Typically male cannabis plants will develop preflowers sooner than their female counterparts in the cannabis garden. 3-6 weeks post germination you should be able to confirm that your feminized photoperiod seeds really are all females even if they are still in vegetative growth. Likewise, if you have regular seeds, you should be able to identify the male plants for removal before flowering.
Cannabis growers that understand the cannabis life cycle and can tell the difference between male and female plants before flowering will always enjoy more success than the witless weed grower. Pistils can tell you a whole lot about your cannabis plants. In this blog, we take a closer look at why they are so important.
Female plants and intersex plants will display pistils. Unfortunately, intersex plants will also produce pollen and are as great a threat to your females as a rogue male cannabis plant. Moreover, stress can cause any cannabis plant to develop intersex traits. Some varieties of industrial hemp are bred specifically for their hermaphrodite characteristics.
With photoperiod cannabis strains’ flowering has three sub-stages: early bloom, mid-bloom and late bloom. Pistils are a great indicator of how your female cannabis plants are progressing. With the onset of a 12/12 light cycle, the pistils will be completely white. Somewhere around week 4-6, midway through flowering, is when the first orange, red and/or pink colours begin to emerge and proliferate. Not until sometime during weeks 7-10 following a good flush with pure water or a light flushing solution will a majority of the pistils be beautiful ripe shades of red, orange and brown.
A pistil is a female cannabis plant sex organ. To the ordinary decent home grower, a pistil is a hair that protrudes from a calyx on a female flower. They are also known as stigmas. When a pistillate hair comes into contact with pollen from a male cannabis plant, it is then pollinated.
Beside a stipule which is itself a green hair like growth on the stem, you will see the preflowers. You are hoping to see a wispy white hair at the node. If you see any kind of ball and no hair you’ve got a male. Until you can see a white hair emerging from a few nodes you really can’t be sure you’ve got a female cannabis plant.
Instead of focusing on producing more resinous flowers the female cannabis plant begins to develop seeds. The cannabis will be less potent, and seeds will form in the bracts that contain the ovule. Sensimilla, which means seedless, is entirely dependent on female cannabis plants not getting pollinated.
Before the advent of microscopes and zoom lenses, ganja farmers had to rely on their intuition when harvesting cannabis. The good old-fashioned eyeball inspection of cannabis flowers is a tried and trusted pre-harvest practice. When 75% or more of the pistils are full of vibrant colours, most cannabis growers will call time on cultivation. Flowers covered in red, orange, pink and brown hairs are definitely mature.
Autoflowering cannabis plants tend to suddenly erupt with flowers quicker than you would expect. Somewhere between day 15-35 post-germination, your feminized autoflowering cannabis seeds will have multiple white pistils bursting forth from the first flowers. A week or so later and buds are beginning to swell up with calyx’s and sparkling with resin. Pistils will rapidly change colour from white to orange/red in days rather than weeks.
Whether you grow your weed from autoflowering, feminized or regular seeds, it pays to know about pistils. Here’s what every cannabis grower needs to know.