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.
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.
Do you want Sensimilla? Then you need to make sure none of your female plant’s pistils get pollinated. This means you must continue to monitor your plants throughout flowering. Disturbances in the dark cycle are perhaps the greatest stress factor that contributes to hermies.
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.
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.
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.
You may have to wait as long as 8 weeks of vegetative growth with some strains to confirm female cannabis plants. However, after 4-6 weeks most growers can at least weed out the males. And keep an eye on one or two uncertain plants in early bloom if need be.
Pistils tend to poke out from nodes pretty randomly on young cannabis plants. Carefully inspect your cannabis plants and you will spot preflowers sooner or later during vegetative growth. Sometimes they are obvious, close to the top of the plants and easy to spot. But this is not guaranteed so really examine the plants carefully.
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.