The female cannabis plant needs to be pollinated if you want it to produce seeds. When it’s pollinated it also spends a lot less energy on producing quality buds. But if you don’t’ want it to produce seeds then you don’t want it to be pollinated, and you need to prevent it. You need to recognize the signs of pollination early, so you don’t waste time into a poor harvest.
You need to keep your male plants away from your female plants because pollination from males causes the females to develop seeds. And why is that a problem? Because than female plants produce more seeds, and they are not producing fine-quality buds. But you can avoid everything with some techniques that you can learn.
And why are the seeds a problem? Because no one wants to smoke seedy weed. But when you learn how male plants look and when you learn when they release pollen, you can remove them, and place them away from the female plants.
How can you tell that a female plant has been pollinated?
One of the early signs that the plant is pollinated is that her bracts are larger. And when the plant is not pollinated they are small, leaf-like structures that protect the female’s reproductive parts. You need to know what bracts are and what are calyxes, and not to confuse one with the other.
You can test it, by using a pair of tweezers, you grab a bract with tweezers, open it up, and if it has a seed inside, it is pollinated. Also, the color of the pistil hairs can indicate pollination, the white hairs become darker and they shrivel when the plant is pollinated.
How to avoid pollination?
You need to have a male plant, that produces pollen, and that plant can pollinate your female plant. When you spot a male plant, or an intersex plant, a plant that is female, but also produces pollen, you need to remove it. And this is important to do in the first three weeks of flowering. You don’t need to keep male plants if you are not a breeder, and you can get rid of them. But if you are a breeder, you can keep your male plants near your female plants if you want to pollinate them. But breeders also keep the plants away to avoid the accidental pollination. Grow them in separate tents, or if the plants are in a garden, keep them on two separate sides, as far away from each other.
How to know which one is the male plant?
You’ll need to wait until the pre-flowering stage. Female plants show their gender sings later than males. The female plants will show wispy white hairs on the location where they will grow their buds.
And the male plants won’t show their hairs, but they will develop little sacs of pollen, looking like little balls. Later those pollen sacs burst open and they can pollinate the female plants.
And what you can do when the female plants get pollinated?
If you spot the pollination early it can save you precious time. If you spot that a plant has been pollinated, and you don’t need it to be pollinated, get rid of it, alongside the male plant.
And how to avoid the whole process?
You can, of course, avoid the pollination. First and the easiest thing is to buy female seeds. Now you can buy from a variety of female seeds and you don’t need to worry and guess if the plant will be female or male. So if you buy good seeds they will produce quality smokable buds, and you won’t have to worry about anything.