A couple big drawbacks, though: Autoflower strains are known for being less potent. Also, because they are small in stature, they usually don’t produce big yields.
Check out Johanna’s full video series on how to grow weed on Leafly’s YouTube .
As we’ve mentioned, cannabis is a dioecious plant, meaning male and female reproductive organs appear on different plants.
Germinating cannabis seeds doesn’t always go as planned. Some seeds will be duds. Others will be slow and take longer to sprout. But some will pop quickly and grow rapidly.
Many marijuana growers start autoflowers early in the season, and at a different time than a regular crop, so keep the season and climate in mind when growing and harvesting—your plants still need warmth to grow, and rain can give them bud rot. Consider growing in a greenhouse to protect them.
This is not the result of genetic or stress-induced hermaphroditism. They are genuine XX chromosome female bananas. With all the genetic information from the female and no Y chromosome, using rodelized pollen creates female-only seeds, although as with colloidal silver, an occasional male may appear.
Colloidal silver is by far the easiest to source or make. It is non-toxic, non-caustic, and can be bought from a pharmacy or easily online. The other solutions can be dangerous, difficult to get a hold of, and expensive—except gibberellic acid, which can be found in nurseries, but is not as effective as colloidal silver. But if you want to watch some freaky plant growth just for the fun of it, give gibberellic acid a try. It is a growth stimulant and makes plants stretch and stretch.
Plants bred using feminization are homozygous. This can have two effects that can’t be assessed until the seeds are grown. Homozygosity will increase the dominant or recessive traits of the parent in the progeny, so features you don’t want and do want can be amplified. Genetics is a weird, weird thing.
HARVESTING POLLEN AND POLLINATION
Growing cannabis is all about resinous flowers, trichomes, and rich cannabinoid profiles. These splendid characteristics can only be found on the female flowers. Having gardens full of robust, un-pollinated sinsemilla females means jars full of mind and body-friendly, crusty nuggets.
When sexing begins, male pollen sacs will develop instead of female calyxes and pistils. Male plants mature much faster than females, and viable pollen can be expected within 3–4 weeks once the plant has been sexed. Some growers will spray until the plant shows sexual growth, just to be sure the method has worked. Make sure these plants are well-isolated from any flowering females. A burst pod can release millions of pollen spores, and it only takes one spore per hair to create a seed.
There are a number of harvesting methods employed to catch pollen.
Once the plants have been sprayed with colloidal silver and the pollen is collected, they are write-offs—86 them and don’t smoke them. Giving them a thorough rinse will not work. The colloidal silver is a systemic treatment absorbed into the plant through the foliage and not a topical application. Be safe and bin them.
Whenever storing your pollen, make sure you minimize the chances of any moisture entering the container or bag. A good way to do this is to store your pollen bag inside 1 or 2 other bags (also known as double or triple bagging).
Alternatively, you can try pollinating your female plants using a more “natural alternative.” Simply place your male plant in the same room as a female and give it a few good shakes once or twice a day for 2-3 days. This will help release pollen into the air and onto the bud sites of the female.
Collecting pollen is relatively simple. You’ll know your male plants are ready when their pollen sacks look full or when you find small patches of pollen on nearby leafs.
HOW TO STORE CANNABIS POLLEN
Pollen is used to fertilize female cannabis plants and create seeds. In the wild, cannabis pollen is transported from male plants to females via the wind. However, in a manmade grow op growers will collect the pollen from males manually and then apply it to the females when they’ve started developing flowers.
When it comes to storing cannabis pollen, moisture is your worst enemy; if your pollen gets wet it is literally useless.
Pollinated buds look quite different to regular sinsemilla. They usually don’t have as many rich trichomes and don’t form into large colas. Instead, they’re usually smaller and a lot more bulbous.
There are a few simple ways to collect the pollen from your male plants: