When you hear the phrase “super cropping”, you immediately want to know more. This game changing technique is simply down to the breaking and healing of a branch. Below I explain what super cropping is, how it benefits your grow, what physically happens to the plants and when and how often to perform this technique.
What Is Super Cropping?
Super Cropping is a way to describe a technique that involves purposely breaking the inner cell wall of a branch. How the cell walls are broken can be down what type of break is performed. What makes super cropping so beneficial to your grow is how the break repairs.
Cannabis plants will respond by flushing growth repair hormones to the pathways, where the break has been detected. As this occurs, the plants will have an active response and grow with an enhanced vigour. A hard wooden knuckle will form around the point of the break. Identical to how we have a knuckle in between each of our fingers.
Advanced Canopy Control
One of the many benefits that super cropping provides is canopy control and manipulation of the cannabis plants height. Usually plants that are growing too tall, will benefit the most from a snap and twist, creating a shape similar to the number seven.
When performed correctly during the growing phase of 18/6, an experienced grower can create a vigorous bushy plant with a extremely healthy growth structure.
The Advantages and Disadvantages
There are multiple advantages associated with super cropping ranging from enhanced structure, the promotion of lateral growth, thick wooden support knuckles and a cannabis plant that is producing natural growth hormones.
The disadvantages of super cropping can occur if the subject plant is not ready to take physical stress such as snapping. Also, if the technique is not performed correctly, or a plant simply does not have enough time to heal, this technique can be counter productive. As there as many different styles of snapping stems and different times to perform on different varieties, knowing which technique is better suited for what scenario is your starting point.
Different Ways To Perform Super Cropping
The trick when it comes to a successful super crop is down to how mature the plant is and allowing for a long recovery time of 5-7 days. The various ways of performing this technique based on skill level and experience are:
- The simple squeeze until pop method. This can be done on the main central stem and performed once or twice before flowering commences. This simple method is certainly the quickest way to break the inner cell wall on younger plants, or to super crop a large plant count in one go.
- Twist and snap method. This method involves twisting and snapping, and is better suited for those who have some experience, either with the strain they are working with, or practiced the simple squeeze and pop method before. This style will emphasise the break even more and ensure the wooden knuckle growing back remains twisted. This is better suited for canopy control and reducing the height of the crown shoots by 4-6 inches.
- Tying down first and then snapping is the cleanest way to perform super cropping and allows a grower to combine other techniques such as L.S.T, pinching and Scrogging. Plant training is an excellent way to encourage a more prolific growth structure.
When Should I Super Crop and How Often?
The time to put your plant through any type of low stress or high stress training is when they are growing under 18/6. This is the vegetative period where they will focus on establishing a vibrant root zone and also foliage.
Super cropping is certainly a high stress technique. Once performed, the break should be left to fully heal for around a week. During this time it is very important that no further pressure is placed on the healing wooden knuckle.
How often you can super crop will be down to how ambitious you are, and also what limitations you are working under. Most growers super crop their plants at least once before flowering and some like to super crop each branch over a 5-7 day period. The latter will be spread out over a 5-6 week growing schedule.
Maturity and the development of the cannabis plant plays a huge role in how it will heal and respond to this method. Never squeeze and pop any plants that do not have any vigour. These can break and reveal a slice around the outer wall, causing the break to never fully heal and remain exposed.
What Do I Need?
You won’t need much else apart from your hands, a sturdy cannabis plant and some string if you prefer to keep the plants tied down. Make sure your hands are clean before performing the technique to ensure there will be no infection or risk of plant disease.
A Step By Step Guide
Take your cannabis plant and decide if you will be super cropping to reduce the highest point. Or, if it is a simple squeeze and pop down the main stem method.
Once you know the exact point where the break will occur, using your index finger and thumb and apply pressure to the branch. Make sure that there is an even force from both fingers allowing the inner part to collapse and break on itself.
Once you feel and possibly hear a pop, the plant can be left to heal. If you are tying down and snapping, then tie the plants down first in place before adding the break. This way you will maintain the downwards angle bend.
Simply allow to heal over the next week. Depending on the size and age of your cannabis plant the recovery time may vary.
Once the wooden knuckle has completely formed and set, you can decide which other parts of your plant you wish to do the same on. Every grower is different but after the super crop is performed once, your plants will have benefited without needing a second break if you are short on time.
Super Cropping Top Tips
- Make sure that the plants you are performing the technique on are sturdy and not too young for such a high stress technique.
- When the branch is healing, avoid adding extra stress or moving. This will only lengthen the recovery time.
- Never tie the break up, allow to recover in the open air. Using tape to try and repair a break is not ideal and can cause problems later.
- Wash your hands and make sure your fingers are totally clean. This will make sure that no infection occurs.
- Super cropping combined with L.S.T, SCROG, topping and pruning can lead to some monster plants with thick wooden vine like branches.