Growing weed plants in your backyard is a viable option if you think that sourcing your supplies from dispensaries is impractical. You have to buy quality seeds for this purpose and make sure that you follow the best farming practices. When this venture becomes successful, it allows you to extract cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds in homegrown marijuana and formulate your products. There are now online resources that will teach you how to grow weeds, extract the substance, and have your tinctures, oils, gummies, or any other form that you can make.
One thing that’s very important before and during the production of marijuana plants is identifying male from female weed. This would enable you to grow the plants more productively by separating the two variants to have a bountiful harvest. It also allows you to get the most of your flowers, as proper gardening would produce weed crops rich in cannabinoids. If that sounds exactly what you’re aiming for in growing marijuana, you’ll learn how to do that successfully in the following content.
Identifying Male Weed Plants
Male weeds are generally considered less desirable because they interfere with the quality and production of female plants. They grow pollen sacks and produce pollen. When they pollinate a female hemp plant, the latter will produce seeds instead of cannabinoids. This is one reason why growers are particular about the sex of marijuana plants to make sure that they can make proper interventions to have a bountiful harvest. Below are the steps to identify the male weed plants:
Step #1: Male plants usually have thicker and sturdier stalks with fewer leaves. This is the first thing that you should check on your weeds. The underlying reason is that this variant gets taller than its counterparts and needs some support for its weight. Once you notice these signs, you can be pretty sure that it’s a male cannabis plant.
Step #2: The best months to check marijuana plants and classify their sex are July to September. You have to set a schedule for this routine because once the male cannabis plants pollinate, they would primarily affect the potential crop of the female variants. Once this happens, the latter would produce seeds instead of THC, resulting in a smaller harvest. If you are growing the weeds indoors, you might need to visit the plants regularly. As you do that, you need to focus on determining the sex. The sex usually appears from 7-10 days for male plants grown indoors and three weeks for outdoor.
Step #3: Check the joints on the stalk to determine whether it’s a male or female plant. You should look for the little balls that grow on the joints of the stalk as they are the leading indicators of male plants. To have a good crop, you need to separate them from the rest because they release pollen. However, if you’re trying to reproduce the plants, just leave them there.
Step #4: Remember that hermaphroditic plants exist, and they have both sex organs. You should treat them as males as a grower as they can still release pollen and ruin your crop. Once you see these variants growing, the right thing to do is trim them like you would an average male plant. These Hermes are generally not ideal for weed growing as they can affect your cannabis harvest.
Step #5: Once you have identified the male weed plants, you better remove or separate them from your weed garden to avoid ruining your crop. As you do this, avoid removing the buds by hand, as it might decrease your crop when a few parts are missing. You might consider keeping the male variants for breeding purposes to avoid any wastage of resources. Put them in a separate space from the female cannabis plants, and make sure you don’t track pollen in from the male room to the female room on your hands.
Identifying Female Weed Plants
Weed growers prefer female variants, especially for medical purposes. They produce coveted buds that are used for creating therapeutic supplements. Female plants have higher THC content than their male counterparts. If you have the same end for growing marijuana in your yard, distinguishing the female from male varieties is also a must. You can follow the steps below to do that more accurately.
Step #1: Give it six weeks before classifying weed plants according to their sex. This is the best time to identify which ones are female as they become identical at this stage. Keep in mind that only after the plants begin developing the sex organs later can you distinguish one sex from the other. It would be best to purchase the feminized seeds to guarantee almost 100% female plants.
Step #2: Check the fuller bodies of leaves as they indicate the sex of the weed plant. You should be particular about how bushy this portion is when trying to sex mature flowers. Generally, female variants have shorter and bushier leaves near the top, while male ones have thicker and sturdier stalks.
Step #3: Small and fine hairs on the joints of the stalk are another sign to determine the plant’s sex organ. Once the weed plant has matured enough, a female variant will begin flowering, and you’ll see those descriptions previously stated on the joints where the branches meet the central stalk. They are also known as pistils, coming out of a small, tear-shaped bud tucked in the joint. You will also notice the growth tips or the new branches and leaves growing on the plant.
Step #4: Once you have identified female plants, separate them from the male ones. Remember that only female variants will produce enough THC that you can use as medicine. You might defeat this purpose if they become fertilized by the male variants. The pistil functions to attract pollen, and when the plant gets it, the plant will produce seeds and not THC-full buds. It would be best to be particular about this as only female flowers would produce a desirable crop.
Main Differences Between Male and Female Plants
There are significant differences between male and female weed plants that you should note to have an excellent farming practice. When it comes to THC buds, female variants are most preferable as they can produce more cannabinoids, which most growers are looking for. On the other hand, male plants would have minimal psychoactive effects due to their low THC extracts. The latter may even contaminate a crop of female plants by potentially fertilizing them when left unseparated.
When the female plants are fertilized, they will have to shift their energy and nutrients in producing seeds rather than growing juicy THC buds and flowers. Male plants may also crowd females and restrict the growing space, affecting the yield potential. As a grower, you might need to choose female seeds or ensure that your weed garden or plantation has been cultivated to separate both genders from each other.
Key Factors when Sexing Your Weed Plants
Some weed growers don’t get bountiful harvests because they don’t learn all the essentials of marijuana farming first. You can do better by studying everything about the right seeds and best practices in this activity. Here, we provide some of the essential things that all plant growers should understand and keep in mind throughout:
Can You Identify the Sex of Cannabis Seeds?
There’s no way you can identify the sex of cannabis seeds. Even if you ask other experts, they will advise buying those seeds that may have a higher ratio of producing female plants. One theory about this matter is that if the sprout comes from the top or bottom of the seed during germination, it’s likely to be a female variant. While if the sprout exists from the side of the seed, it could be a male. Although there’s no scientific evidence to prove this, growers who use this method reported a high success rate. Still, you don’t have to rely on this theory alone and make sure to determine the gender when the plant finally grows mature.
How to Determine Gender before Flowering?
A reliable method to achieve a healthy weed garden is to examine the plant’s pre-flower formation. This allows you to explore the nodes on the plant while looking for sacs or two bracts for females. It’s a good practice to check multiple nodes on several plant locations before concluding on its gender. If there are stressors in your garden, you will more likely get a hermaphrodite plant, which becomes evident when it grows anthers. They can pollinate females without bursting, so removing or separating them is essential as soon as possible.
Early Indicators of a Female Weed Plant
It’s essential to be particular about the gender of your weed plants to achieve an abundant harvest of female variants. They are the ones that produce more cannabinoids that you can use for creating health supplements. When you notice tiny hairs in the node instead of pollen sacs, that means it’s female. That’s an apparent sign which growers also call bracts with wispy tiny white hairs appearing before flowering. You have to regularly check the plant for these early signs because failing to spot it might not grow any sinsemilla buds.
Early Signs of a Male Weed Plant
While it might seem challenging, knowing the gender of weed plants before the flowering stage is possible. You can use a small hand-held microscope for this purpose. It will help you identify the pollen sac early in development. As a key sign, mature male flowers grow pollen sacks at the nodes just above the area where the leaves are connected to the stalk. The nodes of male variants typically grow until the plant matures. You will then notice the sac burst and send pollen everywhere. If you can figure out the gender earlier, the better chance you’ll have a good crop.
Common Technique in Identifying Plant’s Gender
Most weed growers would focus on the pre-flowers that develop on the tips of branches and main steam. Once a calyx appears in those areas, it’s more likely to be a male. While if that part isn’t raised, it would be a female. It might be hard to notice the difference initially, especially if you are a novice grower. That’s why patience is essential when growing weed plants and identifying their gender.
Is It Possible for Weed Plants to Switch Sexes?
This might sound surprising, but yes, weed plants can switch their sexes. As mentioned earlier, there are hermaphrodite plants that have both genders. They can develop as such when the plant becomes too stressed. Meaning males can develop female qualities, and females can develop male attributes if the plant has a disease or damage in your garden.
How to Know if Weed Buds are Pollinated?
As much as possible, this is the possibility that you should avoid if you want to extract more cannabinoids from weed plants. But for some reason, it might happen in your garden. The most common sign that male plants have pollinated your female pistils is when they dry up and turn an orangish-brown colour. Another indication is that the female bracts become larger when pollination occurs. You can always examine the bract by getting a pair of tweezers and opening one bract up. There’s already pollination when the seed is inside the bract.
How to Avoid the Hassle of Weed Pollination?
The best way to do that is by buying feminized seeds. When you get these materials from a reputable dealer, there’s a guarantee you can have a full female harvest. But it still depends on your goals for growing marijuana plants in your garden. You should always go back to your purpose and determine the available options to help you attain your targets. With proper farming practices and patience, you’ll be able to identify and separate male plants before they can pollinate the female variants.
Quick Overview of Growing Weed Plants
Every grower aims to raise healthy weed plants and have bug yields during the harvest season. But it’s not always that easy for everyone, especially the novice planters. If you’re also planning to grow flowers in your garden, granting it’s legal in your area, here are a summary of essential things that you need to know first:
- Weed plants thrive in temperate climates. You can grow them in warm areas each year and have another crop next season.
- It usually takes about 10-32 weeks to grow a weed plant, depending on the method you use and how big you want it to get until harvest time.
- Before growing weed plants, you should first determine whether to plant indoors or outdoors, which you can learn in the succeeding paragraphs. The good thing is, you can do farming pretty much anywhere. Just make sure you have enough space, equipment, and resources to start.
- When planting weed plants, there are two options, either by using a seed or a clone. Seeds will have to germinate to grow into a seedling. At the same time, the clones are those taken off a weed plant that you can grow into another plant with the same genetic makeup.
- Once the seedling stage is over, a weed plant will move to the vegetative stage, the longest phase of its life. This is where the plant would have the central stalk, branches, and fan leaves, but without buds yet.
- The peak time is when the weed plant enters the flowering stage, normally about two months before the harvest. You will notice the plants starting to grow buds at this phase.
- You need to cut down your plants during the harvest, trim, dry, and cure the raw materials. They are then ready for the extraction or to give you homegrown buds for smoking.
What Does a Weed Plant Need to Grow?
Growing healthy marijuana plants and getting an abundant harvest would take time and patience. Once you have the seeds, clones, equipment, and other resources, you need to focus on the essential matters required by the plants to survive and thrive. These flowers would have to be nurtured and cared for with all the following elements provided in your garden:
- Light – the regular amount of light that the weed plant receives will determine when it grows flowers or buds. This is the characteristic of such a photoperiod plant, which requires the right area where light could enter. The season is a key factor in how much light the plant gets if you’re planting outdoors. While grown indoors, you may have to adjust the artificial light depending on the needs.
- Temperature and Humidity – having optimal temperature and humidity in the space where you grow weed plants is necessary for their growth. You should mainly set or achieve a temperature between 55-85°F, with a proportionate humidity between 50-70%.
- Water – of course, weed plants also need water. But you should pay attention to how much water they need as they shift from one phase to another. Other vital factors here include the climate and weather in your area.
- Nutrients – you might think of using fertilizers and pesticides to grow healthy weed plants. That’s not always the case, though. To raise organic flowers, you need to use natural methods to give plants enough nutrients. Avoid any synthetic chemicals if they don’t serve your purpose.
- Wind or Airflow – weed plants need wind or Airflow to grow indoors or outdoors. So make sure that the area where you raise them has an ideal environment where air could enter. You might need to use fans for this purpose if your indoor space is very secluded.
Indoor versus Outdoor Weed Growing
Choosing between these options would depend on your circumstances, especially the space available for growing weed plants. But if you have enough resources, it might be easy to decide and use what’s best for your purpose. To give you an idea of what it’s like to grow indoors or outdoors, read on the following facts:
- Growing Weed Indoors – it’s usually more expensive to grow weed indoors, given the need for equipment and utilities. The advantage is that you can control every aspect of the environment growing the flowers. It also allows you to set up the space to find the best indoor gardening. You can expect to harvest quality and potent weeds if you opt for this method.
- Growing Weed Outdoors is the easiest and cheapest way to grow weed plants. All you need are natural resources, such as sunlight, enough space in your garden, water, and other necessities for proper gardening. This method can let plants grow large and produce big yields. You can also expect quality and potent weed harvest as long as best farming practices are observed.
Choosing a Weed Strain to Grow Indoors or Outdoors
Not all weed strains are ideal in the same environment and circumstances. It’s essential to know which one could offer you an abundant harvest. There are several factors that you should consider to make the right decision. Here are a few things to focus on as you explore your choices out there:
- Availability of Weed Strain – you may not have the luxury of choosing any weed strain in your area due to the limitations imposed by the government or the limited options offered by the cannabis dispensary. This might force you to comply with what the law allows or what items are available for marijuana seeds and clones.
- Garden Space – weed plants can be grown in small or large spaces. But to have a good harvest, you should have enough area where all the seeds or clones can grow without limitations or nuisances. At the outset, you should decide on your gardening practices and determine the weed strain that can thrive in the chosen environment. For example, Sativa variants grow best outdoors as they can get out of control in smaller spaces.
- Climate and environment – weed strains can thrive well in outdoor spaces, while others may grow short and stout. Depending on the climate and environment, you must know which types of seeds or clones would produce a good crop when grown either indoors or outdoors. Some strains may also need more attention when pests, so having a climate-controlled space may be necessary. Learning which strain grows best in a given climate is always beneficial for any grower.
- Length of Time to Grow – some weed strains take longer to mature than others. If you wish to harvest as soon as possible, choose the strains that would only take 8-9 weeks to flower. One of the practical options is autoflower cultivars that usually have a shorter time to grow.
- Difficulty of Growing refers to the care and attention needed to grow weed plants. It may involve complex training requirements, nutrient regimens, and even environmental factors. These things might require time, patience, and research, especially for first-time weed growers.
As the preceding facts tend to establish, you have to choose the best weed strain that would make your gardening much easier and more rewarding. If you need to learn more about the best farming practices, take the time to do enough research about the plants, resources, equipment and all.
Sometimes you might need to compromise your preferences in favour of what experts suggest. Interestingly, a single weed plant can yield between a half-pound and a full pound of dried buds, depending on how big your flower gets. That only means getting a bountiful harvest when your weed plants are adequately nourished and have an ideal environment.
How to Care for Weed Seedling and Plant
It might be a challenging job for anyone to care for weed seedlings and plants until the harvest season. But there are best gardening practices that you can implement to ensure that your flowers would grow healthy and strong. Once you understand all the aspects involved, things will be a lot easier and more rewarding in the end.
Caring for Weed Seedling
Once the germination phase is over, the weed seedlings turn delicate as they grow up and produce more leaves. There’s no need to give them more water as it can drown the seedlings. The best practice is to water them once every 4-7 days, depending on your setup and climate. When it comes to nutrients, it’s advised to hold them off due to their delicate nature. Having just plenty of water and light when needed is essential at this stage.
Caring for Weed Plant in the Vegetative Stage
When the seedlings develop more stems and leaves, that’s a sign that they’re transitioning to a vegetative stage. If you are growing indoors, you might need to transplant them into an enormous container to allow its root network to expand. The weed plants will grow big and strong if you do that. As they grow more mature, they need more water and nutrients. So, make sure that you give weed plants enough nutrients that they need, especially those which are heavy in nitrogen.
Your nutrient regimen should necessarily start at this stage if you’re growing weed plants indoors. Otherwise, for outdoor gardening, you may have to hold off until you transfer the plants outside and into the ground, where you can mix fertilizer with the soil. After several weeks, you’ll notice the plants growing out. Some growers would chop off the top of the plants to give them more light. Pruning may also be necessary to remove the dead leaves and branches that will get shaded out.
By slimming down your weed plants, you allow them to focus their energy on producing bigger buds that can get more light and eventually increase your yields. It’s also good to set up a screen that will support the weed plants. This would enable light to hit more of the plant and allow more Airflow, thus mitigating the risk of mold and pests and giving abundant crops.
Caring for a Flowering Weed Plant
If you are growing weed plants in pots, there are some things to do before the flowering stage. They include transplanting them into the final pots or ground, topping the plants, and setting up a screen. Avoid moving plants around during this phase as it might affect their growth. You may prune them a couple of weeks into flowering, but hold off after that phase.
When weed plants are packing on weight and bud out, they might need more water. You should set a specific schedule for watering them, like every couple of days. If you’re growing indoors, you might switch to “bloom” nutrients higher in potassium and phosphorus that are ideal for bud production. They can be added to outdoor plants, too, by top dressing. Take this seriously to prevent plants from developing nutrient deficiencies. When it comes to light, you might need to change the cycle to 12 hours a day if you’re growing indoors.
How to Harvest Your Weed Plants
After months of weed gardening, harvest season is what all growers are looking forward to. This is the time to reap the benefits of growing marijuana at home, either for personal or commercial use. Once your plants are ready for harvesting, you can chop them down either through dry trimming or wet trimming. The first method involves hanging up the chopped plants for several days before trimming, while the other requires trimming buds soon after the plant is chopped down.
Either method you choose, the proper way to chop down weed plants is to use a large pair of shears and start cutting off big branches. You have to be delicate with the buds as you do this job. If the plants are small, you might consider cutting them directly at the base or above the soil. When you opt for dry trimming, it’s best to cut branches in a way that gives them a hook on one end, allowing you to hang them more easily. For wet trimming, you need to cut branches to be easy to handle and remove the buds.
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