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Monster Cropping Cannabis: Everything You Need To Know


Marijuana plants ready for monster cropping

Do you grow your own cannabis? Do you want to experience huge yields and get the most out of your favorite strain? Then, boy, do we have a treat for you! It’s called monster cropping.

In this article, the cannabis experts at Honest Marijuana tell you everything you need to know about this unique growing method.

Armed with this knowledge, you can fill up your grow space with plenty of pot plants just waiting to be harvested.

A Bit About Biology

Close-up of a marijuana plant

With many plants — cannabis included — it’s possible for you, the grower, to cut off a healthy, green branch, replant it, and nurture it until it grows on its own.

Scientists call this practice cloning because you essentially create an exact copy of the mother plant. Both mother and daughter have identical genes.

Cloning is different than growing a plant from seed because the seed contains slightly different genes than the plant from which it came. So if you take a seed from one plant, put it in the ground, and grow it to maturity, the new plant will be different from the original. The new plant may look different (or it may not), but the real change occurs at the genetic level.

With cloning, on the other hand, you can compare the two separate plants down to the cellular level and not see any difference.

Keep this idea of cloning in mind as we start to talk about monster cropping.

What Is Monster Cropping?

Marijuana leaves from monster cropping

Monster cropping is the process of cutting off a piece of a cannabis plant in its flowering stage, replanting it, and nurturing it until it grows on its own.

This definition sounds very similar — if not identical — to the definition for cloning mentioned above. That’s because monster cropping, at its most basic, is just creating clones of the mother plant.

So why do it? And why do ganja growers call it monster cropping instead of cloning?

We can answer both of those questions by examining the name itself.

What’s In A Name?

Monster

The formal definition of the word monster is:

An imaginary creature that is typically large, ugly, and frightening.

Over the years, that definition has evolved slightly into:

A thing or animal that is excessively or dauntingly large.

With the exception of the word “frightening” in the first definition, both pretty much describe the clones you get from the mother plant: large and ugly.

Once the clones take root, they can grow to be extremely large…possibly even larger than the mother plant.

The clones will be ugly in many ways. You can expect single-finger leaves and possibly even some mutations.

Don’t fret. That’s a normal response to all the stress you inflicted on the poor little cutting. If you nurture it correctly, the plant will get over it in no time.

Cropping

Younger, more tech-savvy readers may only be familiar with the word “crop” as it relates to cutting a picture down to a smaller size. That’s not what we’re talking about here.

In this case, we’re talking about a much older definition: a cultivated plant.

In the agricultural sense, “crop” also implies a large number of said cultivated plants. So you could have a corn crop, a wheat crop, and, yes, a cannabis crop.

Taking it a step further, then, “cropping” is an informal word for growing a group of plants together. It’s not used very much anywhere other than the cannabis community, but you know how much we stoners like to invent new words!

Putting It All Together

We’ve talked about “monster” and we’ve talked about “cropping” separately, so let’s put them together and see what we get.

Big clones of the original plus an expansive group of plants: that’s monster cropping in a nutshell.

Dissecting the name clues you in to what it is exactly, but it also gives you an idea of why you would want to do it — monster yields.

Why Monster Cropping Works

Small baggie with cannabis plant matter inside

Why does monster cropping work? In a word, stress.

Stress rejuvenates cannabis and triggers the development of desired traits, including:

  • Vigorous growth of leaves, branches, nodes, and bud sites (the monster part of the equation)
  • Higher levels of THC

Yes, you read that right. Monster cropping produces higher levels of THC.

In a growing pot plant, cannabinoids act as a defense mechanism against predators (i.e., animals that eat the plant). So when you do what those predators do — remove pieces of the original plant — you cause both the mother plant and the cut piece to go into defense mode.

In the wild, that means releasing more THC to deter future attacks. Or, in the case of monster cropping, it means high-quality, high-THC weed.

How To Monster Crop

Supplies:

  • Razorblade, scalpel, or sharp scissors
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Glass of water (properly pH-balanced if possible) (option #1)
  • Plastic bag (option #1)
  • Rooting compound gel or powder (option #2)
  • Rooting cube (option #2)
  • Long-term growing medium
  • Grow lights

Monster Crop Option #1:

  1. At about three weeks into the flowering stage — 28 days into the 12/12 bloom cycle (that’s 12 hours of light, 12 hours of dark) — choose your best female plant.
  2. Sterilize your cutting tool with rubbing alcohol.
  3. Select a branch low on the plant with two or three nodes (avoid woody branches).
  4. Find a spot about ¼ of an inch below a node.
  5. Cut into the branch at a 45-degree angle below the node.
  6. Place the cutting in a cup of water so that the liquid covers at least an inch of the stem.
  7. Cover the cup with a plastic bag to retain moisture (make sure the bag isn’t airtight).
  8. Change the water every three days.
  9. Keep an eye out for white bumps on the stem below the waterline.
  10. Transplant the clone into the long-term growing medium when the roots are at least one inch long. Some growers wait until the roots are six inches long. This takes more time but doesn’t shock the plant as much when you transport the new growth to its final growing space. If you don’t want to wait that long but you still want a modicum of shock prevention, try transplanting when the roots are three inches long.
  11. Nurture the clones back to the vegetative state by exposing the new growth to the same light schedule you’d use for a regular plant in the vegetative state (e.g., 18/6, 20/4, or even 24/0).
  12. Maintain this re-veg process until the clones branch profusely and their leaves return to normal growth and appearance (about 30 days from taking the cuttings).
  13. Continue growing the clones as you would a regular pot plant from seed.

Monster Crop Option #2:

  1. At about three weeks into the flowering stage — 28 days into the 12/12 bloom cycle (that’s 12 hours of light, 12 hours of dark) — choose your best female plant.
  2. Sterilize your cutting tool with rubbing alcohol.
  3. Select a branch low on the plant with two or three nodes (avoid woody branches).
  4. Find a spot about ¼ of an inch below a node.
  5. Cut into the branch at a 45-degree angle below the node.
  6. Remove the bottom leaves from the cutting.
  7. Dip the stem in root compound.
  8. Poke a hole in the rooting cube with a pencil.
  9. Place the clone in the rooting cube.
  10. Keep the rooting cube moist. If you’re using a plastic tray, maintain about ¼-inch of water at the bottom.
  11. After a few weeks, you will notice roots pushing through the bottom of the rooting cube.
  12. Transplant everything (rooting cube and all) into the long-term growing medium.
  13. Nurture the clones back to the vegetative state by exposing the new growth to the same light schedule you’d use for a regular plant in the vegetative state (e.g., 18/6, 20/4, or even 24/0).
  14. Maintain this re-veg process until the clones branch profusely and their leaves return to normal growth and appearance (about 30 days from taking the cuttings).
  15. Continue growing the clones as you would a regular pot plant from seed.

Choosing The Right Plant

Marijuana plant for monster cropping

Not all strains make for good monster cropping.

In fact, not all plants within the same strain make for good monster cropping.

Confusing? Yeah, it is. But it all comes down to choosing the plant (not necessarily the strain) with the right combination of characteristics to maximize your yields when you monster crop.

The strain is important as it applies to general growing characteristics and the effects you hope to achieve with the finished product (i.e., recreational or medicinal).

With monster cropping, however, it’s more important to find an individual plant within the strain you choose that demonstrates a specific set of traits.

We recommend undertaking monster cropping with a plant that:

  • Grows quickly and vigorously in the vegetative stage
  • Grows quickly and vigorously in the early part of the flowering stage
  • Grows lots of stems and bud sites
  • Grows to medium height
  • Is not of the autoflowering variety

Plants that grow slowly often take a long time to restart, re-veg, and basically get going again after you divide them for monster cropping. That’s why it’s wise to select a plant that grows quickly in the vegetative and flowering stages.

Similarly, you want to choose a plant that has a propensity to grow lots of stems and bud sites with limited coaxing from you. Why? Because, really, that’s what growing your own cannabis is all about — harvesting as many flowers as possible from one plant.

When you find a plant that grows lots of stems and bud sites, that characteristic will transfer to all daughter plants cut from the original mother plant and give you the high yield you’re looking for.

The last thing to consider is the height of the original plant. You don’t want a mother plant that is too short (because it will have a hard time restarting), nor do you want one that is too tall (because the daughter may be even taller).

For optimum growth and yield, choose a medium-height plant that fits with the other characteristics on the list above.

And, as we mentioned, never try to engage in monster cropping with an autoflowering strain. These types of cannabis plants are not affected by light exposure so you cannot force them to revegetate.

For more information on autoflowering cannabis plants, check out this article from the HMJ blog: Autoflowering Seeds: The Expert’s Guide.

So, for example, let’s say you want to grow a high-CBD/low-THC strain like Charlotte’s Web and you germinate five seeds.

Watch for a plant or plants that exhibit the characteristics for good monster cropping (some will, some won’t).

You may only get one or two plants that fit the bill, but when you do, you can monster crop off of those to your heart’s content.

Benefits And Drawbacks Of Monster Cropping

monster cropping marijuana plants

Benefits Of Monster Cropping

1) More Flowers

One of the most obvious benefits of monster cropping is the plethora (yes, plethora) of flowers you’ll be rolling in (you could literally roll in them) when the harvest is complete.

And, when you think about it, as we mentioned before, that’s really the name of the DIY game: growing as many buds as possible.

With more flowers, you’ll have more opportunities to toke with friends. More opportunities to experiment with making your own cannabis products (e.g., hash, Thai sticks, cannabis coffee, cavi cones, and so much more). And more opportunities to perfect your growing process so you can produce the best buds for recreational or medicinal use.

Monster cropping can make all of that possible.

2) Easy To Do

Monster cropping is incredibly easy to do.

As you can see in the How To section earlier in the article, all you really have to do is cut and replant.

Could it be any simpler?

The only thing easier than monster cropping is visiting your local dispensary and plopping down fifty bucks for an eighth of Blue Dream (or, better yet, two-hundred-and-fifty bucks for a zip of  !).

That brings us to the next major benefit of monster cropping.

3) Saves Money

When you’re monster cropping your own Chem Dog, you have to factor in all sorts of variables before you can come up with what all your buds are worth.

Chances are, though, that going the DIY route and monster cropping — if done successfully — will produce more of the final dried and cured product for less than you would pay at a local dispensary.

Ultimately, you’ll get more cannabinoids for your cash — that’s “bang for your buck” in stoner terms — if you grow your own weed at home because you don’t necessarily have to factor in labor, taxes, shipping, and other fees that can drive the price of weed right through the roof.

4) Keep The Properties Of The Original Plant

No two plants grown from seed will exhibit exactly the same traits. The differences might not be readily obvious at first, but, because of plant genetics, something changes from one generation to the next.

That means that even if you plant a seed from a fast-growing, high-yield plant, the next generation that develops from that seed might be as good as its parent plant. That’s just the way nature works.

But with monster cropping, it’s much easier to keep the properties of the original plant from one generation to the next. You’re basically cloning the parent plant — making an identical copy — so whatever traits dominated will also dominate in any offspring you cut from the mother.

Monster cropping is a great way to keep your plant genetics from changing even slightly from one generation to the next and preserving the fast-growing, high-yield properties that we’re all looking for.

5) Only Need One Plant To Fill A Space

Another benefit of monster cropping is that you only need one plant to fill your grow space.

If the parent plant has enough nodes, you can literally go from one plant to 10 plants (or more) in the space of an hour.

That’s a lot of buds to look forward to!

With monster cropping, you can keep yourself in cannabis plants for as long as you want to maintain your grow operation — all without any further cost to you.

All you have to do is beg, borrow, or steal (don’t steal) your first plant and you’ll be off the races.

Drawbacks Of Monster Cropping

marijuana plant with colorful sunset in background

1) Doesn’t Work With Autoflowering Strains

As we mentioned earlier, monster cropping doesn’t work with autoflowering strains.

Strains with autoflowering characteristics (like ruderalis) don’t depend on the ratio of light to dark hours (the photoperiod) to switch from vegetative growth to flowering growth. Rather, they grow for a certain amount of time and then automatically vegetate and flower without any variation in the amount of light they get.

While that means that autoflowering strains and seeds don’t require as much work as regular indica and sativa strains, it also means that you can’t monster crop them.

Monster cropping depends on exposing the new plants cut from the mother to the same light you would as a regular plant in the vegetative stage.

Trying to do that with an autoflowering plant that doesn’t depend on duration of light exposure is an exercise in futility.

If you’re considering trying monster cropping for yourself, make sure that the plant you’re going to cut from doesn’t have the following words somewhere in its name:

  • Ryder
  • Automatic
  • Auto

For example, you might be growing a Diesel Automatic, a Northern Light Auto, or even an Afghan Kush Ryder. These will not take to monster cropping because they have autoflowering characteristics in their DNA.

2) Not Every Clone Will Grow

If there’s one mystery in monster cropping, it’s that not every clone will grow.

No one really has a good explanation and even the most seasoned professional growers will experience a few non-growers when monster cropping. So don’t feel bad if you get a few deaths too.

Just accept it as part of the process and move on.

Ultimately, though, we recommend cutting a few extras from the parent plant to prevent your monster cropping from becoming a complete failure.

3) Adds Time To The Grow Cycle

Monster cropping adds time to the grow cycle because you have to allow a week or so for the clones to take root and a further 2-3 weeks for them to revegetate.

If you’re in a terrible rush, maybe skip monster cropping until you’ve got a bit more time to spare, or just press on with the cut-and-replant and buy your bud from the dispensary until the monster crop is done.

4) You’ll Need More Space

Monster cropping all but demands that you have two different grow spaces — one for the parent plant and one for the new plants.

The parent plant will already be in the flowering stage when you make your cuts so it will need a certain amount of light.

The new plants need to be pushed back through the vegetative phase into the flowering stage before they can produce. That means they’ll need a different amount of light than their mother.

If you have two extra rooms to spare (or a closet within your grow room), set up one for the mother plant and the other for the daughter plants.

That way, you can regulate the conditions (humidity, airflow, temperature, light, etc.) in each space for the unique needs of your monster cropping operation.

Alternatively, you can purchase a micro tent to keep your mother plant separate from her offspring.

Should You Try Monster Cropping?

Marijuana plant that is part of a monster crop

If you’re familiar with growing your own weed, you should absolutely try monster cropping.

The process does require a bit of advanced knowledge in order to be successful, but you really don’t lose much in the way of your original plant when you try to nurture a clone. So there’s little to no downside to experimenting with your first monster crop.

Restarting a clone or two does add time to the grow cycle, but the results are well worth the wait and the effort.

If you’ve got a plant that’s flowering well in your grow environment, nip off a branch from the bottom and create your own clone. You’ll get a new, healthy plant and double your original yield. And there’s nothing better than more bud for your buck.

For more information on all things cannabis and to check out our 100-percent all-natural marijuana products, visit HonestMarijuana.com today.

The post Monster Cropping Cannabis: Everything You Need To Know appeared first on Honest Marijuana.



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One thought on “Monster Cropping Cannabis: Everything You Need To Know

Vania Burket

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appropriate post

December 12, 2020 at 3:34 pm

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