For any grower, knowing the sex of your marijuana plants is extremely important. But what does each sex mean? And how do you tell whether you have a male or female plant? With these 5 tips, figuring out the sex of your plant is easy and from there, you can grow the best plants and get the most buds possible.
Female Plants vs. Male Plants
It’s essential to understand that only the female plant will grow flowers, which will turn into buds. Male plants are only good for fertilizing female plants, which will only turn flowering female buds into seeds, something most growers aren’t interested in.
Marijuana plants have two different life stages – vegetative and flowering. During the vegetative stage, the plant is trying to grow as big and tall as possible. After six weeks of being in the vegetative stage, some plants (but certainly not all) will begin to pre-flower and indicate the sex. Some plants take longer than others to start showing signs of gender so if you don’t see it right away, don’t worry. Once the flowering stage has begun, the plant will start to grow outward instead of up and will start growing flowers that will help you determine the gender.
Signs of Sex
All flowers, male or female, will begin to form where the stem of the plant connects to individual branches. So what do male flowers look like vs. female flowers?
Female plants will start to show pistils of white wispy hair. A small bud (that will turn into a much larger bud) may also be present at this time. If the bud is not present but the white hairs are, the plant is female and the bud will appear very shortly.
When male plants start to flower, a ball will appear within the node, or on the branch. As time passes, more balls will begin to appear and they’ll start to form like clusters of grapes. Once the sacs are completely mature and full, they will burst open, spreading their pollen and fertilizing any female plants nearby.
What to do with Male Marijuana Plants
Many growers simply discard any plants the second they start to show signs of male sex organs. Of course, should you find a male and female that combine their DNA to make nice plants, a male plant can be kept, just make sure it’s kept away from the females so all the buds don’t turn to seed.
What are Feminized Seeds?
Feminized seeds are seeds that are entirely female. If you don’t buy feminized seeds, half of the seeds you purchase will be male and will need to be thrown away. With feminized seeds, not only will you be able to grow more plants, you won’t need to worry about looking for signs of sex, because you’ll know that all your plants are female.