Sex Determination: After Planting Marijuana Seeds
Identifying Males and Females from Marijuana Seeds
When Growing marijuana seeds there is a chance it could be female or male, you can increase your odds for females if the growing conditions are optimal. After planting marijuana seeds and letting the plants vegetate for a while, the next step is to determine the sex of the plants also known as sexing. Determining the sex of a plant can be tricky if you don’t know what to look for. It is best to determine the sex as early as possible. Determining a plants sex protects against unwanted pollination resulting in marijuana seeds . Males have no use in the garden, unless you are planning on breeding plants. They also could be disastrous to the crop if their flowers open and pollinate the female flowers. Pollination creates marijuana seeds which lowers the potency and overall usable weight. Pollinated female flowers will spend all their energy making seeds instead of buds.
Determining Sex After Planting Regular Marijuana Seeds
There are several methods you can use to determine sex. Early growth in a plant such as height and vigorous growth can indicate a sign of a male but this is not an optimal way of sexing a plant. Discussed below are the two best ways to determine sex in young plants that you grow from regular marijuana seeds.
The first way to determine sex is early visible detection. In some strains but not all of them, there is a single small female or male flower that shows in vegetation. The flower can be located by looking at the nodes of the plant where the leaf petioles and the stem meet. The plant is the same sex as the little flower showing. Normally my plants in vegetation start showing sex after they are about 30 centimeters tall.
The small female flower is called a calyx.
The small male flower looks like a ball it is a pollen sac:
When the above method does not show a small flower there is a different way to determine sex and that is to induce early flowering. Light cycle manipulation, is forcing a plant to flower and show its sex. This can take up to ten days to do. It also takes ten days to switch back to vegetative growth. Instead of forcing the whole plant to flower a simpler way is to take cutting of the plants you want to determine sex.
Label the clone and the mother plant so you know what cutting came from the matching mother plant. Place cutting in a cup of water or in a planting mix under a flowering light schedule of 12 hours on and 12 hours off for at least 10 days. Giving the cutting more darkness speeds signs of flowering by a few days such as 8 hours of light and 16 hours of darkness. Within 10 days the cutting will show flower signs and indication of sex is visible. Once you have determined the gender of the cuttings, you should get rid of any males. So remember if you grow marijuana seeds you have to determine sex of the plants so males don’t pollinate your females. Choosing marijuana seeds can be difficult, but if you would like to avoid checking for sex make sure you get feminized cannabis seeds.
When Growing marijuana seeds there is a chance it could be female or male, you can increase your odds for females if the growing conditions are optimal. After
Can You Tell if a Cannabis Seed is Male or Female?
Friday August 17, 2018
W hen it comes to growing cannabis, sex is important. Not that kind of sex! We’re talking gender, as in being able to discern male from female. The reason for this is simple enough: only female seeds produce flower, also known as the buds you might have in your stash as we speak.
When it comes to growing cannabis, seeds can be male, female or hermaphrodites. Females produce the resin-secreting flower, and males make small sacs of pollen near the base of the leaves. Over the years, cultivators have learned that un-pollinated females (remember, males produce pollen) continue to make resin and flowers that have not been pollinated are much more likely to produce high-potency cannabis. But is there a way to know if a seed is female before growing?
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Determining if a Seed is Male or Female
If what you’ve got is a handful of seeds, it’s pretty much impossible to tell which ones are male or female. The only way true way to tell the plant’s gender is to plant some seeds, then wait. After a period of several weeks, it will begin to pre-flower, or form a small bud in the crux of a branch. One of the first signs your cannabis plant is female is the appearance of pistillates that are wispy and generally white in color.
If you’re looking for more precise, science-based methods to tell your plant’s gender, there are several labs that can sex your plant right after germination – eliminating the lengthy (usually around 6 weeks) wait to learn its gender. Portland, Oregon start-up Phylos Bioscience is in the business of studying cannabis genetics, and they sell a “plant sex kit” that’s pretty simple to do, even for the not scientifically-inclined. Simply press a cotyledon, or embryonic leaf, onto the kit’s filter paper and send it to their lab. They then test the leaf for the “Y” chromosome to determine its gender, just as would happen for a human male.
What are Feminized Seeds?
While it’s basically not possible to determine the sex of a seed from a random bag of seeds, a practice known as feminizing is becoming quite popular. Feminized seeds are selectively bred to produce female plants, however, some growers do worry about some feminized seeds turning into hermaphrodites.
Despite the potential for hermies, if growing cannabis is more hobby than full-time endeavor, and you want to guarantee you’ll have some consumable product, knowing your seeds are female from the beginning is probably your best bet.
There are many companies that sell feminized seeds, but, buyer beware, do your research to make sure the seller is reputable, especially if purchasing online. Thanks to modern technology, most feminized seeds from reliable brands will be 100% female as advertised – but that doesn’t mean there aren’t people selling low-quality seeds out there.
Methods for Feminizing Cannabis Plants
If you have some experience growing cannabis and would like to bend a crop to your will to ensure that the seeds will be female, there are a few feminizing methods you might try. One such technique is to literally stress out a healthy female plant by interrupting the light cycle during flowering, called Rodelization Feminizing.
In the colloidal silver feminizing method, distilled water is mixed with pure silver and sprayed on female plants. This method works best when the plants are flowering. This results in pollen sacs being formed, which will allow the seeds to produce female plants.
Feminizing via the silver thiosulfate technique involves carefully selecting a nearly mature female plant, then spraying it with 50/50 mix of sodium thiosulfate and silver nitrate. This triggers a gender change, from female to male. Place this plant back with the others to pollinate other female plants, and female seeds are created.
How Important is Your Plant’s Sex?
How much time you want to spend figuring out the sex of your cannabis plants really depends on how much time and energy you’d like to devote to growing your own marijuana. If you are a medical cannabis patient or caregiver, for example, and need to know what kind of cannabis you are getting every time, buying feminized seeds from a trusted seller is the way to go. But, if you have some time, consider yourself a green thumb, and want to experiment with your grow, you could simply plant your seeds and see what comes up. Happy growing!
What are your thoughts on feminized seeds? If you’ve used them before, how did it go? Share your experiences in the comments below!
Erin Hiatt is a New York City-based writer who has been covering the cannabis industry for more than six years. Her work – which has appeared in Hemp Connoisseur Magazine, PotGuide, Civilized, Vice, Freedom Leaf, MERRY JANE, Alternet, and CannaInvestor – covers a broad range of topics, including cannabis policy and law, CBD, hemp law and applications, science and technology, beauty, and psychedelics.
If you're interested in growing cannabis, determining the sex of your plant is a critical aspect in the cultivation process. Learn whether or not you can tell if a marijuana seed is male or female and more information about feminized seeds.