The grow technique Super Cropping has the main advantage of enhancing yields, which results from more buds being grown under optimal light conditions. But what about Super Cropping autoflowers? If you scour the internet, you may encounter a plethora of reasons why you shouldn't. But "shouldn't" doesn't always mean you can't.
So, can you Super Crop autoflower plants? In short, yes, it is possible. However, only if you know exactly what you are doing and have plenty of experience in Super Cropping cannabis plants. The reason why this technique is ill-advised for beginners is that autoflower plants have significantly shorter vegetative growth. When applying a high-stress technique like Super Cropping, your plants need time to recover from the intentionally inflicted damage. With the virtually non-existent vegetative stage of the autoflowering plants, your window of opportunity, as well as the margin for error, is very limited.
Feeling up to the challenge nonetheless? We'll explain to you how to start Super Crop your plants grown from autoflower seeds.
How to Super Crop autoflower plants
Cannabis growers can consider Super Cropping their autoflowers if the main central cola grows notably faster/taller than the rest. This allows the main central cola to remain at a similar height to the other buds. As a result, light can be utilized more effectively, and final yields can be improved.
It can also help produce a bushier, shorter autoflower, which may be more suitable for grow rooms with limited vertical space. Thanks to Super Cropping, the canopy of buds should be level and flatter, with no dominant central cola.
As a result, the grow light can be positioned at a height that allows the majority of buds to receive optimal levels of light.
The overall Super Cropping process is the same as with feminized photoperiod weed plants. Select the best branches you are going to work with. Most suitable are mature branches that are still pliable, so you can easily bend them to the desired direction.
When selecting the preferred branches, make sure they are green and not woodlike at the bottom to prevent them from snapping. Super Cropping will lower the larger branches and make the canopy more even. Start with a few branches at a time and make sure that no stems stick up higher than the rest.
Closely monitor how the plant reacts to the stress of the technique. If your plant already has multiple colas, the branches should be positioned in the same location.
For more detailed instructions on how to Super Crop autoflower plants, we would like to refer to our Ultimate Super Cropping Weed Guide.
When to start Super Cropping autoflowers
Even if you have previous experience in Super Cropping cannabis plants, you should be cautious. To Super Crop plants dealing with a significantly accelerated growth cycle is a skill you really have to master prior to embarking on such an endeavor.
When you plan on Super Cropping autoflowering plants, timing is everything. Unlike photoperiod plants, which often have more vigorous vegetative growth, the autoflowering plant's life cycle is often much shorter, so you will need to plan meticulously.
You want to start Super Cropping your Cannabis plants during the vegetative stage, as with most training techniques for weed plants.
The ideal window for Super Cropping is once cannabis plants exhibit three to four nodes. Following seed germination, three to four nodes are produced within roughly three to four weeks, depending on the strain of cannabis.
Keep in mind that Super Cropping is a stressful experience and that your plants often require more than a week to fully recover. And therein lies the complexity. Most autoflowering varieties will start showing their first signs of flowering around five weeks after germination.
Between the appearance of the first nodes and the start of the flowering stage, you have a tight week, basically leaving your plants too little time to recover.
If you are willing to roll the dice, we recommend doing so as soon as they grow their third node. It cannot be stressed enough that this should only be attempted by true experts, as it could potentially end in disaster. It's not just your yield that will be affected by broken branches, but it also leaves your plants with an increased risk of diseases.
Autoflowering plants were designed for ease of growing, and fast results with minimal effort. Subjecting your autoflower plants to high-stress training like Super Cropping negates that last advantage, any way you spin it. Where you can control the length of the vegetative growth with photoperiod plants, Super Cropping simply stunts the autoflowers growth pattern for too long. Besides, the benefits often do not outweigh the risk. So save this invasive technique for your plants grown from feminized seeds and simply enjoy the carefree cultivation your autoflowers have to offer.
What have we learned?
We have tried to guide you through the tricky process of Super Cropping autoflowers as best we could. However, our main advice when asking 'can you Super Crop autoflower plants' has to be: if you are not an expert grower with a ton of experience in this field, just stay clear of this technique with these strains. Super Cropping autoflowers simply has too many risks, and there are other, safer techniques with similar results.
In case you are trying to experiment with your grows, there are many more advanced growing techniques to try. Just take a look at our advanced grow guide. In case you want to dive deeper into the art of growing weed, we have an entire learning center filled with helpful articles to assist you in getting more out of your grows. And when you are ready to start your next grow, it can't hurt to find a good deal on your next order of cannabis seeds, so make sure to check out our seeds on sale as well.