When it comes to growing any type of plant, having basic nutrition, climate, and vegetative information is ideal. Another good thing to know is the plant’s gender. Is it a male or a female? In some plant species, the plant may be both genders, or even neither. No worries though, as with cannabis it’s simply male or female. Or is it?
Why Determine The Gender?
Cannabis cultivators may need to determine the sex of their plants for a number of reasons. Here are some possible reasons for determining plant genders and why you may want to:
- Breed a new strain
- Produce seedless buds
- Reproduce plants
One reason for gathering a male and female cannabis plant together may be to breed them. Some growers will crossbreed two different strains to create a new hybrid strain, in the hopes that it is better than the parents or creates a good balance. This is a topic for another post, but you can learn more through the link below:
If you do not want any seeds in your buds, then only grow female plants. When a male plant is introduced to a female plant, the female plant will prepare for pollination by creating seeds. These seeds will grow in your buds and will be very harsh if smoked. Never smoke seeds!Never smoke seeds! Click To Tweet
Of course, if you simply want more plants, you can allow pollination to occur and let your plants grow and develop seeds. But overall, you mainly want female plants. Males are only ideal for creating new plants. Should you only wish to grow cannabis for personal consumption, stick to the females.
Okay, so now you know why you would want to determine a cannabis plant gender. Now let’s talk about how to do so.
Female plants are ideal for most cannabis growing operations. If you want to begin growing cannabis for personal use, purchase some feminized seeds. Not sure if your seeds are feminized? Here’s how to find out.
You can determine a cannabis plant gender by noticing what grows in between the plant’s nodes. Nodes are where the branches meet the stalk. In the middle, there will either be pollen sacs (for males) or stigma (for females).
Stigma is hair-like strands that form on the nodes of female plants. They sort of look like spheres with one hair sticking from each. Noticing stigma on your plant lets you know that you have a female on your hands, and it’s as simple as that!
Male plants are as easy to determine as female plants. In fact, they are even easier in most cases. Why would you want a male plant? Primarily for the sake of breeding new strains, but you can also reproduce with existing ones. If you do not want to do any breeding and only want buds to smoke, stay away from males.
Now, you will not notice anything on the nodes when you first plant the seeds, of course. There won’t even be any nodes! You will need to wait until preflowers begin to appear after about four to six weeks. This is still much before you can even harvest the buds, so you will have time.
Finding pollen sacs that look like balls will tell you the plant is a male. You can also tell if you have a male plant in the room by looking at your female plants (if any). In most growing cases, female plants are ideal and male plants are not even needed. So, if your female plants prepare for pollination and begin to develop seeds, then you have a male in the room.
Two In One?
In some cases, you can get a cannabis plant that is both genders. This is not very common, but does occur under certain circumstances. These plants can operate as either a male or a female. In most cases, they are no good. Get rid of both-gender plants if any are discovered in your garden.
These types of plants are known as hermaphrodites. There are two ways that a hermaphrodite can be produced. One way is poor genetics. A strain with a history of hermaphrodites should be avoided in a garden. If one grows, it can begin pollination amongst all your females.
The most common way a hermaphrodite is created is excessive stress. That’s right, the same thing that cannabis removes can also remove the use of a cannabis plant. Excessive plant stress can come in many forms, including:
- Poor weather conditions
- Damage to the plant
- Nutrient deficiencies
If your plants become too stressed and form into hermaphrodites, you may want to save your other plants by removing them from your garden. Instead of having either pollen sacs or stigma, hermaphrodites will have both.
That’s all for this post. Now you can successfully determine the genders of your plants. Hope you enjoyed this one. This post is part of a new category of blog posts on cannabis cultivation. Check out the whole category below. Thanks for reading!