Maybe you forgot to take clones before flowering your plants, or you’re looking for new ways to boost yield. Whatever the case may be, monster cropping is a great technique to master and one that allows for continuous harvests without maintaining a mother plant.
What Is Monster Cropping?
Typically, growers take clones during the vegetative growth phase. This allows the cuttings to form roots quickly and prevents any abnormal growth from developing.
In contrast, monster cropping, also known as re-vegging, involves taking clones from a flowering plant and forcing it to transition back into the vegetative growth phase.
Using this growth method, you won’t have to sacrifice extra time, space, and money to maintain a mother plant. It also allows you to boost your yield and make pheno hunting a breeze.
How Does Monster Cropping Work?
Like most plant training techniques, monster cropping involves applying stress to a plant in order to alter its growth or structure. Rather than harming your plants, a little stress can force them to become hardier and more productive.
Forcing a clone to revert into the vegetative phase stresses the plant out, causing it to form more branches than it normally would. As a result, you’ll grow a plant that is great for cloning and produces a larger yield than those that weren’t monster cropped.
One of the best perks of monster cropping is that you don’t need to keep a mother plant around to take cuttings from. Instead, you simply flip the plants into flowering and then take cuttings from them. No mother plants means more space for growing more plants.
Another benefit of re-vegging is that it can significantly increase the yield of your plants. When a plant is re-vegged, it often takes on a monstrous appearance, exhibiting an excessive amount of lateral growth. The overabundance of branches means larger yields and more clones for the next growth cycle. And when paired with other plant training methods, such as topping or super cropping, you can create a truly beastly plant that will produce an abundance of hefty colas.
Monster cropping also makes it easy to hunt for keeper phenotypes. If you’re growing a large population of seeds, you won’t have to take clones of every plant. Rather, you can see which plants look most promising in flowering and take clones of those.
Lastly, monster cropping can help you safeguard your plants. Maybe your clones died, or you didn’t take any cuttings and are now regretting it. But by mastering the re-vegging process, you don’t have to worry about missing your chance to take clones.
Re-vegging offers plenty of benefits, including bugger yields and more space; however, there are a few disadvantages that growers should be aware of when using this method.
Firstly, if you know anything about autoflowering plants, it should come as no surprise that it is nearly impossible to clone them, let alone re-veg them. Because the plants flower automatically, altering the light cycle won’t cause them to revert to the veg stage. However, if you’re growing photoperiod plants, you’ll be able to re-veg them easily.
Another drawback is that monster cropping isn’t always 100 percent successful. It is stressful for the plants to revert to veg, so there is a higher failure rate when compared to cuttings taken from vegging plants. But by taking a few extra cuttings, you can increase your chances of successfully rooting one of them.
Finally, monster cropping is a slower process than taking clones the traditional way. Because the cuttings must revert to veg, they typically take two to three weeks longer to root than regular cuttings do. So, if you’re on a tight schedule, it might be best to take clones during the vegetative period.
Sometimes plants will re-veg without the grower intending to do so—an unfortunate side effect of light pollution. This can be caused by light leaks in your tent, a malfunctioning light timer, or even a nearby streetlight.
To prevent accidental re-vegging, you’ll need to make your grow area as dark as possible when the lights are out. Check for any holes in your tent, make sure your light timers are set up correctly, and avoid opening the tent when the lights are off. If you’re growing outdoors, try to find a place without any nearby lights or shield the plants with a cloth.
How To Monster Crop Marijuana Plants
Now that you understand the pros and cons of re-vegging, let’s get started! To take clones from your flowering plants, you’ll need the following:
- Sharp pruning shears or razor (to take the cuttings)
- Isopropyl alcohol (to disinfect your tools)
- Water cup (to soak the cuttings)
- Rooting gel (optional way to speed up the rooting process)
- Starter cubes (optional way to contain the cuttings)
Step 1: Select Your Plants
After approximately two to three weeks of flowering, decide which plants you’d like to clone. You can take cuttings of every plant or choose only ones that display the most desirable traits, such as strong branches, lots of bud sites, minimal stretching, or a pungent aroma.
Cuttings can be taken any time during flowering, but the sooner, the better. It can be very difficult to re-veg clones from fully mature plants.
Step 2: Take Your Cuttings
Cleanliness is one of the biggest keys to success when it comes to cloning. Make sure to soak your shears or razor in isopropyl to kill any pathogens.
Next, select a branch from your chosen plant. You’ll want to pick healthy branches that are low on the plant, as they tend to root more quickly than ones higher up in the canopy. Next, cut diagonally at the stem to take the cutting. An angled cut will create more surface area, allowing the cutting to take in more nutrients and water.
Unless you are a master cloner, you should expect some cuttings to fail to root. Therefore, it’s a good idea to take more cuttings that you need, especially when monster cropping.
Step 3: Plant Your Cuttings
Right after taking your cutting, place the stem into the container of water or dip it in some rooting gel. This will prevent air embolisms from entering the stem and killing the cutting.
Now that you’ve taken your cutting, you have several options for planting it. You can either leave it in the water container and wait for it to form roots, place it in a starter cube or aero cloner, or plant it directly into the soil. All of these cloning methods are effective if done correctly.
Step 4: Re-veg Your Clones
The next step is to force your clones to revert to the vegetative growth phase. To do so, you’ll need to adjust the light cycle to at least 18 hours of light and 6 hours of darkness.
Once the clones begin re-vegging, you’ll likely notice some abnormal growth. Within the first few weeks, the plants may form many scraggly branches and rounded leaves with only one leaflet. This is perfectly normal and should correct itself within a month of vegging.
Now that your plants have started re-vegging, you can treat them just like any other clone: Maximize the yield by topping and fimming, or simply let them grow until they’re ready for flowering.
Is Monster Cropping Right for You?
Re-vegging plants is a fairly advanced technique that takes much practice to master. However, it might be just what you need to take your growing skills to the next level. And when done correctly, monster cropping is worth the effort, producing large yields and making your grow as efficient as possible.
Have you tried re-vegging your plants? Please share your experience in the comment section below.