How to Perform Monster Cropping?

Stephen Andrews
14 Jun 2023

Monster cropping is a training technique that enables continuous yields without keeping a mother plant. The method helps clones from flowering plants to grow into beautiful bushy monsters and give more than a generous harvest. In this article, we explain all you need to know about monster cropping and how to apply this technique on both indoor and outdoor cannabis plants.

Monster cropping is a technique that can help you grow cannabis more efficiently. The whole idea is to take flowering clones and create a dense, bushy plant by reverting it back to the vegetative stage. When you use this plant training method, you practically don't need to keep a mother plant to secure future harvests. Combined with other training techniques, such as ScrOG (screen of green), monster crops can help increase harvests even more. 

Like other forms of training, monster cropping is a controlled form of stress to the plant. And stress is what makes a plant activate its defense mechanism. The plant works twice as hard, and if all goes well, it produces more bud sites and gives more aromatic yields. 

A method such as monster cropping is a very aggressive form of stress. It does not have a direct impact on the growth of your current crop. And it will only work for photoperiod cannabis strains. In other words, you should not do monster cropping for autoflowers or for cultivars that take more time to grow or that naturally grow short.

What Are the Benefits of Monster Cropping?

The first big benefit of monster cropping is that it secures yields in the long run without the need to keep a mother plant. Monster cropping means taking clones from flowering plants and continue growing them as usual. When they reach flowering, you can again take a new round of clones. The method also frees up space and resources in the grow room that you would normally spend for the mother plant. 

The second big benefit is that when you re-veg flowering clones they really grow bigger colas, giving maximum yields. The plants become bushy and protrude more branches on the sides. The buds of those brunches have easy access to light, necessary to stimulate growth. 

Those who have a hand in training techniques can also try other techniques along with monster cropping. For example, you can lollipop the re-vegged plants or apply the ScrOG method and give an additional boost to the crops. 

What Are the Drawbacks of Monster Cropping?

It's important to know that monster cropping cannot be performed on every type of cannabis plant. For example, it does not work with autoflowers, nor it's recommended for short or slow-growing plants. Well, that should eliminate a lot of short dense indicas.

Another tricky part is that not all clones that you try to revert back from flowering to vegetation will be successful. A portion of the cuttings just won't spread any roots, thus the need to take more clones and be prepared for some to fail. It has nothing to do with how much experience you have as a grower. 

Also, when you start monster cropping, you practically delay the time for harvest. Returning the plants to vegging means more time until yielding. So, if you are in a hurry to collect some buds, this is not the technique you want to move forward with.

how to monster crop your cannabis plants

How to Monster Crop Your Indoor Cannabis Plants?

If you decide to try out the monster crop training technique on your cannabis plants, below are the steps that you need to follow. 

#1 Pick the best flower

When your cannabis plants enter their second week of flowering, this is a good time to look around your grow room and choose the best flowering cannabis plant in the batch. Look for a plant that has grown tall and looks sturdy and healthy, without visible signs of decay or deficiency. If you work with several different strains, you can take out several cuttings from each and see which one gives the best result in the end. 

#2 Take out the clones

Using clean scissors or a knife, remove a cutting from the lower branch of the plant that you selected. Make sure the cut moves diagonally across the stem, as this will provide more surface area for water and nutrients to enter and for the roots to spread. It would be wise to take more cuttings than you really need. Expect that 1 in 5 cuttings will simply die. Clean the cutting tool with alcohol before you make each next cut. 

#3 Root the cuttings

Once you have the cuttings, soak them in a water-filled container. If you leave a cutting exposed to air, it will die quickly. The water will seal the stems, and in a matter of a week, they will start to root. For this step, you can also use a rooting gel to stimulate root growth. You can leave the cuttings in the container until there are roots appearing, or you can also place them into a rooting medium such as rockwool cubes or perlite. 

#4 Revert back to veg 

Use a light regime to get your clones back to vegetation. You can opt for the standard 18/6 schedule, or even expose them to more hours of light than that. You will notice that your clones start to re-veg when they begin to grow in a strange manner, suddenly showing round leaves and many, many branches. This unordinary grow phase will conclude within a month. 

Extra tip

Let the cuttings veg into large bushes before stimulating lateral growth on them with a repeated topping. Remember that with each topping session, you add another week of waiting or postponing to harvest. You can then put the plants under a ScrOG. It might sound like too much trimming and cutting, but all the labor is worth it once the plants develop the rich heavy colas we all want. Plus, you ultimately end up with multiple harvests throughout the year. 

How ScrOG Complements Monster Cropping? 

With monster cropping, you maximize the lateral growth of shorter plants. And "screen of green" stimulates the horizontal growth of the plants even further. By installing a net over the canopy, and weaving the branches through the mesh, you create an even canopy where each plant and each bud location gets the maximum exposure to light. 

Can You Monster Crop Outdoor Cannabis Plants? 

Monster cropping can also be performed on outdoor plants. It's the same steps in question, though there are some adjustments to be made. Importantly, the technique will only work in places with warm climates and no frost. So, geographically speaking, if you are growing weed in the southern parts of the US, you are good to try monster cropping. If you are somewhere in the north, you will only kill your plants with this technique. 

If you plant your seeds during winter, the longer nights will put your plants into flowering quickly after they emerge. At this time, it can be useful to extend the veg period of the plants by using artificial light during the night to interrupt the dark cycle. This will help the plants gain extra mass before they naturally continue into flowering. 

Ideally, the first batch of buds will yield sometime in early spring (mid-March in most places) before daylight savings. If you manage that, you can prepare re-vegged clones around the time the days become long again. Suppose your clones gain mass. In that case, they will naturally progress into flowering phase as the season change, leading to a second harvest in time for the fall season. 

Stephen Andrews