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It is certainly possible to establish the sex of cannabis plants at an early stage. This gives the opportunity to tell the male plants in the growth area by covering the low level branches for up to 12-hours per day throughout the vegetative state. A paper bag or similar covering is certain to be beneficial in permitting the constant airflow while at the same time limiting the light. An ongoing cycle of covering the branches is likely to be ideal.
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A lot of cultivators aim to force the development of the plants until reaching a height of 8 inches to help remove the males. If plants are grown outside, a lot of people prefer to avoid the devoting a significant amount of energy, space, and time on the male version of the plant. Get in the position of placing the plants on a cycle of 12 hours on and 12 hours off for a period of two weeks, and divide the males from the females, then look at reverting back to the ideal light cycle of constant light to maintain the vegetative growth of the female plant. It might be worth noting that early sexing the plants can be a time-consuming process and might delay the growth by approx two weeks. Avoid pre-forcing the plants if you don’t have sufficient time. It might be easier to just look at using the black paper bags to cover a single branch on the plants for a period of 12 hours per day to help with forcing the pre-flower stage in order to differentiate the sex.
A magnifying glass can be used in the process of establishing the sex class of the plants. Female plants are likely to be wispy and white with one or two pistils and appear from a juvenile calyx. Male flowers will appear much like a mini-sized club (like the playing card) and minute stem beneath.
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It is certainly possible to establish the sex of cannabis plants at an early stage
Because this occurs when cannabis is under stress, itвЂ™s important to monitor plants after they have been exposed to stressorsвЂ”indoors: high temperatures or light leaks are often the cause; outdoors: a snapped branch might be repaired and then turn into a hermaphrodite.
Pre-flowers can initially be extremely small and hard to identify with the naked eye, but you can use a magnifying glass to get a better look. Examine the nodes of the plant and look for either the early growth of small sacs on a male, or two bracts on a female, which will eventually produce the hair-like stigma.
The other primary cause of hermaphrodite plants lies in the plantвЂ™s genetics. A plant with poor genetics or a history of hermaphrodite development should be avoided to protect your garden. If you notice any pollen sacs or anthers at any point, remove the plant from your garden immediately to prevent pollination of female plants.
Cannabis plants show their sex by what grows in between their nodes (where leaves and branches extend from the stalk). Pollen sacs will develop on a male plant to spread seeds and stigma will develop on a female to catch pollen. You can see these differences weeks before they actually start serving their purposes in the reproduction cycle. These are known as вЂњpre-flowers.вЂќ
Sexing cannabis plants is easy. Let’s see how to tell.
Female genetics can be guaranteed by obtainingВ clones and feminized seeds. If, however, you’re working with regular seeds and are unsure of your seed’s sex, knowing how to determine the sex of your plant is vital to developing new genetics, gathering seeds, or growing sinsemilla.
Female cannabis pre-flowers grow as tiny bracts with hair-like stigma peeking out. Male plants produce small, round balls at the nodes. (Amy Phung/Leafly)
Trevor is a freelance writer and photographer. He has spent years in California working in the cannabis industry.
This post was originally published on September 19, 2017. It was most recently updated on February 11, 2020.
Determining the sex of your cannabis plant is vital to achieving your growing goals. Luckily, sexing cannabis plants is easier than one might think.