Cannabis Growing Guide 5/6 – Male/Female

28 01 2009

Cannabis plants are either male or female. The male plants produce pollen which pollinates the flowers of the female plant, which once pollinated, produce seeds. If the female plant is not pollinated (if there are no male plants nearby producing pollen), the flower/buds continue to develop and produce THC. Female plants which are not pollinated are referred to as sensemilla (without seeds).

Usually 40-50% of the plants are male.

A female can either generate a large seedless bud, a large bud with a few seeds, or a large bud that is almost totally seeds. The first case is achieved by removing all the male plants before any of their flowers open. The second case occurs when a few male flowers have opened but you remove them before any more open. The third case occurs when you miss-time the flowering of the male. This can be devastating if you have big female plants because you could loose 90% of the smokable herb to seed production.

The spotting of males is one of the most difficult of things to explain to a person that`s never grown since it really takes careful attention to how the tops of male plants look at this stage of development. Even experienced growers will be unsure at times and will have to wait till the next visit to be sure. When a male enters the stage of flower development, the tips of the branches where a bud would develop will start to grow what looks like a little bud (little balls) but it will have no white hairs coming out of it. Females will have no balls and will have small white hairs.

Male is on left with cluster of balls and female is on right with wispy white hairs.

Difference between Male and Female Cannabis plants

Difference between Male and Female Cannabis plants

Males are often, but not always, tall with stout stems, sporadic branching, and few leaves. Males are usually harvested except those used for breeding, after their sex has been determined, but before the pollen is shed. When harvesting, especially if close to females, cut the plant off at the base, taking care to shake the male as little as possible. This helps prevent any accidental pollination by an unnoticed, open male flower.

Tip for beginners: Buy feminized seeds! This way you will only get female plants.

<< Cannabis Growing Guide 4/6 – Indoor Growing

Cannabis Growing Guide 6/6 – Flowering & Harvesting >>





Growing Cannabis Guide 3/6 – Outdoor growing

28 01 2009

As we haven’t been able to post for quite some time now, we will make it up to you by posting the whole growing cannabis guide in one go. Here is episode 3!

10 weeks after sowing the seeds the plants will be  30-40 centimeter (10-15 inches) high. During the months May an June we can move the seedlings into the ground outside. In the other months of the year it is best to do the growing inside. For inside growing we will have to move the seedlings to larger containers.

When you take your youngsters outside please keep in mind they still have to get used to the sun, give them some shade the first week.
You can improve the soil in your garden to get better results from your hemp plants. It just depends on how rich the ground is. If other plants are doing well in your garden you won`t even have to do a thing. But in some areas the soil can be poor.

Improving the soil

Buy a bag of organic potting soil and mix this in with the existing soil. This soil is not often found at your local all-purpose store so some searching may be required. Potting soil is richer soil than commercial top soil so it goes a little bit farther when mixed with the existing soil. Lime may be necessary in areas with acidic soil and peat moss is a good additive for soils with a clay type consistency. How much fertilizers you will be using is based on experience and guessing, using twice amount of  the prescription on the bag will do fine. But beware that an overdoses of  fertilizers can be deadly to your plants.

The soil where you will plant your babies must not be too wet or too dry. The distance between each weed plant depends on the space you have. The best would be 1 square meter per plant. If you put the plants to close together they will prevent one an other from absorbing the light, which could be causing big differences in growth. If you are not using feminized seeds half of the plants in the ground will turnout to be male (so useless as always) and will have to be removed to prevent seed production.

It is a good habit to have a spare plant in a pot for every plant that is standing in the ground.  This way you can easily replace a male by a female as soon at this can be detected. Click here to read more about this. Also take care the wind can blow through your cannabis plants, outside cannabis that is too much protected from wind will be extra vulnerable for fungus.

<< Cannabis Growing Guide 2/6 – From seed to seedling

Cannabis Growing Guide 4/6 – Indoor growing >>





How to: Distinguish between a male and female cannabis plant

24 06 2008

Female cannabis flowers are distinguished by their white hairs, which first appear in pairs at the top of the stem and branches and at the internodes where branches emerge from the stem. These hairs will increase in number, thicken into clusters and change colour from white to orange as flowering progresses.

Difference between Male and Female Cannabis plants

Male cannabis flowers may be recognized by the pairs of tiny pods (initially, smaller than a match-head) in the same locations. They too will quickly increase in number. Soon after forming, these pods will open into mature male flowers which will then distribute pollen.








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