Identifying Male Cannabis Plants, And The Importance of Removal
This article won’t be as relevant for autoflower growers as photoperiod growers, but is still a topic that every grower should understand before planting their first crop. The importance of identifying male cannabis plants cannot be overstated. It is vital that you learn what to look for in your plants when sexing, understanding why male cannabis has no place in the garden and why you can quickly become the enemy of your neighbours if you’re growing boys.
Male Autoflower Plants – An Unlikely Sighting
As touched on above, the chances of dealing with male plants in your autoflower grows is extremely low. Practically all autoflower seeds on the market are feminized, so your highest chance of coming across some ‘balls’ on your autoflower, is when your plant is stressed and hermies on itself. Otherwise, the problem of males in the garden is typically one dealt with by photoperiod growers, typically growing bag seeds.
How Your Negligence Isn’t Just Your Problem
You may think to yourself, “It’s no big deal if some males develop, it’s one of my first grows and I don’t mind some pollinated bud.” The truth however, is that male cannabis plants can fertilize females for kilometers and your male plant could be costing surrounding growers thousands of rands worth of yield. This means that you’ll be screwing up the gardens of both auto growers and photo growers alike.
For this reason, you need to ensure that you check regularly for male plants and when they are found, that you remove of them as quick as possible. If you’re unsure, keep reading so that you can identify and subsequently remove male threats from the neighbourhood.
The Visual Difference Between Pistils and Pollen Sacks
Telling the difference between a male and a female cannabis plant is surprisingly easy to do, and there should be no excuse for one letting a male reach maturity without detecting it along the way. In most cases, the pollen sacks take a few days or even weeks to mature, more than enough time to make a call and get rid of the plant.
When looking to differentiate male and female cannabis, the female plants will display what is known as a pistil, a thin white hair which will extend from the same location as the pollen sacks. Male plants will grow what looks like small balls in these node corners where the female has her pistils.
Initial growth may easily be confused with new leaf growth, but should then be checked on daily if unsure, in order to prevent any problems should it be the development of pollen sacks.
You will have to wait until about week 4 to week 6 before your plant begins to show its gender through pre-flowering. So don’t expect to be sexing your plants within the first couple weeks of growth.