Getting clones of female marijuana plants or buying feminized seeds online from a seed bank are other ways you can ensure that all your marijuana plants are female.
Take a clone from the unverified marijuana plant
Check out my marijuana grow light guide for more info about picking out the right grow lights for your situation!
Flowering – Indoor cannabis plants on this light schedule will start growing flowers (buds)
A vigilant grower can carefully watch their plants and remove males when they develop the first signs of pollen sacs.
When growing marijuana outdoors, a grower doesn’t need to do anything to induce flowering because the sun will take care of things on its own. All you need to do is make sure your plant isn’t directly under a street light or other light source, so that the plant receives complete darkness at night.
Cannabis plants go through two stages of life, the “vegetative” stage and the “flowering stage.”
In contrast, the very early female cannabis pre-flowers are more ovate in shape: pear-like, but with a longer slender pointed tip. That is called her calyx. Extending from the tip of the calyx may be a pair of pistils, or white hair-like protrusions. However, please note that not every female cannabis plant in pre-flower produces pistils.
However, the culled males don’t need to go to waste! One option is to chop up the male plant and use it to mulch other plants – much like we do with borage, fava bean greens, yarrow, and comfrey. You could also juice the leaves, which are full of nutrients. Heck, you could even steep the plant material in water to create a natural fertilizer as we do with stinging nettle. Finally, I’m sure your compost pile will welcome the male plant with open arms. Or would that be… with open worms?
Until we can tell the sex for sure, we continue to treat the plants equally. We start our seeds in small 4-inch nursery pots. About two weeks after germination, we pot the seedlings up into an approximately two-gallon (trade size) “sexing pot” like these BPA-free nursery pots. This enables everyone to continue to grow in a happy and healthy manner for several more weeks*. Then, once we can surely tell the difference between the male and female cannabis plants, only the ladies move into their forever home – 15 to 25 gallon grow bags full of recycled organic living soil. To learn more about our soil recipe and how we maintain it, see this article.
Other Common Differences Between Male and Female Cannabis Plants
Okay, back to sexing cannabis.
If you are still unsure of the sex of your cannabis plant, wait to make any drastic decisions! Yet if you’re fairly certain, consider some of these other common differences between male and female plants. Perhaps it will help you more confidently make a decision.
Our goal here today is to learn how to tell the difference between male and female cannabis plants early on, so you can get the males away from the females as soon as possible! It will help protect your lady plants – but also spare you the wasted time, resources, and energy of tending to male plants that you don’t intend to keep.
In particular, I want to show you how we determine the sex of our cannabis plants while they are still quite young. It gets significantly more obvious as the plants begin to mature and flower. On the other hand, it can be a bit more tricky to sex cannabis plants in the early pre-flower phase, but it is definitely possible! We’ll also talk a bit about why it is important to determine the sex of cannabis plants, the difference between regular and feminized seeds, how we treat our plants up until the time we know their sex, and what to do with unwanted male plants.
However, there is a significant difference between the sex of cannabis plants and that of humans. This is because a marijuana plant can also be hermaphroditic. This means that a single plant can have both male and female genitals (a pistil and stamens). We call this a hermaphrodite weed plant.
Male plants are in most cases not useful and therefore undesirable when growing weed indoors. This also applies to most growers when growing weed outdoors. As said before, they do not deliver beautiful full and smokable buds. So for a weed yield they are worthless.
Hermaphrodite weed plants
You understand that growers prefer female weed plants because they take care of the harvest. Male marijuana plants should be removed as soon as possible because they disrupt the flowering process of the female plants. When you buy feminized cannabis seeds or autoflowers, fortunately you have nothing to do with this.
If you buy regular cannabis seeds, there is a good chance that you will have to deal with them because the gender is not yet known.
When you want to grow cannabis plants it is good to understand the difference between male and female cannabis plants. Without going into too much detail, we explain how to recognize male and female marijuana plants and what the differences are. This way you can buy your regular seeds and/or feminized seeds in a well-considered way.