The difference between male and female Cannabis (Marijuana) plants
Unless you buy your seeds from a known breeder of female plants (like us at MSNL) you simply cannot determine whether a plant is male or female in seed form. Only feminized seeds will guarantee female only weed. It’s not until a plant grows that you can then distinguish whether it’s female or male. Unfortunately, growing both marijuana sexes in the same room can be disastrous for the crop. The male can quickly pollinate all the females losing the bud properties of the female plant.
Why do pot growers remove male plants?
Only the female variants of cannabis plants contain a usable amount of THC which is why most growers are only interested in the female plants. Identifying male plants isn’t always straight forward and the risk to pollinating females can throw out an entire crop. Male plants grow pollen sacs which then pollinate the females. Once pollinated, the females use so much energy to produce their seeds that you won’t get the buds you’re looking for.
Starting with feminized seeds is the way to avoid problems with male plants. Hence the commonly named category of marijuana seeds.
Determining male or female Marijuana
The key to identifying the males from the females is the pollen sacks. Being able to identify the sacks or balls earlier enough gives you the best chance of removing them. However, you’ll need to watch them closely; they can grow in the space of just a few weeks and missing them can mean the existing female plants are likely to get pregnant!
There are other techniques you can use such as the one Grow Weed Easy have which are useful. This involves comparing plants and marking them so that the sexes can be identified at as early a stage as possible.
Grow-marijuana.com also provides some useful information stating that you can identify the sex of a plant before flowering starts between the fourth and sixth week of vegetative growth. Apparently it’s easiest to find out the sex during the second week of flowering when the organs are far easier to identify.
Finally, there’s a good Wikihow article that shows more visual ways to identify sex based on the physical characteristics. However, it’s important to keep in mind that this will greatly depend on the strain being grown.
According to Wikihow size is one way of telling between the sexes at an early stage with females growing much shorter than the males.
The Grow-Marijuana.com article also mentions to look out for white hairs growing on the plant which indicate a female. These are known as pistils used for capturing the pollen from the males. Once they capture this pollen, they change colour – a useful indication that any efforts made to identify them are too late.
There are also plenty of videos available on YouTube which help identify marijuana plants as male or female.
How Marijuana plants pollinate
Cannabis is naturally speaking a ‘wind pollinated’ plant meaning that they rely on the wind to transport the pollen from the pollen sacks on the males over to the females and their hairy pistils. Once these have captured that pollen they become fertilised and seed production kicks in. Not the most fun for of reproduction but this is how baby Marijuana is made. What results are small sacks on the females called “calyxes” in which the new seeds are being formed. Once ready, the calyxes will begin to open to reveal dark coloured seeds. These are then ready to be picked and re-planted to form a new cannabis plant.
How To Clone Your Cannabis Plant Like a Pro
Cloning plants is a fast and economic way to get the most desirable traits from a harvest.
by Macey W. – April 10, 2020
Cloning is a quick and simple way to make new cannabis plants and optimize their traits. The process involves making a copy of a plant by chopping off a section of it and allowing it to grow its own roots. It can then grow into a plant with nearly identical characteristics to the original.
Cloned marijuana will have the same genetic makeup as the original “parent” plant. This means your plant will also take on the same gender as its parent.
Benefits of cloning marijuana
Cloning plants is a fast and economic way to get the most desirable traits from a harvest. Growers can make several clones from a single plant which allows them to get the most out of their harvest with little effort.
Clones can be made at most points in a plant’s life, until a few weeks prior to harvest . One major advantage is that clones begin at the same stage in growth as their parent plant. You don’t have to wait for growth in the same way you would with a seed-grown plant, instead, clones take off from where they started as part of the parent plant.
Rather than germinating seeds and growing plants from the beginning stages, growers can turn to clones for their best plants. The strongest plants with the best traits can be cloned to create a large selection of genetically-preferred plants.
With so many benefits to cloning, why do growers do anything other than cloning their best plants? Well, not every situation would benefit from cloning plants. If you want a diverse selection of strains in a small harvest, seeds would make more sense because the plants will have different traits.
Some also argue that cloning plants will cause them to lose potency over time due to clonal degradation . That’s an argument for another day, though.
How to Clone Weed
You don’t have to be a master grower to clone cannabis plants, but some expertise is required in order to get an ideal parent plant. If you’re particularly satisfied with a specific plant you’ve grown, it may be a good candidate for cloning.
- A solid mother plant (female)
- Scissors or plant clippers for cutting your clone
- Starter cubes
- Cloning gels/Rooting hormones
Choose a healthy, hardy, and strong plant to replicate. If you’re growing weed indoors , it’s best to grow your clone indoors as well. If you’re growing outdoors, the clone should be grown outside.
Starter cubes are used to maximize root growth. They’re fortified with micronutrients to encourage healthy growth and are an important part of cloning marijuana.
Rooting hormones are meant to expedite root growth, as well. They’re typically available as gel or powder and should be used according to their specific instructions.
- Once you’re sure you’ve got the perfect mother plant, clean off your scissors or clippers and prepare to chop.
- Take your cut. Choose a part of the plant with new growths branching out. Cut a piece off below the new growth at a 45-degree angle. The new clipping should be anywhere between 4-8 inches, as a general rule.
- Read the instructions on your rooting hormones to see how/where you should apply the gel or powder. Some growers have success growing without any assistance from rooting hormones, but using it will help establish roots faster.
- Apply the rooting hormone and then place the clipping into your starter cube. Be sure to read the starter cube directions to see if you need to make any preparations beforehand.
- Clones should be ready to transplant in about two weeks. It may take longer, though. You’ll know it’s time when the roots start protruding from the starter cubes.
How to Select a Mother Plant
You’ll need to choose what plant you want the “mother” to be. Select a healthy female in its vegetative state. The plant you clone from should be at least 8 weeks old and will need a little prep work before clones are taken.
To prepare your plants for cloning make sure that you stop giving your plant nutrients for a few days before you plan on cloning it. This helps remove some of the nitrogen in the leaves of your plants which can significantly increase the chance of your cuttings taking root. Too much nitrogen will make your plants think they need to continue with vegetative growth rather than grow new roots.
How to Clone Weed in Rockwool
Using rockwool for clones is one of the most popular methods. It’s quick and easy and typically offers very favorable results. First, soak your rockwool cube in water with a pH balance of 5.5 for about 2 hours.
Then, take your healthy cutting and trim most of the leaves off, save for the few at the top. Next, dip the bottom of your cutting in your cloning gel or powder and insert the stem into the rockwool cube.
You’ll want to place your cut clones under at least 18 hours of light a day. A CFL bulb will work fine for giving cutting the light they need to begin to root.
For best results, clones in rockwool should be kept at a temperature between 72-75 degrees Fahrenheit (22-24 degrees Celsius). Humidity level should be over 90%. Using this method should ensure roots begin to sprout in 7-12 days.
How to Clone Weed in Water
Cloning weed in water is possibly the simplest method of cloning there is. You can literally take your cutting (making sure it was cut at a 45-degree angle), remove all the mature leaves, and stick the stalk in a cup of tap water. Keep the cutting in indirect light and you should see roots begin to develop in 2-3 weeks.
Adding cloning gel or root hormones can significantly increase your chances of root development in water. However, this isn’t necessarily required. Keeping water fresh (change it daily) and making sure its pH balanced at 5.5 can also increase your success in cloning weed in water.
How to Clone Weed in Soil
Rooting your clones in soil is another very simple cloning technique. Simply take your cutting from your mother plant at that 45-degree angle and remove any mature leaves that remain on the stalk. Dip the stalk in water and then dip it into your cloning gel or powder.
Immediately stick the stalk into soil that has been saturated with water. If you’re using soil with nutrients already added to it, you’ll want to flush it to ensure your cuttings aren’t getting too many nutrients (which could hinder root development). Roots should begin to sprout in around 2 weeks.
Final Thoughts on How to Clone Weed
A great time to capture clones is just before you start to flower the mother plant. Once cloned, they can stay in the vegetating state for a long time.
Be sure to keep your new plants moist by frequently misting them. Keep an eye out for mold, though.
If you’re new to the cloning world, patience is going to be key. It’s a good idea to make multiple clones because they may not all survive if the conditions are not perfect. Be sure to be gentle and patient as you learn. Check out our tips for cloning cannabis for more information to master the cloning process.