Male plants won’t show hairs at these nodes, but will develop little sacs of pollen. These pollen sacs will look like little balls. These balls can appear on their own or in clusters, depending how far into the pre-flowering stage the plant is. At some later stage of growth, the pollen sacs will burst open, spilling the pollen and possibly pollinating your females.
Among the early signs that your female has been pollinated is that her bracts become larger. Bracts are small, leaf-like structures that protect the female’s reproductive parts. These are the sites from which the flowering buds appear. Do not confuse the bracts with calyxes.
The typical cannabis grower normally doesn’t have a reason to keep males, and will want to get rid of them as soon as they are spotted. Cannabis breeders, on the other hand, may want to keep males along with their crop of female plants. In such cases, the breeder will normally separate the sexes to avoid any accidental pollination. They may grow females in one tent and males in another. When grown outdoors, such as in a garden, the males are often kept in the most remote corner of their growing area, as far from the females as possible. Even then, because of the wind carrying around the pollen, there is always some risk of accidental pollination.
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR FEMALES GET POLLINATED?
A good test to see whether the bracts have swollen is to take a pair of tweezers, grab one bract, and open it up. If there is a seed inside, you have a pollinated plant.
Spotting male cannabis plants and pollinated females early can save you from investing further time and effort into an entire growing season that will be for naught. Most of the time, the best course of action is to get rid of the males along with your pollinated ladies and just start a new grow.
Pollination requires the presence of males or intersex (hermaphrodite) plants, which are females that will also produce pollen. The first thing you want to do to keep the risk of pollination low is to remove as many males or “hermies” as as you can. Especially during the first three weeks of flowering, it’s important to frequently check for possible male specimens in your garden.
Obviously, no one wants to smoke seedy weed. When you grow cannabis and learn how to identify male plants and signs of pollination, you can remove these plants to save your remaining females. Likewise, recognising a pollinated female early allows you to start again before it’s too late, rather than finishing a grow that will only result in a poor-quality harvest.
In my opinion, the best way to breed is to start out working with quality genetics. Then you can enjoy the experimental nature of the whole thing. Breeding is an exercise in imagination. Start off with something you like and then think about what would make the plant better to grow or smoke.
Here you can see that a male flower has formed on a female plant. The plant was flowered for an additional 10 days to 2
Breeding with NYC Diesel
This indica variety has a tart cherry flavor arid a powerful cerebral high. This plant looks quite robust with a week or two left to go before it will be ready to harvest.
When different varieties are crossed, the resulting plants are hybrids; that is, they are a genetic mix of the two parents or PI plants. This cross is the F1 generation. When grown out, the Fl’s have only subtle variations. Significant variety in this generation probably means that the parents were not completely stabilized strains. The F1 generation is like a big family of siblings. They are similar but none are precisely the same. They will exhibit slightly different combinations of their parents’ characteristics, but will still be more alike than they are different.
It takes many harvests before you really get to know a type of weed. Just like getting to know human friends, it takes time. Some strains prefer a higher pH, some a lower one. Some like a lot of food some like much less. There is quite a lot of variety in marijuana genetics, and you cant treat every plant the same way.