Monster cropping is an advanced cannabis cloning technique that involves taking cuttings from mature flowering plants and forcing them to return to vegetative growth. Also known as “flowering clone mother plants”, monster cropping creates clones exhibiting monstrous growth with multiple large colas when switched back to blooming. Let’s take a deep dive into this unique method for growing clones from different stage plants.
How Does Monster Cropping Work?
Monster cropping takes advantage of hormonal changes in cannabis plants. When a plant is in flower, auxin levels are low while gibberellic acid levels spike. This signals the plant to focus energy on bud production rather than vertical growth.
When cloning cuttings are taken from a flowering marijuana plant and placed under 24 hours of light, the auxin to gibberellic acid ratio flips. High auxins and low GA tells the plant it’s time to return to vegetative growth. This triggers explosive branching and bushy growth from the once-flowering clone.
The key to success is providing long light cycles for the flowering clone cutting to revert to veg. After rooting and establishing under continuous light, the monster cropping clones can be switched back to bloom. Now with auxin levels decreasing and GA increasing, the plant focuses energy into the multiple cola sites primed by flowering re-veg.
Benefits of Monster Cropping Clones
The unusual hormonal flip-flop induced by monster cropping provides several advantages:
- Extremely bushy, short plants with accelerated branching
- Much faster maturation and ripening than normal clones
- Increased number of flower clusters, leading to higher yields
- Larger, denser buds on the multiple colas
- Shorter harvest cycles from fast maturity
Growers report flowering times up to 2 weeks faster along with yields 25-50% greater than conventional clones.
Best Stage for Monster Crop Cuttings
Cuttings for monster cropping are best taken around 3-4 weeks into the flowering stage. This ensures enough flower development for the hormonal changeover while still leaving time to initiate new vegetative growth. Cuttings can be viable up to 6 weeks into bloom but rooting becomes more difficult.
Any indica or indica-dominant strain tends to perform well for monster cropping. The shorter bushy indica structure lends itself to the explosive branching induced by re-vegging. Sativas and narrow leafed hybrids are challenging to monster crop.
Rooting Monster Crop Clones
To root monster crop cuttings, use a heating mat and humidity dome like other clones. The root zone should stay around 75-80°F for quick root initiation. High humidity under the dome prevents moisture loss.
Because flowering plants have lower nitrogen levels, cloning solution for monster crops should contain slightly higher nitrogen. This aids the transition back to the vegetative stage.
Once cuttings have rooted and new growth appears, acclimate them gradually to lower humidity. After a week they can be moved into veg lighting on 18-24 hours per day.
Growing Monster Cropped Clones
Once reverted and established, grow monster crop clones just like other vegetative plants. Use veg nutrients with plenty of nitrogen and potassium. Indoors, provide continuous light cycles. Outdoors, cuttings should be taken and established by midsummer to allow monster plants to reach maturity before autumn bloom.
The explosively bushy growth resulting from monster cropping benefits from training techniques like low-stress training, topping, and trellising. This ensures good light penetration and directs energy into multiple cola sites. Monster crop plants tend to stay short and thriving with proper training.
Transition monster cropped clones to flowering once they reach your desired size and branching density. Now the auxin to gibberellic acid ratio will flip again, signaling the plant to focus energy into the numerous cola sites primed during re-veg.
While flowering time is reduced, monster crop buds still benefit from 8-10 weeks of bloom nutrients and light cycles to fully mature. Avoid harvest before most pistils recede for prime potency and flavor.
Pros and Cons of Monster Cropping
The accelerated growth and extra yield potential of monster cropping can significantly increase cannabis production. However, there are some cautions to consider:
- Success requires skill at cloning and plant training techniques
- Can be more labor intensive than normal cloning
- Flowering plants subjected to stress may not re-veg well
- Leggy sativa strains often respond poorly
When done properly, the payoff from faster harvests and fatter yields is well worth the extra effort. For indica-dominant plants, monster cropping is an advanced technique that can take your cannabis cultivation to the next level.
For practical tips and advice on homegrown Cannabis, check out our posts on How Long Does It Take To Fully Grow A Cannabis Plant?, Advantages of Growing Cannabis Clones Vs Seeds, and How Much Cannabis Can I legally Carry In The Canada.