Growing marijuana is an art form. You’ll get better with experience but you need to learn about the basics before moving forward. If you do not, there is a risk that you’re going to mess something up along the way. For instance, you may end up mixing male plants with female plants and that will diminish your yield and potency. If you want to get the best results, you’ll need to find out how to tell the difference between the two and you need to do so as early as possible.
So, how can you tell the difference between male and female plants before the flowering stage? You’ll have to look closely but it shouldn’t be too harder after you’ve read this guide.
Know The Difference
First and foremost, you should understand the difference between male and female plants. This is one of the most important things to know since the plant’s gender will help determine what you’re going to get. If you’re dealing with male plants, you’re not going to get any bud. You may not want to throw male plants away since they can be a good source of seeds. Male plants grow seeds while female plants grow buds.
If you can’t tell the difference between the two, you need to learn how to do so immediately. Growing both genders together will create problems for you. The male plants will cause the female plants to grow seeds and this will take away from your buds. For the best results, you need to make sure that male and female plants are separated before the flowering stage.
To do that, you need to find out how to sex marijuana plants. When you can begin determining the sex depends on what type of strain you’re dealing with. However, there are several things that can help.
Know What To Look For
Again, you have to understand that some plants are going to mature much quicker than others. So, you may not be able to determine the sex until the plant has entered the flowering stage. Sometimes, you will be able to spot the difference well before the flowering stage though. You have to look at the plant’s sex organ. If you’re growing a female plant, you will notice small white hairs in this area. Male plants will have small balls instead.
Look for the small pistils so you can tell that you have female plants. Also, you need to remember that female plants are not going to have flower petals. Instead, females are going to produce two stigmas that will change in color. They may be white, pink, or lavender. These stigmas are grown in hopes of collecting the pollen released by the male plant.
Then, it will transport the pollen internally to the ovaries so the egg can be pollinated. It is in your best interest to prevent this from happening unless you’re trying to collect seeds.
May Not Be Possible
It is believed that male cannabis plants grow faster than females when planted at the same time. With that said, determining the sex of your plants may be possible in females before males. Female plants generate what are known as “pre-flowers”, which are located at branch junctions and stems. In most cases, the pre-flowers will begin forming at the fourth or fifth branch from the base up.
To determine if your cannabis plant is a female before flowering, it will need to have pre-flowers. These unique features are visible with the naked eye and can be distinguished by tiny hairs – pistils, which are white in color.
Pistils do not appear until right before the flowering stage. At this time, some growers will begin to separate their females from the males to prevent pollination. It is crucial to examine your cannabis plants thoroughly, starting at the base. It is recommended to complete the examination on watering days but you can set your own schedule to ensure the highest level of convenience.
Some features of the cannabis plants can be difficult to see with the naked eye. That is especially true before flowering. To examine the tiny features, utilize magnification. A magnifying glass is going to be your best option because it will not risk harm to the delicate areas of your plant.
Don’t Forget Hermaphrodites
In most cases, you’re going to be dealing with male or female plants. Nevertheless, there is always a slim chance that your plants are going to turn hermaphroditic. If this happens, your female plants will develop male sex organs or the male will grow female pistils. If you have to be very careful with hermaphrodites since they’re going to pollinate your female plants. If you notice any of these in your grow tent, you’ll want to get rid of them immediately.
You can think about keeping these plants if you want to stock up on seeds though. If your female plants begin producing seeds, that will degrade your yield and potency. This can be caused by an array of problems including stress, inappropriate light cycles, genetic predisposition, and chemical treatments.
Manipulate The Light Cycle
If you want to be positive that you have female plants before the flowering cycle, you should try manipulating the light. All you have to do is change your light cycle to 12 hours on and 12 hours off for approximately a week. This will convince the plant that they’ve entered the flowering stage. Be sure to return the light cycle back to 18 on and 6 off. Once you’ve done this, you should be able to determine the sex without any issues. However, you need to be cautious when dealing with Indica-dominant plants.
There is a chance that the plant may not want to revert back to the vegetative state and it may continue into full bloom.
Using A Blue Light
Using a blue light is one way to determine sex much easier. You don’t have to change the light cycle. Instead, you’ll want to use a blue LED or blue fluorescent lights. Remember to keep the 18 on and 6 off cycle. This will force the plant to show its sex while remaining in the vegetative state. Once you’ve determined the sex, you will be able to switch back to a full-spectrum light. The only downside is that you’ll end spending more since you’ll have to buy a blue light.