants are most flexible due to rapid vertical growth.

How Many Times Can You Super Crop?

The decision to super crop multiple times depends heavily on the plant’s response and the grower’s comfort with the technique.

Each strain reacts differently, with some thriving under multiple stress applications and others faring better with minimal interference.

Single Session

In many cases, a single super cropping session during late vegetative growth prepares the plant excellently for the flowering stage.

This one-time application is often enough to significantly enhance bud sites and overall plant architecture.

Multiple Sessions

For more vigorous or larger plants, multiple sessions can be beneficial:

  • Early Vegetative Boost: Super cropping shortly after the third node develops has repeatedly sparked rapid growth in my plants, setting a robust foundation for later development.
  • Double Dip: Adding a second round during the early flowering phase takes advantage of the natural growth spurt, helping to manage plant height and improve light exposure to lower branches.
Multiple Super Cropping Sessions

Plant Health and Stress Signs

Monitoring plant health before and after super cropping is crucial.

I look for vibrant, green growth as a sign of readiness.

Warning signs like wilting or yellowing leaves, that often indicate overwatering or nutrient issues, are clear indicators to hold off on any stress techniques.

Timing and Plant Development

Aligning super cropping with the plant’s developmental stages is vital.

It’s best to avoid late flowering super cropping because there is little or no sense, plus plants are less resilient and more focused on bud development, which can be compromised by undue stress.

Risks of Frequent Super Cropping

Repeated super cropping increases the plant’s stress load, which can lead to heightened susceptibility to pests and diseases.

Moreover, excessive manipulation can sometimes reduce yields, contrary to the intended effect of enhancing them.

Through detailed observation and careful management, I’ve learned to strike a balance that optimizes growth without overburdening the plants.

Conclusion

Super cropping is a powerful technique when applied correctly.

Starting with less frequent sessions and gradually increasing as you become more skilled can help maximize your plant’s growth potential and yield.

Evaluate your plant’s health, your own experience, and the specific needs of your plants to determine the best super cropping strategy.