monster cannabis plants

Monster Cropping Cannabis Guide

Monster cropping is a relatively new method to increase yields. This technique involves taking clones from a flowering plant and revegging them, when you reveg a cannabis plant she will develop an unusual growth, becoming extremely bushy, with lots of side branches and flowering sites.

1. What is monster cropping?

Monster cropping is quite new for cannabis growers. This method consists of taking clones from a female plant that’s 2-4 weeks into the flowering stage and placing it in a vegetative light cycle. By doing so we are disrupting a plant’s growth and she will start to develop unusually bushy.

When a cannabis plant is revegged it will develop an unusual growing pattern, this unusual growth can consist of more flowering sites, side branches and leaves, this is used by growers to increase yields or better prepare plants for training techniques such as Scrog or lollipopping.

Have in mind that monster cropping it’s not for autoflowering cannabis plants. This method is to be used strictly with photoperiodic cannabis and if done correctly, you can not only increase yields but also reduce the time needed in the vegetative stage of your next cycle and it’s a great way to keep a specific genetic in your grow room for as long as you want.

2. Does monster cropping work and how long it takes?

Monster cropping indeed works, and works like a charm, although there’s no way to say exactly, have in mind that plants have different growing rates, just to give you an example, if you vegetate your plant for 4 weeks, you’ll have to wait those 4 weeks plus 2-3 weeks of flowering and add 2-3 weeks for your clones to root properly.

Even though it can take quite a lot of time you will be satisfied with the results, you’ll see it’s worth it to wait a couple of weeks more to immensely increase your yields.

3. Pros of monster cropping

  • Monster Cropping improves yields

Revegetated plants will grow more, bushier and with more side branches, this will result in more flowering sites and consequently more buds.

  • Continuous harvests without having to keep mother plants

Because you are taking the clones from flowering plants, there’s no need to keep a mother plant in the vegetative stage to take clones from, you can flower all your plants and decide if you want to take clones in the first weeks of flowering.

  • Great way to prepare plants for other training techniques

It is recommended to combine monster cropping with plant training techniques such as Scrog, tying down branches, or even topping or fimming, this will allow the buds to develop properly and grow super dense.

4. Cons of monster cropping

  • Monster cropping takes time and work

Flowering a plant, taking clones, and waiting for them to revegetate can take quite a lot of time, so it’s not recommended if you want a fast harvest.

  • Can’t be used with autoflowers

Because autoflowers don’t depend on a light cycle, they cannot be revegged, so this technique doesn’t work with autoflowering strains.

  • Not all clones will live

Flowering clones have a low success rate when compared to clones from a vegetative plant so it is expected some won’t root and die. It is recommended to take extra clones in the case some don’t survive.

Note: We don’t recommend monster cropping smaller strains, it is better to use this technique with strains that grow tall, fast and with a lot of side branches. Smaller plants or strains that take too long to grow can take more time to reveg than simply germinating a seed.

4. How to monster crop: step-by-step guide

Step 1: Choose the cuttings

You can take flowering clones in between the 2-4 week of flowering, even though this won’t affect the result that much, we recommend taking the clones in the 3 week of flowering.

When choosing the branches to cut, it is better to go for the lower branches because they root faster than the ones from the top, when taking a clone you should make a diagonal cut (this will provide a bigger surface to absorb nutrients and water) around 0,5cm below the node.

Remember that flowering clones have a low success rate so you should take some extra cuttings, if you want 3 clones, you should take around 5-6 just to make sure.

Step 2: Wait for the clones to root

After taking the clones quickly place them in water, you can also apply a rooting hormone to increase the chances your clone will survive, remember that if air goes in the vascular system it can cause an embolism and die, so you should apply the rooting hormone and quickly place them in water.

You should leave the clones in water for some time and only transplant them after you see root development.

Step 3: Revegetate the clones

When the plants are ready to be transplanted you have to provide a vegetative light cycle (18/6, 20/4), there’s no need to provide too much light (at least for now) because clones don’t need a lot to survive, just make sure you don’t stress your plant because this process is a bit stressing to the plant, so if you stress them more they will stop growing.

Note: If you want to save up a little bit of money, instead of using the same light fixtures you use to grow and flower cannabis, you can use CFLs because clones don’t need too much light to grow, just make sure you change it after they’ve grown a bit.

5. Combining monster cropping with other techniques

As said above, when revegetating plants, they will develop an unusual growth pattern with lots of leaves, branches and flowering sites, this is extremely helpful when you want to make the most out of each plant or facilitate the process of training your plant to fill a Scrog trellis or in other training techniques.

After monster cropping, when your plant has reached a good size, you can start tying the branches. Training it under a trellis net or even top it to achieve the desired result, because there’s more plant to work with, it will be easier and you will be able to harvest lots of buds from just one plant.

6. In conclusion

Even though it takes time and can be frustrating when your clones die, this is a great way to increase yields while not having to spend a lot of money with seeds.

We recommend this technique to more experienced growers but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t adventure into monster cropping. If you’re a new grower, just make sure you have other plants growing along so you don’t risk your harvest completely. Take the appropriate care and you’ll be harvesting lots of buds in no time.

Monster cropping is a relatively new method to increase yields. This technique involves taking clones from a flowering plant and revegging them, when you reveg

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