The plants that you are growing indoors are still living things, meaning you will have to understand how to sex them and what these different sexes mean. Out of all the things that you can keep an eye on with your plants, this is the single most important. Even if you properly water and provide nutrients to your plants, if you end up with a lot of male plants you aren’t going to have a very successful harvest.
Male marijuana plants start flowering up to four weeks before the females do. These are typically recognized by the fact that they produce very few flowers and grow straight up, with the flowers at the top. Preflowers will appear at the tips of the branches and main stem, which are green and develop in small clusters. The main parts of the male flowers have the five petal shaped growths that surround the sex organs, resembling bananas in a way. These will open up if the plants continue growing, revealing a stamen that produces pollen to reproduce with female plants.
The best way to recognize them is to look at the pre flowers during the early stages. If the pre flowers are growing on a tiny stem or stalk, that is a good sign that it is a male. Growths on the node are a different story.
Females, in the world of marijuana growing, are the holy grail. This is what you are after, since they are the plants that have the most THC. That is why it is so important that you identify them as soon as possible. As females start to develop, they will start to produce sacks. These sacks typically appear later than males, but over time you will see two feather-like stigmas coming from the sack that are usually white or cream colored. Look for these on the nodes of your plant, which are where the branches meet the stalk of the plant. This is what is meant to trap pollen once it has been produced by the male plants, but you are looking to stop that from happening. If it does get pollinated, it will stop focusing on growing flowers and work to produce seeds instead. Doesn’t that sound like something that you should stop at all costs?
Dealing With The Male Plants
At the end of the day, the goal is to have female plants and not male ones. Once you start flowering your indoor grow, it is important to identify which plants are which and get rid of the male plants. If you want, you can make hash out of the male plants, but most people choose to get rid of them entirely and keep their plants all female without the slightest male presence. If you choose to do this, though, you’ll likely have to start growing with clones unless you want to purchase new seeds every single time you want to plant a crop.
A Note On Hermaphrodites
Marijuana is a living thing that wants to reproduce. In some cases, your plants might try to do this whether you want them to or not, in the form of hermaphrodite plants. Female plants can sometimes grow male flowers and try to pollinate themselves or other plants that might be nearby. These are plants that you have to make sure to get rid of, unless you would like poor harvests and a lot of seeds, much like males. Hermaphrodites are different, though, in that they are a sign of other problems as well, such as too much nitrogen, forced flowering, bad nutrient mixtures, and more. Most often, they only produce more hermaphrodites, so be sure to take care of them.
Overall, this is far simpler than it might seem. Some people worry that they are going to make the wrong choices when it comes to sexing your plants, but it is a very important thing to learn and something that becomes easier as you go. Once you have been through a few harvests, it can be very easy to sex all your plants. If you don’t learn anything else, this is the thing to get under control so you can make sure you aren’t risking a massive failure.