Keep a close eye on the temperature and moisture level of the soil to keep the seed happy. It’s very delicate at this stage. Use a spray bottle to water it—over-watering can suffocate and kill the delicate sprout.
Because training happens during vegetative growth, for autoflowering plants, this period could be as short as a few weeks, which means time is limited. Try topping your autoflowers after they have three nodes, and stop once they begin to flower. You will want to prune them lightly.
As we’ve mentioned, cannabis is a dioecious plant, meaning male and female reproductive organs appear on different plants.
Seeds for these varieties are now widely available online and through dispensaries. It should be noted, however, that any plant grown from these seeds is not guaranteed to produce high levels of CBD, as it takes many years to create a seed line that produces consistent results. A grower looking to produce cannabis with a certain THC to CBD ratio will need to grow from a tested and proven clone or seed.
Growing marijuana takes a certain level of commitment: time, energy, and financial resources, so be sure you can commit to the whole process.
Cannabis used for hemp production has been selected for other traits, including a low THC content, so as to comply with the 2018 Farm Bill. Consequently, many varieties of hemp produce significant quantities of CBD.
To create a dark, protected space, take another plate and flip it over to cover the seeds, like a dome.
Cannabis, like those who love it, doesn’t always stick to the rules, though. Sometimes, this dioecious plant species goes against the grain and develops both male and female reproductive organs. These specimens are known as hermaphrodites. Either genetic or environmental factors, or both, can cause plants to develop this unusual trait. Having both buds and pollen sacs, they end up developing the ability to pollinate and reproduce with themselves.
“Banana” hermaphrodites get their name from their physical characteristics. Instead of producing separate organs, they develop a bare pollen-producing stamen within the female flower. This naked appendage drops pollen directly onto buds to ensure self-reproduction. These stamens share a similar shape and colour to a certain tropical fruit, hence their name.
IDENTIFYING EARLY SIGNS OF MALE PLANT
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.
These protruding structures are designed to capture pollen, which leads to fertilisation. They stick out away from the flower to capture pollen from the air, and to await being brushed up against by pollen-covered insects.
Male pre-flowers look like tiny green eggs or “balls”. These young pollen sacs will look smooth and won’t possess any fine hairs, or any distinct point. Later into the flowering stage, pollen sacs begin to form larger and denser clusters. They’ll become easy to identify with the naked eye by this point. However, pollen sacs usually begin to disperse their contents around 2–3 weeks after forming. Be sure to remove them from your space with haste if you don’t plan on crossing your plants.
Gibberellins are hormones that plants produce to regulate many phases of their growth. Several of the gibberellins, such as GA3, 4, 5 and 7, induce male flowers when they are sprayed on female plants before they begin flowering. GA3, which is the gibberellin most commonly available commercially, is the most effective. For best results, use a solution of 0.01% (0.1 gram GA3 in a liter of distilled water). Gibberellin must be used carefully. Lower doses result in fewer male flowers. Higher amounts have an inhibitory effect. Lightly spray the tops of the plant for five consecutive days and then force the plants to flower by increasing the uninterrupted dark period to 12 hours a day. The sprayed area will stretch a bit, but within two weeks, the first signs of male flowers will appear. They will be ripe and ready to release pollen in another two weeks.
Hermaphrodite cannabis plant.
Close up: Early male buds.
There are several methods used to produce feminized seed
Close up: Female calyx.
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.
Some varieties flower normally outdoors but experience indoor growing conditions as stressful and produce hermaphrodite flowers. The pollen from these male flowers can be used for breeding, provided that the resulting plants are going to be grown outdoors, where they won’t exhibit the unwanted hermaphroditism. Plant stresses such as irregular light cycles and heat sometimes induce hermaphroditism. However, stress techniques are not reliable. They only seem to work when you don’t want them to, and I haven’t found a stress regimen that ensures masculinization. Should this happen accidentally in a garden with a valuable variety, be opportunistic and collect the pollen, even if you have no plans to use it.
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.