Tom’s facts on sexing marijuana and how to do it easily !
- Introduction – Marijuana Sexing ?
- Sexing Seeds ?
- Female and Regular Seeds !
- Sex Your Plants Early !
- How Early Can You Sex A Plant ?
- What Are Pre-Flowers ?
- Female Flowers !
- Male Flowers !
- Pictures of Male Pre-flowers !
- Pictures of Female Pre- Flowers !
- Picture of a Hermaphrodite !
- Conclusion – Sexing Easier Than You Thought !
If you are growing organic marijuana from seed, you will need to determine the sex of your plants. If you weren’t aware before, I am now telling you, marijuana plants can be male, female and possibly hermaphroditic. A hermaphrodite is a plant that shows signs of being both a male and a female. They will produce both male and female flowers, something we do not want in our grow. Unless you are breeding for seeds you do not want any male marijuana plants either. Male marijuana plants do produce flowers but only to produce pollen for fertilizing the female marijuana plant. Male plants produce no THC , and are only used for pollinators when you want to produce seed. Sexing marijuana and how to accomplish it easily I discuss below.
Sexing Seeds ? No one can sex a seed ! Seeds do not show their gender !
Female Seeds and Regular Seeds ! Even though you can not sex a seed, you are able to buy feminized seeds. Feminized seeds are usually guaranteed to germinate 99% female plants. The other 1% will most likely be a hermaphrodite. Even with feminized seed it is important to determinate the plants true sex as early as possible. With regular marijuana seed, also known as bagged seed, will produce on the average 50% males and 50% females. If you buy 10 seeds, 5 will produce male plants and 5 will produce females. That is the average, and I have found this to be true. This is why we have to sex our marijuana plants.
Sex Your Plants As Early As Possible ! You will want to sex your marijuana plants as soon as possible so you are not wasting your time or resources on unwanted male plants. If you do want some male plants you will want to separate them from your female plants as soon as possible and put them in the special place you have for them. Although they won’t usually produce pollen untill you put them into flower, it remains a good practice to separate them as early as you can. I have seen male marijuana plants flower and produce pollen while receiving 18 hours of light.
How Early Can A Plants Sex Be Determined ? A plants sex can usually be determined
within 4 to 6 weeks of the seed sprouting. Many growers don’t realize this and I don’t know why. These growers will have you take a clone, keeping track of the clone and what plant it came from. Then they will tell you to either flower the plant you took the clone from to see its’ gender or to root the clone and after rooting the clone, flower that clone to see its’ gender. This takes a lot of time. Time wasted I say. There is no need to go through all of that trouble of taking clones and flowering to see the plants’ gender. If the plant was large enough to clone then it was old enough to determine its sex. Most marijuana plants from seed will show their sex clearly by the time they are 10 to 12 inches tall. I have only grown one variety from seed where I could not sex the plant at that height. The other 85 varieties I have grown from seed showed their sex by the time they were 12 inches tall.
Sprout the Seed ! After the seed has sprouted and rooted well, plant the seedling in a 6
inch pot with extra drainage. I use Roots Organic Soil with 50% more perlite added for my 6 inch potted marijuana plants. The plants grow fast in this mix and should show their sex in about 4 to 6 weeks time when they are about 10 to 12 inches tall. This is when the plants will show what folks refer to as pre-flowers. These are real flowers however on the female marijuana plant it is just one flower. The buds we pick at harvest are a cluster of flowers containing a hundred or so individual flowers. The males at this point if left too long will produce a small cluster of pollen producing flowers.
Pre-Flowers ! The pre-flowers are the first flowers and are produced, even with 24 hours of light on the plants. The pre-flowers are a single flower appearing at the base of each branch, at the point where it attaches to the main stem. There are two single flowers on either side of the branches base at the attachment point. These may be male or female flowers. The female flowers are the easiest to see and recognise. The female flower appears as a green spath with two white hairs (pistols) emerging from the top it. A male flower appears as a very small ball on a short stem or pedestal. It may also appear as a claw on a short stem or not on a stem.
Female Flowers ! The scientific term for a female flowers is a “pistillate flower”. A
pistillate flower is one that contains the female reproductive parts, that is the pistils, but no male parts. Each pistil consists of an ovary from which rises a tall, narrow tube, called the style. At the top of the style is the stigma, which receives the pollen. The ovary contains one or more ovules, which develop into seeds after pollination and fertilization. A pistillate flower needs pollen from a male flower (staminate flower) to create seed.
Female Pre – Flowers ! The female pre-flowers can be very hard to see with the untrained
eye. I suggest using a magnifying glass of 10x power or more as these pre-flowers can be very tiny. Start looking for pre-flowers at about the 4th to 6th node (where branches come out of the stem). The female pre-flower does not usually appear on every branch at this early stage. This pre-flower also may not show any stigmas (pistils)(white hairs)emerging from the top of it. I never consider a plant a female unless I see those two white hairs coming out the top of the green spathe. These white hairs will always eventually emerge if it is a female flower(plant). If I don’t see these white hairs I always assume the plant must be a male. All plants will eventually show their sex !
Male Flowers ! The scientific term for a male flower is a “staminate flower”. Staminate flowers are those that contain only male reproductive parts, the stamen, which
consists of the anther and filament. The stamen produces pollen, which must fertilize the female flower (pistillate flower) to enable it to produce seeds and create the next generation.
Male Pre-Flowers ! The male pre-flower is even
smaller than the female pre-flower. These are very hard to see even with a trained eye as they are very tiny. The male pre-flower has two different looks. Sometimes it appears as a balled claw. Other times it appears as a little ball on a pedestal or on a small stem. The only sure way to tell if it is a male is if it never produces the two white hairs coming out of its top.
How can I tell that the plant above is a clone and not a plant from seed ? It’s actually very simple. The plant above has only one branch that’s visible. If this plant was grown from a seed we would see two branches growing on either side of the stem directly across from one another. All plants from seed grow symmetrically and all clones grow asymmetrically. All varieties of marijuana grown from seed are bilaterally symmetrical. Bilaterally symmetrical plants are those in which the left and the right sides of a sagittal plane are mirror images. Marijuana plants from seed will always grow two branches together, with the branches directly opposite of each other from the main stem. Cloned plants very rarely grow a branch directly across from another, so they are asymmetrical. This always holds true.
Summery ! Growing organic marijuana from seed, will require you to determine the plants sex. As you can see sexing marijuana and how to go about it is very easy, once you are aware of what to look for. I implore you to sex all of your marijuana plants grown from seed. Yes, that includes plants growing from feminized seed. Remember 1% of all feminized seeds will produce a hermaphrodite marijuana plant. Although that 1% is small, it’s large enough to pollinate and seed an entire warehouse of plants. Just keep in mind, begin looking for the plants sex when it is between 4 and 6 weeks old and, or when it has grown to about 10 to 12 inches tall. Begin looking for the tell-tale signs of the plants sex at the fourth to sixth node, counting from the bottom of the plant. Do not count the cotyledon leaves as a node. Cotyledon leaves are the very first two leaves produced above the soil by a seed. These first two leaves a seed grows are rounded and do not resemble a marijuana leaf at all. These cotyledon leaves are not true leaves and are there to feed the new seedling until the roots are fully developed and the first set of true leaves emerges. Anybody can sex marijuana plants at this 4 to 6 week stage, if you have a trained eye and a good magnifying glass. Now that you know what to look for, go out and sex your plants. Happy sexing ! Go to Page : Vegetating Marijuana !
Author, Tom D.