Jimmy Potseed

Growth is painful. Change is painful. But, nothing is as painful as staying stuck where you do not belong ~ N. R. Narayana Murthy

I often speak about Low Stress Training in my videos and maintenance blogs, because it's my preferred way to maximize the productivity of all my plants. Super-cropping is another method that can have a dramatic effect on bud production and final yield, but is certainly a High Stress Training method, not for the lighthearted. Some people swear by the advantages, and it's difficult to screw up, so why not give it a go!

Super-cropping works best with a younger plant, or at least the younger, more unruly branches of an older plant. What you're trying to achieve is the destruction of the inner branch or stem, while leaving the surrounding outer layer intact. That will keep the interior of the plant safe from the perils of exposing it to the outside air. The outer layer, or epidermis, of an older stem is harder to bend, so breaking it during the operation is much more likely than with a younger stem. The attached pic illustrates that perfectly. I should have started one more node up, where the stem is more pliable, but a bit of tape around the broken area in the bend will remedy that. No worries. Notice the coated wire holding the stem in place. The end of the stem is already pointing towards the light, a day after the procedure. Resilient and healthy, despite the damage done.

Find a suitable spot between nodes where you want to inflict the damage. Take the stem between your thumb and forefinger, pinch lightly, then harder, in a twisting motion. You'll begin to feel the plant fibers breaking down. It won't take long, perhaps 10 seconds, and she'll be ready to bend to your will, in whichever direction you decide is most advantageous for increased yields. Tie the stem horizontally at the point where you want it to stay, or before you know it, she'll be standing at attention again. All those bud sites along the stem are now exposed to the full light available, and the damaged bend in the stem will roar back, stronger than before. Have a peek at my video for a riveting demonstration.

Some say that when the plant repairs herself following the super-cropping, she will come back with a new zest for life, producing massive limbs and buds unattainable without the procedure. I have yet to see evidence of that, but it does allow the plant to reach it's maximum potential with regards to light penetration all the way along, rather than down, the stem. She won't look like a traditional pot plant at first, but her increased production will more than make up for her aesthetic shortcomings.



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