Foremost are the incorrect uses of calyx and pistil. Growers read or hear about swollen calyxes being a sign of maturity and an indication of readiness for harvesting. What are incorrectly called calyxes or false calyxes are correctly identified as bracts.
Capitate-sessile gland heads are much larger, sit upon a short stalk, which makes them appear stalkless and hence, described as sessile. Capitate-sessile glands likely contribute to the overall cannabinoid concentration due to their larger size and presence on flowers, leaves and petioles.
Bulbous glands are tiny, are present on the first leaves to form, and are found on stems, branches, leaves, and flowers. Although ubiquitous, their contribution to the overall cannabinoid concentration at harvest is insignificant.
The other two non-glandular trichomes are visible with magnification. These smaller cystolith hairs with warty bumps and teardrop-shaped trichomes are found mainly on the underside of leaves. The larger cystolith hairs provide defense against insects and likely make the plant less palatable to animals. Cystolith hairs also reflect radiation, reduce water loss, and ameliorate near-surface temperatures.
Cannabis flowers are not brightly colored, large, or enticingly fragrant (at least to most non-humans); marijuana plants are wind-pollinated with no need to attract insects or animals to carry the males’ pollen, hence these plant parts never evolved into significant, attractive, or showy parts.
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.
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.
HOW TO AVOID POLLINATION OF YOUR FEMALE PLANTS
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.
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.
To determine the sex of your cannabis plants, you will have to wait until the pre-flowering stage when plants begin to put their energy into reproduction. Female cannabis plants show their gender signs later than males. At the location where they will soon grow their buds (the nodes between the stalk and the stem), females will show wispy white hairs.
So even if you use feminized seeds, it is advised to keep a close eye and determine the sex of the plant as soon as you can. As there’s always a small chance at finding a male plant in your garden which could screw up your harvest, or for the plant to turn from female to hermaphrodite and develop both sexes on one cannabis plant; as we’ll explain later on.
TIP: If you want to try and create your own unique strains, you can learn more about growing regular seeds in this blog.
Feminized Cannabis Seeds
Male Cannabis Plants are recognized by the formation of pollen sacs on the plant’s nodes. This happens around the same time as female reproductive organs should be forming. Although female plants tend to develop their reproductive organs a bit faster. Luckily, these male pollen sacs can be distinguished pretty easily. As they look like small balls hanging from the side of the plant; instead of the upward facing hairs from the female plant.
Female cannabis plants are easy to spot once they start showing the first signs of flowering
Female weed plants are distinguished by the development of bracts with small white hairs (stigma’s) on their nodes. A node is the part of the plant where branches and leaves emerge from the stem. After a while, the female plant starts pushing out more and more of these hairs until they swell up from the bottom up. This means the plant is now forming ‘calyxes’ that eventually stack up to become the flower as we know it.