One of the most important tasks of a cannabis grower is sexing cannabis plants before the flowering phase. This is vital to growers who want to cultivate delicious weed. Proper female marijuana plant identification helps growers determine females fast and to remove males immediately.
Why Identify Female Cannabis Right Away?
Identifying female cannabis plants should be done ASAP because the future of your weed harvest is at stake! If you overlook this very important part, you can end up harvesting buds with seeds instead of buds with precious weed! Find female plants soon because:
- You need to protect your females from accidental pollination.
- You must remove males right away to grow weed and not seeds.
- You want to save money, time, and growing space.
- You don’t want to end up ruining all your hard work.
Very important: female and male parts are very small with the male sacs that contain pollen often very tiny and hard to find. You need to use a lamp and magnifying glass to locate these sacs all over the plant! Whereas, female plants may be easier to find as the female parts are very showy.
How is Female Marijuana Plant Identification Done?
The most important time to expect pre-flowering is during the 3rd to 5th week after germination for photoperiod plants. Although this stage varies in different strains, start looking for these signs starting the 3rd week. According to experts, a batch of seeds can have 50 percent males and 50 percent females but sometimes, it can become 75/25 percent, or there may be no females at all!
You can tell if you’re growing females when you find long, wispy, white, lace-like pistils. These structures are found along the junction between the main trunk and the branches. However, some female plants may have these structures on other sections of the plant.
These wispy pistils are very delicate and will often sway with the breeze. When these wispy parts mature and pollen enters the structure, seeds will develop in just a few days. This is why growers remove male plants or separate male plants from female plants ASAP. Some growers don’t just separate males but will even destroy the4se plants. This ensures that no rogue pollen enters the growing area to accidentally pollinate females.
What About Male Flowers?
You can’t just learn about female sexual parts without identifying male counterparts. As females have delicate wispy pistils, males will grow small green sacs or balls. These structures are very tiny therefore, you need proper lighting and a magnifying glass to identify the presence of these.
You must remove males ASAP but you don’t have to destroy these. You can use male plants to make fiber, filler material for edibles, oils, concentrates, and many more. Just make sure to keep the males in a secure location where pollen is kept and not released.
Is This Process the Same for All Cannabis Plants?
Yes, the appearance of female and male plant parts is similar to all cannabis strains but we recommend careful study of different strains as the flowering times vary from strain to strain. Also, it’s important to get to know any special needs of the plant or strain before these start to flower like photoperiod strains.
Photoperiods or regular strains will not flower unless you place these plants under a strict 12-hour day and 12-hour nighttime schedule. Keeping plants this way will trigger flowering and thus, you need to expect the female and male pre-flowers to show in just a few days.
Is There an Easier Way to Do It?
There is an easier yet expensive way to tell the sex of your plants and this is called a chemical leaf test. This test can determine the gender of your plants even as early as 1 to 3 weeks! To do this, you need to submit a tiny amount of plant tissue from the leaf or the cotyledon, and thus, doing so will not stress or hurt your plants.
The tests used are real-time polymerase chain reaction or qPCR test and a Gas Chromatography and Flame Ionization Detector or a High-Pressure Liquid Chromatography with Diode Array Detector. These tests may be expensive but are very accurate. And by knowing the gender of your plants early, you can save money and resources from growing male plants. Also, you’ll be growing just the number of plants you need to save growing space.
Can You Increase the Female Plant Ratio?
Experts have studied many ways to improve female plant ratio and the following may give your plants a chance to become females.
- Ensure that you are using a healthy female plant
When the mother plant is healthy, expect healthy seeds and plants as well. Always use a healthy, productive, and well-rounded female plant when growing seeds. If you buy your seeds, prefer only good quality, reliable seed banks. Check out reviews and ratings for each seed bank before you place your orders.
- Grow your plants in cool temperatures/growing environments
Your seedlings must grow in an environment with a slightly cold temperature at 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit at night and during the day. Do note expose your plants to extreme heat.
- Maintain high humidity
Always keep the growing area humidity in 50 to 70 percent RH. Cooler temperatures strengthen plants and keep the plants in perfect condition as well.
- Keep lighting to short days
You must keep growing light consistent without any instructions at night. Maintain a 14 to 18-hour daylight for plants.
- Do not let your plants suffer from nutritional problems
Never let your plants suffer from nutritional deficiencies or toxicities. This is because y our seedlings or seeds can become starved and this can lead to further troubles.
- Avoid stress
Heat or light stress should be avoided especially during the first few weeks of life.
- Maintain healthy roots
Keep plant roots healthy and avoid over or underwatering because this can drown the roots or stress the plant.
Now you know about proper female marijuana plant identification, it’s time to put this into practice. Be patient, keen, and ready to identify females to help grow the top of the line marijuana feminized seeds.