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Monster Cropping Cannabis: Step-By-Step Guide

Monster cropping is a training method that allows for continuous harvests without keeping a mother plant. Clones from flowering plants become dense monsters with big yields! Read on to learn the advantages, disadvantages, and how to monster crop indoors and out.

Monster cropping cannabis for maximum yields and efficiency.

  • 1. What is monster cropping?
  • 2. What does monster cropping do to cannabis?
  • 3. Is monster cropping cannabis worth it?
  • 3.a. Advantages of monster cropping
  • 3.b. Disadvantages of monster cropping
  • 4. How much does monster cropping improve yields?
  • 5. How long does monster cropping take?
  • 6. How to monster crop cannabis indoors
  • 7. How to monster crop cannabis outdoors
  • 8. Monster cropping and screen of green (ScrOG)
  • 9. Should you try monster cropping your cannabis plants?
  • 1. What is monster cropping?
  • 2. What does monster cropping do to cannabis?
  • 3. Is monster cropping cannabis worth it?
  • 3.a. Advantages of monster cropping
  • 3.b. Disadvantages of monster cropping
  • 4. How much does monster cropping improve yields?
  • 5. How long does monster cropping take?
  • 6. How to monster crop cannabis indoors
  • 7. How to monster crop cannabis outdoors
  • 8. Monster cropping and screen of green (ScrOG)
  • 9. Should you try monster cropping your cannabis plants?

If you grow cannabis, the following situation might sound familiar: Your tent is filled to the brim so your plants can collect all the light possible. Some plants are in the vegetative stage, a few are flowering, and there might even be one giant mother plant taking up lots of room, energy, and air. Let’s do something about it: Monster cropping has come to the rescue!

WHAT IS MONSTER CROPPING?

Monster cropping is a cannabis plant training technique that can help you grow more efficiently. In essence, it involves taking flowering clones and reverting them back to the veg phase to capitalise on dense, bushy growth.

With this method, you don’t need to keep a mother plant to ensure continuous harvests. And, when you combine it with other forms of plant training, like ScrOG, it can help increase yields even more while cutting down on energy costs. Monster cropping can be performed indoors, outdoors, or in a greenhouse.

WHAT DOES MONSTER CROPPING DO TO CANNABIS?

One principle behind nearly every plant training technique is stress. If done right, this is a good thing. Controlled stress on your plants can promote desired growing characteristics; for example, it can make plants grow in a certain shape or develop more bud sites. Stress on cannabis plants encourages their natural defences into action. They go into “turbo mode” with maximum terpene production, resulting in a more aromatic final product.

Training techniques that involve damaging plants, such as pruning or taking cuttings, inflict considerable stress, and thus plants will need time to recover. Because of that, methods like monster cropping are used on photoperiod cannabis strains only.

Monster cropping differs in one important aspect from other high-stress techniques: It does not directly impact the growth of your current crop. Rather, you take clones from mature flowering plants, and these clones are then reverted back to veg.

IS MONSTER CROPPING CANNABIS WORTH IT?

Monster cropping may or may not work great for you. It all depends on your setup, your strains, and your experience. For instance, it doesn’t work with autoflowers and is not optimal for strains that grow very short or too slow. To help you decide whether monster cropping is worth it in your case, here are some pros and cons.

ADVANTAGES OF MONSTER CROPPING

Continuous harvests and no need to keep mothers

With monster cropping, you don’t need to keep a mother plant around for continuous harvests. You are taking clones from flowering plants. You can simply start flowering your entire crop as usual, taking the next generation of clones from these. With no need for a dedicated “mother room”, you can make better use of your growing space, lights, and air.

Maximise yields

When you re-veg flowering clones, they will grow monstrous! Your re-vegged girls will become extremely bushy with more side branches. More branches with more buds exposed to your lights means bigger yields! The bushy growth also allows you to more effectively fill your grow space.

Complements other training techniques

For even better results, you can combine monster cropping with other training techniques like topping, fimming, lollipopping, or LST. This way, you can easily fill a small tent with one giant monster. For the absolute best results, combine it with a ScrOG (more on that below).

DISADVANTAGES OF MONSTER CROPPING

Doesn’t work with autoflowers

Autoflowers can’t be re-vegged, which means monster cropping is a no-go. On that note, taking monster crop clones from small or slow photoperiod strains isn’t the best idea either.

Not all cuttings will be successful

Compared to clones from vegging plants, clones from flowering cannabis have a lower success rate. Since some just won’t root, you should always take some extra cuttings. Even expert growers have a hard time getting all their flowering clones to root. So expect some losses.

It takes time

Cutting clones, waiting for them to root, and then re-vegging them for a few weeks means it will take longer until you can harvest your girls. So if you’re pressed for time, monster cropping may not be what you want.

HOW MUCH DOES MONSTER CROPPING IMPROVE YIELDS?

It’s hard to give an exact figure on how much monster cropping can increase yields, as this relies on a variety of factors—your experience being one of them. Some growers recommend letting cuttings veg into large bushes before encouraging lateral growth with repeated topping/super cropping, and then placing them under a ScrOG. Although highly involved, this allows growers to manipulate clones to deliver the best-possible harvests.

But aside from looking at numbers alone, don’t forget that monster cropping provides another advantage: You can harvest multiple times! This by itself is a convincing argument.

HOW LONG DOES MONSTER CROPPING TAKE?

It’s best to take your clones at about 2–3 weeks into flowering.

Once you have taken your flowering clones, it will take an average of one week until they root. The re-vegging of your clones will then take (at least) another 2–3 weeks. When all is said and done, expect the process to add at least 3 weeks to your plant’s growth; and this doesn’t even factor in further topping and training. Each additional topping will add around a week to your grow.

HOW TO MONSTER CROP CANNABIS INDOORS

Enough with all the theory—let’s get into the practice. Here is how to monster crop cannabis indoors.

TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT

• Sharp scissors, knife, or scalpel
• Alcohol wipes (to disinfect your tools)
• Glass or container with water (to soak the cuttings)
• Rooting gel (optional)
• Rockwool cubes, perlite (optional)

STEP 1: CHOOSE YOUR BEST FLOWERING CANNABIS PLANT

At around week 2 of flowering, locate your best specimen—one that has grown well and tall. If you have multiple strains, you could select several cuttings from each one to see which plants turn out best. Make sure that the plants you’re taking from are healthy and not displaying any signs of illness or deficiency.

STEP 2: TAKE CUTTINGS

Take your scissors or knife and give it a quick wipe with alcohol to disinfect. Cleanliness will greatly help your cloning success! Go to your chosen flowering plant and select a lower branch. These usually root faster than branches on top. Swiftly cut diagonally across the stem to take the cutting. A diagonal cut provides more surface area for the cutting to take in water and nutrients, and for the roots to grow.

Again, make sure you take more cuttings than you need. Expect at least 25% of your clones not to root. Disinfect your tools before each cut.

STEP 3: ROOT THE CUTTINGS

Immediately after taking each cutting, place the stem into the container with water. The water will seal the cut and prevent air from entering, which would otherwise kill your clone. Alternatively, you can use a rooting gel instead of water. You can leave the cutting in the container until roots appear, or you can place it into a rooting medium such as rockwool cubes or perlite.

STEP 4: RE-VEG YOUR CLONES

To get your clones back to a vegetative state, you need to adjust their light cycle accordingly. Most growers choose an 18/6 schedule, but anything from 18–24 hours of light will work. When your clones start to re-veg, they will grow in an odd way with round leaves and lots of branches. This strange growing phase will last for about 3–4 weeks.

OPTIONAL: PLANT TRAINING

Once your clone is in full vegetative growth again, this is when you can apply plant training (topping, super cropping) to encourage lateral growth even more. Your plants staying short and flat will be particularly advantageous if you plan to put them under a ScrOG.

HOW TO MONSTER CROP CANNABIS OUTDOORS

Monster cropping can also be done outdoors, where it provides a major advantage: If you grow in a warm climate with no frost, you can achieve two harvests in a single season! This is how you do it.

STEP 1: PLANT YOUR SEEDS

If you bring out your seeds in winter, the longer nights will put your plants into flowering as soon as they emerge. If you want to extend the vegging period to add some size to your clones, you can supplement with a small light that you turn on for an hour or so every night. This interruption in the dark period will prevent your ladies from going into flower.

If you grow in a climate with occasional frost in winter, keep your plants indoors under a vegging light cycle, then set them outside once there is no risk of frost. If you are able to do that early enough in the year (by February in most places) they will go back into flowering before the days get long again. If it’s still too cold during this time, it’s not worth the risk of killing your ladies.

STEP 2: HARVEST YOUR CANNABIS

Your first batch of buds will be ready to harvest in early spring before daylight savings. At the same time that you’re filling your bags, around mid-March, the days will soon be long enough for your clones to re-veg.

STEP 3: SECOND GROWING SEASON

Once your clones have gained mass, they will naturally progress into the flowering phase as the seasons change. This means you can harvest them at the usual time in fall. Bingo! You brought in two harvests in one growing season!

Pro tip: This outdoor monster cropping method only works in climate zones where there is no risk of frost all year long, such as in Southern Europe, Southern US, etc. It won’t work in regions where you’d need to wait until late spring to plant outside.

MONSTER CROPPING AND SCREEN OF GREEN (SCROG)

Monster cropping is all about maximising lateral growth from shorter plants. This makes ScrOG (screen of green) the perfect method to go with it.

Installing a net over the canopy will increase horizontal growth further as you weave branches through the mesh. The ScrOG will encourage an even canopy so your weed plants can make best use of available light. The result: tons of fat buds!

SHOULD YOU TRY MONSTER CROPPING YOUR CANNABIS PLANTS?

Taking clones, getting them to root, topping, and ScrOG aren’t exactly for the bloody beginner to cannabis cultivation. On the other hand, monster cropping may be just what experienced growers need to push production to the next level. It is one of the best ways to take full advantage of your available grow space.

So, if you have the skills and are not afraid to put a knife to your cannabis, you should definitely try out monster cropping. Rest assured, the results will be worth it!

Monster cropping involves taking clones from flowering cannabis plants to encourage heavy branching, high yields, and continuous harvests. Here's how to do it!

Complete Guide to Monstercropping for Better Yields

Table of Contents

Why “Monstercrop” a Marijuana Plant?

When it comes to monstercropping cannabis plants, the main idea is to put a flowering plant back into the vegetative stage, either by growing a plant out again after harvest, or taking a clone from a flowering marijuana plant.

As a side effect of the re-vegging process, cannabis plants respond with odd growth patterns, which a grower can sometimes take advantage of to grow a more desirable plant.

Monstercropping initiates a bushy growth response that you can use to your advantage, while potentially allowing you to get a second harvest from the same plant!

The benefits can include increasing yields from a plant, reducing the time needed in the vegetative stage for your next harvest, and potentially protecting important genes of a plant that produced particularly well.

This plant shows the classic growth pattern of a monstercropped clone. This grower got a result similar to a manifolded plant without the time and effort!

Marijuana Monstercrop picture by John Henry

It can get kind of confusing because people often use the terms “re-vegging” and “monstercropping” interchangeably, but they’re a bit different. Re-vegging is the act of a flowering plant going back into the vegetative stage (usually on accident) while the term monstercropping refers specifically to the technique of re-vegging a flowering plant on purpose.

It’s also important to note that monstercropping is different from supercropping, which is a completely unrelated technique that just happens to have a similar name. Supercropping has to do with bending the stems in a specific way to increase canopy control as well as yields. I’ve come to realize over the years that the terms used by cannabis growers don’t necessarily make the most technical sense! Teach me about supercropping cannabis.

Every individual plant responds differently to being re-vegged, even of the same strain, so it can be a little hard to predict exactly what to expect.

It Can Be a Little Hard to Know Exactly What to Expect Since Each Plant is Different, But Re-Vegging Plants Usually Start Growing Round Leaves

Clone of a flowering plant that is now re-vegging with smooth, round, single-finger leaves.

Example of another cannabis plant that started re-vegging.

Every strain expresses re-vegging a little differently!

The longer the plant spends in the flowering stage, the more dramatic the effects from a reveg, and the longer it takes the plant to completely re-vegetate and start growing normally again.

As the plant transitions back to the vegetative stage, it will start growing standard leaves, and after about 2-4 weeks, most plants will be growing in a traditional way. The effects of monstercropping only last a few weeks for most plants!

Monstercropping can be a great choice for outdoors in temperate climates because it allows an additional outdoor harvest by planting in the winter, harvesting in the spring, then revegging and doing a second harvest off the same plant in the fall. Learn more about monstercropping for multiple outdoor yields below!

Monstercropping Can Also Be Used to Preserve Good Genes

If you are very pleased with the results of a specific cannabis plant, you may want to take clones even though the plant is no longer in the vegetative stage!

This grower took clones of all plants just before harvest, and after drying/curing chose to only keep the monstercropped clone from the plant that made these buds. Monstercropping gives the grower a way to preserve genetics that turn out better than expected! Don’t lose important plant cultivars!

Sometimes re-vegging happens by accident, for example if there’s a light leak (though an industrious grower could try to use the opportunity to try their hand at monstercropping)! That being said, monstercropping is far more effective when you plan for it.

Strain and Plant Choice for Monstercropping

I highly recommend only attempting to monstercrop a plant that has grown fast and vigorously in the both the vegetative stage and the early part of the flowering stage. If at all possible, you want a plant that is able to quickly grow lots of new stems and bud sites, so you can get back to flowering and harvest again as soon as possible.

Plants that stay short and grow slowly can take a very long time to re-veg and “get going” again. In that case, you would be better off starting fresh with a seed, which grows vigorously from the beginning as long as it’s fresh and germinated properly, even strains that tend to stay short.

Very Short or Slow-Growing Marijuana Plants May React Poorly to Monstercropping. Try to Choose Only the Best Plants!

If you’ve got a limited space or height, you may not want to monstercrop a particularly tall marijuana strain, as the second version of the plant may end up being bigger than the first!

Lastly, never try to monstercrop an auto-flowering strain, as they are basically unaffected by light schedules. This means they typically can’t be forced to re-veg.

How to Use Monstercropping to Increase Yields Indoors

If you plan on monstercropping an indoor plant, or if it happens by accident, how do you take advantage of the strange re-veg growth? If you are going to re-harvest a plant, what’s the best way to do that?

Tips for Successful Monstercropping Indoors

  1. Choose a medium size strain – Short strains tend to grow on the slower side and may not grow fast enough to really take advantage of monstercropping. On the other hand, tall strains tend to grow fast and stretchy, which can make it far too easy to overgrow your space during the second round). Learn more about cannabis strain research.
  2. Only monstercrop the best cannabis plants. For the best results, make sure to only monstercrop plants that grew quickly and healthfully throughout their life up until week 6 of the flowering stage. Starting with a few extra plants the first time will give you the ability to choose the best instead of settling for whatever you get.
  3. Make sure to train plants to stay flat and wide for the best results. Regular training rules apply, you just have a bushier and faster growing plant!
  4. Leave a solid and wide base even while harvesting, as you will be growing your plant off of the “skeleton” you leave behind.

Although this grower got good yields, and the picture shows the monstercropping structure perfectly, the yields would have been even better if the grower had lollipopped less (so that buds go down further on the stems) and had defoliated the top colas so that all the buds are getting access to direct light. Training technique can make a huge difference no matter how you grow!

Marijuana Monstercrop pic by John Henry

Keep reading for specific instructions about taking a flowering clone and/or re-harvesting!

How to Re-Veg a Flowering Clone…

  1. Choose a cannabis plant that has grown well and is overall performing above average. These are the genes you want! If you are impressed with the bud quality, that’s another great reason to monstercrop a specific plant even if it’s not necessarily growing the best. Some growers will take clones from all their flowering plants (with labels to know which is which!) soon before harvest and start monstercropping them. By the time the clones are a few weeks old, you’ll have been able to test your buds from harvest and see if there were any plants that just produced star quality bud. At that point, you can toss all the clones that came from average plants, and keep any winners to grow again. Once the plant starts vegetating again, it will be much easier/faster to take more clones.
  2. Make sure to give your new flowering clone the best care possible, and remember it may take a few days longer than a normal clone for your cutting to root and start growing again.
  3. Keep the clone on a vegetative time schedule (18-24 hours of light/day) and start giving it vegetative nutrients.
  4. The clone will start growing very oddly, with round leaves and often with many stems, creating tons of bud sites in a very short amount of time. The odd growth lasts 3-4 weeks on average, though it will take shorter if plant wasn’t flowering long, or possibly longer if the clone was taken just before harvest time.
  5. Don’t skip on plant training! During the vegetative stage, it’s very important to make sure the plant is trained to stay short and flat, so you can take advantage of all those bud sites!
  6. When the plant is about half the final desired height, switch to a 12/12 light schedule and continue keeping plant flat during the first 6 or so weeks of the flowering stage, until the plant stops growing new stems and leaves altogether.
  7. Harvest as normal and enjoy your monstercropped buds!

Example of a Recovering Clone After Being Monstercropped

In this instance, the clone seemed to get back to the vegetative stage more quickly than most. This clone was taken from a flowering cannabis plant, notice the strange rounded leaves

Here’s the same plant 2 days later. It continues to grow new leaves with round edges and long stems while the plant is re-vegging.

Here’s that plant about a week later – at this point it’s already growing (mostly) normal leaves

Only 1 month after the first picture, the plant has grown far bigger and faster than a similarly sized seedling would have been able to grow in that time.

That plant at harvest! The grower said that they were extremely happy with the results of the monstercrop process and would do it again!

Monstercrop cannabis pictures by Don B

How to Re-Harvest the Same Plant Twice…

  1. Train your plant with multiple colas and a wide base during the initial grow. This will ensure you have good plant structure the second time around.
  2. When you harvest the plant, you should remove all the buds but you must make sure to leave several stems and healthy, green leaves remaining. Consider that all new growth will originate from this, so consider that when making cuts to your plant during harvest. You want to leave enough behind to make a great base. If you leave any buds behind while the plant is re-vegging, they’ll eventually start to wither and die.
  3. Put the plant back into a vegetative time schedule (more than 18 hours of light/day) and start giving it vegetative nutrients.
  4. The plant will start growing crazily, with round leaves and often with many stems, creating tons of bud sites in a very short amount of time. The odd growth lasts 3-4 weeks on average, though it will take shorter if plant wasn’t flowering long, or possibly longer if the clone was taken just before harvest time.
  5. Don’t skip on plant training! In the vegetative stage, it’s very important to make sure the plant stays short and flat, so you can take advantage of all those bud sites!
  6. When the plant is about half the final desired height, switch to a 12/12 light schedule and continue keeping plant flat during the first 6 or so weeks of the flowering stage, until the plant stops growing new stems and leaves altogether.
  7. Harvest as normal and enjoy your second set of buds!
  8. What about a third harvest? it’s generally not recommended to harvest a third time, as yields often suffer, and plant just doesn’t re-veg as easily or grow as vibrantly the third time around. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done!

Note: Results can vary depending on the strain. Some strains will produce the same or more for their second harvest, while some strains don’t respond as well and may end up with lower yields.

This plant was just harvested, and the grower plans to allow it to re-veg by putting it under a 24 hours light schedule. In order to help the plant re-vegetate more quickly, it may have helped to leaves a few more leaves, as opposed to leaving buds, but this will work! The grower left a good “spread” at the base to help the plant grow wide and flat, almost like a manifold.

Three days later. Notice you have new leaves but the buds are already dying. When the plant re-vegs it “gives up” on the buds and they wither, so it’s better off to harvest them all, and focus on leaving as many leaves as possible!

Example of Flowering Plant Being Re-Vegged on Purpose (“Monstercropped”)

The grower liked the results from the “mother” plant and wanted to grow the same cultivar out again.

Here’s the plant not-too-long after harvest.

Look how the monstercropped plant grows naturally in a very bushy way, without needing training by the grower.

This is that plant less than a month later, just before switching to flowering. This particular plant naturally grew nearly 80 tops! The entire process took 1 month and 19 days to reach this point, which is bigger with more colas than a plant grown from seed would have been able to grow in that time.

Amazing Monstercrop Pics by GDTRFB95

Example of another marijuana plant that was re-vegged after harvest 🙂

Closeup of the odd, round leaves.

Monstercropping, can be a really fun experiment, but remember that it can be a little unpredictable so it’s always recommended to grow backup plants at the same time, at least until you get more experience!

Monstercropping Outdoors in Temperate Climates for Multiple Harvests/Year

Monstercropping can be great for outdoor growers with warm temperatures all year long, because if you time it right, you can harvest twice/year. You’re taking advantage of the fact that plants will start flowering with long nights, and start vegetating with short nights.

  1. The grower plants their seeds in winter, which causes the plant to start flowering almost immediately since the nights are long in winter
  2. (Optional) You can keep plants in veg longer by making sure they get access to a small amount of light at night, so they never spend more than 12 hours in darkness, but you don’t want them to spend too much time in the vegetative stage because they should be ready to harvest by late Spring, just as days are getting long enough to turn the plant back into the vegetative stage.
  3. The grower harvests the buds at that point, leaving a well-developed root system and hardy plant base right as the “real” growing season begins.
  4. Grows plant out as normal the second time.

After the first harvest, make sure to leave a wide base with plenty of leaves if possible, so that your plant can start growing bigger and wider more quickly! A head start in spring means you can grow bigger plants by fall!

pic by PuravidaC

This can give your plant a head start, so not only do you get that first extra harvest, you may get more buds in the autumn because the plants could be bigger. For those who live in climates where the temperatures never go down to freezing, this can be a good way to get multiple harvests!

Strain Choice for Outdoor Monstercropping

For outdoor cannabis monstercropping, choose a strain that needs a relatively short time in the flowering stage, for example one that needs less than 8-10 weeks in the flowering stage before being ready to harvest.

This ensures your buds will be ready to harvest in time for late Spring, and short-flowering strains tend to be less sensitive to the fact that the day lengths are increasing (which can cause some long-flowering, Haze or Sativa plants to re-veg, even if the days are still short, because they can “sense” the days are getting longer)

Avoid Re-Vegging a Plant by Mistake; the Results Are Unpredictable Without Preparation!

This plant was almost done flowering, but then started getting light leaks at night. In this case the grower didn’t want the plant to re-veg. It’s recommended they either harvest buds immediately, or cut off all the new growth and make sure the plant is getting 12+ hours of uninterrupted dark every night. It’s possible the plant will get back on track but if you notice the buds appearing to wither, harvest immediately!

Another example of an accidental re-veg. In this case the plant was accidentally getting light at night, which caused it to revert back from flowering. In general, you want to avoid re-vegging by accident since you don’t get a lot of benefit from growth like this.

Now you’ve learned about how to use the monstercropping technique for indoor and outdoor marijuana grows! Do you want to learn even more about re-vegging cannabis plants?

One thing to keep in mind with monstercropping is it can be a little hard to know exactly what to expect, so make sure to remember that it’s an experiment and try to enjoy the twists and turns 🙂

If you have pictures of plants that you have monstercropped, we’d love to see them!

Complete Guide to Monstercropping for Better Yields Table of Contents Why “Monstercrop” a Marijuana Plant? When it comes to monstercropping cannabis plants, the main idea is to put a