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how to select cannabis seeds

Cannabis Seeds: Choosing the Right Product

Thanks to numerous cannabis breeders, the home grower now has a plethora of strains from which to choose. There are a handful of fundamental breeding strains (Northern Lights, Haze, OG Kush, Skunk #1 and Chemdawg) that are part of the parental cross of most modern strains. Before choosing seeds to purchase, growers should do some research on the strains that they are interested in to learn about the conditions and environmental controls required for the plant. Some strains are better suited to indoor grows (like a short, squat indica), and some are more suited to an outdoor garden (like the tall, lanky sativa). Websites like Leafly and Seedfinder can help you select strains that will perform best in your space.

Once you’ve decided on a couple of strains, the next choice is whether to buy regular or feminized seeds. Feminized seeds have been bred to have no male chromosomes, and will produce only female plants. This can be great for growers looking to reproduce their plants with vegetative propagation (ie, taking cuttings). However, feminized seeds have a higher likelihood of producing hermaphroditic plants, or plants with both male and female flowers that can be full of seeds. This lowers the value of the plant when you are growing strictly for consumption. Some growers choose to buy regular seeds and keep some of the males to create their own strain crosses, and replant the seeds collected from the pollinated females.

Sourcing your seeds is the next step. If you live in a state that sells seeds through its medical or recreational dispensaries, that’s a great place to pick them up. Some states also allow patients and caregivers to sell or donate seeds to each other. Another option is to purchase your seeds from online seedbanks. The laws around purchasing seeds in the US aren’t super straightforward. Purchasing seeds by mail domestically is strictly illegal; however, there are several large reputable companies that ship to the US from overseas with a good level of success. Your seeds are at risk of being seized by customs officials who will just throw them away and send you a letter stating that you violated customs laws. Should this happen, some seedbanks are kind enough to send you a replacement. Some popular online sites are Attitude Seedbank and BC Bud Depot, shipping from the UK and Canada. Possessing seeds is still illegal under federal law, and not all states with medical or recreational legislation allow home cultivation, so deciding to take this step can certainly incur risk.

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Once you’ve purchased your seeds, the last step before planting is examining your seeds. Make sure they are dark brown in color; some may have stripes or splotches of tan or black. Pale or green colored seeds are likely not viable. Check the size of your seeds. Indicas will be a bit larger with some dark stripes, and sativas will be somewhat smaller in size and uniformly colored. Lastly, your seeds should have a hard outer shell; seeds that are soft or damaged aren’t likely to germinate or be hardy if they do. Growing from seed comes with its challenges, but can also be extremely rewarding.

Selecting a feminised cannabis mother plant

This post will be interesting for both indoor and outdoor growers, although if we want to search for phenotypes and keep mother plants – clone mothers – we’ll need an indoor growing space.

We’ll see how to keep a copy of the different phenotypes, how to select them and how to grow them again anytime we want, getting the same exact product than in previous crops, exactly the same as the mother plant.

The selection process can be performed with either feminised or regular seeds; as long as they are photoperiod strains, we’ll have no problems in keeping them growing under the correct light schedule. Thus, we can not clone autoflowering plants. Female Viagra online

You’ll also see, step by step, how to make cannabis cuttings. As happens with any selection, it ended in a splendid cannabis tasting session.

With the results of the tasting at hand, it is much easier choosing the best phenotype, so we’ll finally have our mother plant. All the pictures from this post were taken during a selection of SuperJuani seeds.

A selected SuperJuani cannabis plant

Why should I select a mother plant?

Any grower with a bit of experience on his/her back asks this question sometime. And the answer is very simple: selecting a mother plant allows you to have uniform crops of the genetics that really meets your demands.

Normally, growers follow this criteria to select their mother plants:

  1. Yield
  2. Early flowering
  3. Smell and taste
  4. Effect
  5. Structure
  6. Ease of growth
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Cannabis cuttings growing uniformly

Too often, a grower realizes that a plant which is already flowering (or even harvested) is something special and unique. To solve this problem, every time we grow seeds we should take at least one cutting of each plant, so we duplicate the phenotypes and keep them until we’ve tasted all the plants and decided if any of them is worth keeping. In this way, all cuttings taken from a plant will be exact copies of the that plant, with the same properties and features. Caverta

Logically, all this implies using indoor growing spaces, since we need a constant 18/6 photoperiod to root cuttings and keep plants in the growth stage indefinitely.

It should be noted that the first mother plant can be an outdoor plant (as long as it is growing, rooting cuttings of plants that are flowering is much harder).

A selected cannabis mother plant

Can I make a selection of feminised cannabis seeds?

Of course you can. Years ago, many people wrongly claimed that selections should be made of only regular strains. A whole another story is using these type of seeds for breeding, which is much more complicated.

As we say, we can use either regular or feminised seeds for making our own selections and keeping mother plants for as much time as we want.

What is absolutely impossible nowadays is keeping a mother plant from automatic cannabis strains. These plants do not depend on the photoperiod to bloom, so keeping plants in the growth stage is impossible even when under a 18/6 photoperiod.

Cannabis seeds for selection

How to select a cannabis mother plant?

First of all, we should get quality marijuana seeds and grow them. We can do it indoors or outdoors. Once the plants have grown enough, take 1-2 cuttings of each plant (phenotype). Carefully label each clone mother and the cuttings you took from each of them with the same name, so you always know who is who. Once the cuttings are rooted we can start flowering our mother plants (if necessary, you could also keep the mother plants and flower the clones in smaller pots).

For this post we used two 1,2 x 1,2m grow tents with 25 SuperJuani seeds. We grew the plants until they had developed nice side branches from which we could take the cuttings.

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SuperJuani cannabis plant

If the side branches of your plants are not long enough when the bloom begins, you can take cuttings during the first days of this period, when plants often stretch notably.

Using lots of plants will make the selection process more problematic, since we’ll have a large number of plants to monitor and lots of clones to care for. As plants flower, we should write down the most desirable traits of each phenotype and observe the development of the plants.

Finally, once the plants have been harvested and dried, we can taste each phenotype and decide which will be our mother plant for following crops, breeding projects, etc.

Marijuana cloning

Every grower has his/her own tips regarding cannabis cloning. We can use different substrates such as rockwool, coco coir, soil, peat moss, even hydro/aeroponic systems.

What really matters here is labeling, especially when making selections. There is nothing worst than having a superb plant and not knowing which clones were taken from that plant. If that happens, we can repeat the process with all clones and identify our champion, but it will take another crop to figure out.

Labeling our plants is essential

A thorough selection process requires lots of labels

Proper cleaning and tidying are imperative when rooting clones.

Once the cuttings are ready, spray them with water.

Cuttings need to be hydrated

Place your cuttings inside an indoor growing space.

Grow tent for propagating clones

Wheter in grow tents or small plastic propagators, fluorescent tubes are enough to root cuttings.

Plastic propagators with clones

When the cuttings have rooted, it’s time to transplant them into small pots, so we can keep them relatively small before we harvest the mother plants and decide which one will be the “chosen one”.

Cuttings being kept awaiting for the selection

In this selection of SuperJuani, the Philosopher Seeds team was looking for a spicy plant, which actually was the most representative phenotype of the crop.

We did it! Here’s our baby.

A very spicy SuperJuani phenotype

We hope you enjoyed the post, if you have any comments or doubts please leave them here.