There is a good reason why most growers keep male plants away from their ladies: Pollination from males causes the females to develop seeds. As a result, females focus their energy on seed production, rather than on growing you some fine-quality bud. This seedy and unfortunate final product can be avoided by implementing a few basic techniques.
HOW TO TELL THAT A FEMALE PLANT HAS BEEN POLLINATED
Pollination requires the presence of males or intersex (hermaphrodite) plants, which are females that will also produce pollen. The first thing you want to do to keep the risk of pollination low is to remove as many males or “hermies” as as you can. Especially during the first three weeks of flowering, it’s important to frequently check for possible male specimens in your garden.
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.
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.
4. Harvest and Collect Seeds
2. Collect Pollen
Your seeds should be fully mature once the plant has completed senescence. For ripe plants containing seed stock, it’s best to let the life cycle exacerbate fully before harvesting to give seeds their maximum time to mature.
A Simple Propagation Technique for Small-Batch Breeding
On the other hand, those who wish to carry seed stock through to the next season will find breeding to be a sustainable alternative to keep those genetics around. Not every grower can afford to go back to the nursery or seed company and purchase new genetics between every season. After all, in most states the cost of a single clone can exceed $20, while a dozen cannabis seeds could easily cost $100 or more. For many micro-budget home growers, breeding is the only way to keep genetics around.
In this guide, we’ll review the basics of small-scale cannabis breeding techniques and illustrate the benefits these techniques may provide to those who want to create their very own unique cannabis seeds and strains.
Male cannabis plants will begin to show their pollen sacs within the first week or two into their bloom phase. Shortly after, these sacs will open and pollen will become abundantly available. Once a desirable male plant has been identified, remove it from any female plants and isolate it immediately. The goal is to collect the staminate pollen without accidentally open-pollinating any other female plant.
Keep the desired male plant in isolation throughout the pollen collection process, then terminate the male to be safe. By using a small paintbrush, you can carefully collect pollen into a plastic bag or glass jar.
Once you have discerned the sexes, the next step is to select the most appropriate plants to carry out the fertilisation.
If you have a male plant, you will find the same little ball, but without the white hairs. Instead, it develops kinds of little bags, whose function is to later contain the pollen. Among other differences males feature, distinguishing them from females, is that they are usually taller, their branches are more irregular, and they have fewer leaves and internodes.
Step 3: Obtaining pollen
Growers can determine a plant’s gender when it reaches its pre-flowering period, which occurs between the fourth and sixth week of growth. Far from needing any magnifying glasses, microscopes or extensive botanical knowledge, one simply needs to pay a little attention and look at the stems of the newest leaves. More specifically, in the area where they join the main stem.
Also, if you have acquired a generous amount of yellow powder, you can also store it in the freezer in order to carry out future pollinations. Yes, pollen can be frozen, and stored for months. To do this you just need to use a good jar, and keep it from getting damp when you take it out of the cold. One way is to leave the jar at room temperature a few hours before opening it. This is important, because if the pollen comes into contact with moisture, the whole process will be ruined.
This does not mean that those chosen to pollinate will be the largest plants. Rather, the selection of both males and females will depend on their capacity to adapt to their growing environment, those that are the most vigorous and productive. For example, those that have adapted best, suffered least, are the most potent, have developed the most, and required the least nourishment. Details should also be sought in the plant’s structure; for example, those that present short distances between nodes, and other traits important to growers, such as their smell, taste, and resistance to mould and pollutants. Once the selection has been completed, separate the males in a different and sealed space or cabinet in order to prevent any type of pollen contamination.