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female cannabis plant growing seeds

See, the vast majority of plant species are monoecious, a term meaning they possess both male and female reproductive organs. These include edible plants, such as corn and squashes, that can readily fertilise their own flowers using their own pollen.

Female cannabis plants are the main focus of casual growers looking to harvest a personal stash. But, depending on their genetics, female plants can look drastically different from one another. Some remain small, producing dense canopies and significant lateral growth. Others grow in excess of 3m, produce massive harvests, and look more like trees than regular garden plants.

MALE VS FEMALE CANNABIS: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

Male plants, in contrast, don’t produce flowers. This makes them less valuable for growers seeking only buds. However, they do produce pollen sacs. These small vessels create the genetic material required to fertilise female flowers and create hybrids. This makes the males extremely important for breeding new cannabis strains.

Hermaphroditism stems from two major driving factors: stress and genetics. In regards to stress, hermaphroditism serves as a survival mechanism. If a plant experiences damage, heat, disease, or nutrient deficiencies, they start to freak out. Essentially, plants get the impression that their time is up. In a last-ditch attempt to reproduce, they decide to stop waiting around for a male and get the job done themselves.

A guide to differentiating between male, female, and hermaphrodite cannabis plants.

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Among the early signs that your female has been pollinated is that her bracts become larger. Bracts are small, leaf-like structures that protect the female’s reproductive parts. These are the sites from which the flowering buds appear. Do not confuse the bracts with calyxes.

HOW TO TELL THAT A FEMALE PLANT HAS BEEN POLLINATED

A good test to see whether the bracts have swollen is to take a pair of tweezers, grab one bract, and open it up. If there is a seed inside, you have a pollinated plant.

Male plants won’t show hairs at these nodes, but will develop little sacs of pollen. These pollen sacs will look like little balls. These balls can appear on their own or in clusters, depending how far into the pre-flowering stage the plant is. At some later stage of growth, the pollen sacs will burst open, spilling the pollen and possibly pollinating your females.

Pollination of your female cannabis plants will make them produce seeds and spend less energy on producing quality buds. But when you recognise the signs of pollination early, you can avoid putting time and resources into a poor harvest.

The predominant way to preserve the exact genetics of a plant is by cloning. However, a plant crossed with itself produces seeds that retain its parent’s favorable characteristics. Another reason to use this technique is to create a hybrid of two female plants. If a branch of one female is turned “male,” there will be pollen to fertilize the other plant, and to create seed when no male is around. Feminized seeds are produced by inducing a normal female, not a hermaphrodite, to grow male flowers with viable pollen.

In mature human females, taking male hormones causes masculinizing changes such as breast shrinkage, muscle bulking, and a lowering in voice pitch. The primary sex organs have already been formed, but they shrink.

Feminized seeds are not as mysterious or weird as they might seem

A similar thing happens when female plants are treated with masculinizing chemicals. The difference is that while a mature human has already formed her sex organs, every time a plant produces a new flower, it is growing a new sex organ. Plants under chemical influence grow viable male flowers, even though the plant is still a female with two X chromosomes, the pollen has only female chromosomes.

Silver thiosulfate is more effective than silver nitrate; that is, it induces more male flowers. Sometimes the two chemicals are used together. Spray the plant until the liquid drips off the leaves. Then immediately change the light regimen from vegetative to flowering. The leaves will droop and stop growing for a few days, yellow a bit and then regain turgidity. Male flower growth will become apparent in a couple of weeks. The flowers will ripen a few weeks later.

Feminized seeds produce only female plants, and when they germinate there will be few males among them if they are produced correctly. The threat of accidentally pollinating crops by misidentifying a male is minimized. A male-free crop is only one reason to use all-female seeds: another might be the preservation of a particular characteristic or plant type.