What is Monster Cropping?
The stress training related cultivation method called Monster Cropping uses light and growth cycle manipulation in addition to cutting. This method increases the number of plants by using the cuttings as clones and also induces stress-responsive growth increases in the mother plant. Monster cropping is a term used for increasing floral bud size by manipulating the growth stages of clonal plants. Plants are cloned after floral induction and then reverted to the vegetative phase to allow for even growth. Then the plants are re-induced to flower to allow for the simultaneous harvest of floral material. Naturally, plants need to be harvested in phases since the top of the plants receive more light and mature more quickly.
Why is Monster Cropping So Unconventional?
Cloning plants in their reproductive stage is not generally recommended and can be very stressful to the plant, so it is important that it is done correctly. Some degree of stress can trigger a plant to be more productive by triggering its survival responses. One survival response in plants is the increased production of secondary metabolites, compounds that do not aid normal growth but help the plant to compete and survive.
Since plant compounds like cannabinoids are secondary metabolites, Monster Cropping is said to produce plants that are more potent. Because the methods of monster cropping involve manipulation of growth phases that are tied to photoperiods (light exposure times), autoflowering plants are not suitable for this method. Plants with longer life cycles that respond to changes in light exposure must be used. However, Monster Cropping may be used outdoors as well as indoors.
Steps to Monster Cropping
- Use sharp clean scissors when cutting clones. Select clones 3 weeks into the flowering stage or later. Clones should be taken from the lower branched and cut at a diagonal angle.
- Immediately put the clonal cuttings in distilled water to prevent air exposure, let them sit for a little while then dip in a rooting hormone mixture.
- Allow cuttings to grow in 18-24 hour periods of light to revert them to the vegetative growth stage. The ScrOG method may be used in harmony to maximize yields. Mature buds must not be disturbed or removed during the second vegetative growth period.
- When a satisfactory level of vegetative growth is achieved, the plants may again be exposed to a 12-hour photoperiod to re-induce flowering.