Female cannabis plants receive pollen from males to produce seeds, which will carry on the genetics of both plants to the next generation.
“Herming out,” as some call it, is something that generally happens when a plant becomes excessively stressed. Some stressors include:
While both result in pollen production, true hermaphrodite cannabis plants produce sacs that need to rupture; anthers are exposed, pollen-producing stamen.
Branches grow out of the main stem and support fan leaves and buds. Growers often train a cannabis plant by topping branches to create more bud sites.
A cola, also called a “bud site,” refers to a cluster of buds that grow tightly together. While smaller colas occur along the budding sites of lower branches, the main cola—sometimes called the apical bud—forms at the top of the plant.
The space between nodes is called “internodal spacing” and will give you a sense of whether a plant will grow tall or short.
Despite their minute size, it’s hard to miss the blanket of crystal resin on a cannabis bud. This resin is secreted through translucent, mushroom-shaped glands on the leaves, stems, and calyxes.
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.
WHY DOES IT MATTER THAT CANNABIS IS DIOECIOUS?
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 pre-flowers also develop at the nodes. You can distinguish them based on one obvious visual characteristic: hairs. Female pre-flowers feature tear-drop shaped calyxes with small hairs protruding from the tip. These small hairs, known as pistils, are the sex organs of female cannabis flowers.
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.
This is sometimes referred to as “cloning by seed” and will not produce any male plants. This is achieved through several methods:
Cultivating males is important for breeders trying to cross new strains and genetics, but most people growing for buds will want to remove the males.
What are autoflowering cannabis seeds?
These are referred to as “bagseeds” and whether or not you can grow one will depend on where it came from.
One drawback of clones is they need to be taken during the vegetative stage of a plant—flower is too late—so if you have a small setup with only one light, it can be hard to keep clones alive while flowering other plants, because the two need different amounts of light.
Once you see the taproot, it’s time to transfer your germinated seed into its growing medium, such as soil.