Anything and everything you need to know about growing marijuana.
Anything and everything you need to know about growing marijuana.
It is very important to determine the sex of your marijuana plants, and preferably as early as possible. Only the female marijuana plants produces the buds which we all know and love, male plants on the other hand do not produce buds. Many people say that the male plants are worthless, but this might not necessarily be true, if used appropriately a male plant could be a valuable resource for your growing endeavors.
Now, for all intents and purposes and to completely contradict what we just said, male plants are absolutely worthless. In any size growing operation you would never need more than one, and as you will learn, it is better to just not keep them around. You also don’t want to be wasting your time and supplies growing a male plant that in the end won’t produce any bud. This means that the sooner you find out which plants are male versus female the better.
While the female plants produce buds, the male plants produce pollen. If the pollen from a male plant lands on the flower of the female plant (the flower is the bud), then this plant will produce seeds. This could be the reason why you would or wouldn’t want a male plant. In most cases you will not want any seeds in your weed, unless you are trying to create a self sustaining grow operation where with every batch of weed you get a batch of new seeds or if you are trying to cross breed two different strains. But, for now let’s stick with the idea that if you find a male plant you are going to want to separate it from all the other plants and in most cases probably just kill the plant. This is important to do as soon as possible because if the male plant matures it will release its pollen and likely pollinate every one of the plants in your grow room. Not only will this cause your weed to contain seeds but the bud will likely be of lower quality due to the fact that the plant had to sacrifice some of the energy and nutrients that would have gone in to producing bud to produce seeds instead.
There are some more advanced techniques that can be used to identify the sex of your marijuana plants after several weeks of vegetative growth. However, after switching your plants from the vegetative (18 hours of light, 6 hours of darkness) to the flowering stage (12 hours of light, 12 hours of darkness) it becomes much easier to separate the males from the females. But, regardless of when you determine the sex of your plants, you will always be looking for the same which in this case is balls. Believe it or not male marijuana plants actually have balls. During vegetative growth they can be identified with a magnifying glass or loop by looking at the plant’s nodes.
On a male plant you will see something like this…
Or, several weeks later, looks like this…
Identifying the sex of a marijuana plant is one of those things that is difficult to do the first time but that after doing once you will never forget. So, don’t feel bad if you don’t really see what is so special about these pictures. As we mentioned before, when you switch your plants to the flowering stage this as many of you know triggers the female plants to start making buds and likewise triggers the male plants to produce pollen. And, we definitely want to separate out all the males form the females before they release that pollen. You need to look for the little banana looking things that will be hanging down from the nodes of your plant. Check each plant thoroughly, you don’t want to let a male sneak by, and make sure to check several branches on each plant in case one of your plants is a hermaphrodite (seriously, it happens).
They should look something like this at this stage of the game…
When these bad boys open up, its too late, and the pollen has likely contaminated your crop of sensemilla and turned it into some Mexican brick weed. So, to produce sensemilla make sure to pull males out when you notice them, take them out of the same room as the females at a minimum and better yet kill it and throw it out. Of course if you are looking to get seeds for another round of growing you could use the male plant and its pollen to pollinate one branch of a female plant so that only that branch will produce seeds. This is best done to one of the lower branches which won’t receive much light anyway and won’t produce huge buds to begin with. To do this separate the male plant or plants from the females once you notice them, when the sacks open and release pollen gather some of this pollen in a plastic bag by either scraping it off the leaves as it falls or by shaking the branch so that the pollen may fall of. Then cover the female branch you would like to be your seed branch with the plastic bag and shake it making sure not to break the branch. Make sure pollen does not get into the air, spill out the bag, etc. when you are done with it throw it out. Mark the branch with a small piece of string so you know which one has the seeds.
Just to keep things fair and balanced we’ll show you what a female marijuana plants sex organs look like in both the vegetative and flowering stages just as we did with the male plants.
On a female plant you are looking for the pistils, or these things…
Or, if you’re lucky some nice labels like these…
As always, if you have any questions feel free to post a comment to this post or email us at QUESTIONS@marijuanamythbusters.com. Remember to LIKE us on Facebook. And, tweet at your boys, @mjmythbusters.
- Kingdom – Plantae
- Phylum – Magnoliophyta
- Class – Magnoliopsidia
- Order – Rosales
- Family – Cannabaceae
- Genus – Cannabis
- Species – Sativa, Indica, Ruderalis
This is the binomial nomenclature for marijuana. Now, you might need to help us out with this. But, how amazing would it be if this page became so popular that it was the first thing that came up when you searched “binomial nomenclature” on Google. Think of how many high school freshmen would show up in biology class with the taxonomy of marijuana. Anyway, we figured this was something good to cover. Sure, there are probably thousands, if not more, strains of marijuana. But you have to understand that these strains are all the bastard children of these three species of marijuana, bred, interbred, cross bred, inbred, and etc. naturally and by man over the past several million years. The more inbred one individual strain got the more prominent the distinct characteristics of that strain become. Since marijuana has been around for millions of years its probable that marijuana has been growing on this Earth longer than humans have harnessed the power of fire. It’s kind of ironic actually, especially considering that there’s no record that cavemen didn’t harness the power of brownies either.
But, I’m clearly high, rambling and getting off topic. So, lets get into the difference between the 3 well known, documented, and widely accepted species of marijuana. The consensus is that more strains likely exist today or did at one point in history.
Cannabis sativa is the tallest of the three marijuana species. Cannabis indica tends to be shorter and bushier. And, cannabis ruderalis is a much smaller plant.
The one thing that separates Cannabis ruderalis from the other two species is that it is auto-flowering. So, each individual strain (Skunk #1, Grand Daddy Purp, OG Kush, Sour Diesel) will have a light cycle that is most beneficial for plant growth and yield. However, ruderalis strains do not need to be subjected to a 12 hours of light and 12 hours of dark cycle in order to induce flowering. Instead, rudelais strains start flowering based on the age of the plant and mature with time as opposed to a change in the light cycle.
The highs differ between indica and sativa strains, with indica tending to be a more whole body feeling while sativa is more of a head high. Cannabis ruderalis strains are crossed with either an indica or sativa strain or both, and the new strain that is created will take on the characteristics of the indica or sativa it was introduced to. The benefit of this is to get the desired characteristic of the indica or sativa with the autoflowering capability of the ruderalis. Since ruderalis strains mature with time they mature quicker which gives the plant less time to grow and causes the yield of a ruderalis plant to be generally smaller than that of an indica and much much smaller than that of a sativa.
So, for everyone who voted in the poll. The answer is ruderalis. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment or shoot us an email.
Some of you may be familiar with the AeroGarden and other aeroponic products. But, what makes them aeroponics? What the hell is aeroponics?
Hydroponics is growing plants without soil, and technically aeroponics is a type of hydroponics. The benefits of using such a system over growing in soil is that you can have much more control over the nutrients that you feed your babies. In a soil grow, the soil provides the nutrients and a support structure for the roots to grow. In hydroponics you must provide your plant with all the nutrients, and support the roots with something like rockwool or hydroton. In aeroponics, you essentially allow the roots to grow freely as they please, supported by nothing other than themselves and air. And, you spray the roots with nutrients so that they don’t dry out.
This sounds crazy, but you will be surprised at how much you can increase your yield and efficiency by using an aeroponic system.
You are going to need to purchase a 5 gallon bucket and a lid. And, you want to spray paint the outside of the bucket and top of the lid black. This will provide the optimal growing conditions for the roots which will die if exposed to light.
Once you do this, you will need to purchase a mesh pot typically used for aquatic plants and cut a hole in the lid to fit the pot. Make sure you don’t cut the hole too big or the pot will fall through. You will also need enough hydrton or rockwool cubes to fill the pot, or a large rockwool cube that fits snuggly inside. If you use a large rockwool cube, cut it into a circle so it fits in the pot.
The easiest way to start a seedling for such an operation is in a small rockwool starter cube.
Now, in order to provide the roots with nutrients you need to spray them some how. And, there are two ways to do this.
One is to create a deep water culture, and this is by far the easiest method. You simply fill the bucket with dechlorinated water and nutrients. Then, you place an air stone, one of the things that makes bubbles in a fish tank, at the bottom of the bucket. The roots absorb the nutrients and water and get oxygen form the bubbles. At first the roots won’t be submerged in the water but over time they will grow, and eventually fill the whole bucket.
The other method which is slightly more complicated to construct works more like a sprinkler system. You still use the bucket itself as the reservoir for the water and nutrients, but instead of having the roots submerged in the water, you spray the water through little sprinkler heads. This method requires a water pump, and therefore, is slightly more expensive. However, you could adapt your same aeroponics bucket into an effective clone incubator by using this type of set up.
That pretty much covers everything. Sorry for the long delay since the last post. We’ve been working 12 hour days at our “real jobs”. And, to Nicholas Davis, don’t worry sir we haven’t forgotten about you. We just haven’t had time to hit up the head shop.
As always, Jah bless. And, thank you for your continued patronage of MJMB.
(at work now, need to get at it, pictures to be added soon)
We’ve been noticing that the Chronicology 101 / Grow Guides section of the site has been getting a lot of attention lately. So, here is a list of all the posts in one easy to access location.
This is most of them… to check out all of them visit our Chronicology 101 Section by clicking the Grow Guides button up top.