Sexing

Discussion in 'First Time Marijuana Growers' started by Yoda, Aug 25, 2009.

  1. #1 Yoda, Aug 25, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 25, 2009
    There are lots of questions and massive confusion on this issue, so I thought I would write a thread.

    MJ is unusual among plants, but not unique, in that the plants have two sexes. (Most plants are not like this, they have both male and female organs in the one flower.)

    Also, unlike most plants, MJ is pollinated by wind, not insects, and does not then have a brightly coloured flower to attract insects.

    The male flower is a sac of pollen, which bursts open to release the pollen to the wind. The female flower is what we call a bud, covered with thousands of pistils, fine hairs coated with trichomes containing sticky THC which catches pollen grains.

    When the plant is 6 to 8 weeks old it develops pre-flowers, at the nodes of the plant, that is, where the branches meet the main stem. At this stage, which is long before actual flowering begins, we can identify the sex of the plant.

    The male pre-flower is like a ball on a stick, often occurring in groups of two or three.
    see top pic.

    The female pre-flower can be recognised by the presence of pistils. see bottom pic

    Both these are initially very small, and a magnifier is used to identify them. radio shack has a small pocket micro scope very cheap that can be used to see them.


    Attached Thumbnails[​IMG] [​IMG]


    Hope this helps.......
     
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  2. I am not the original poster of this information, but this is good information that needs to be shared in our community.
     
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  3. HIGH All, right on BUDSLINGER and Tim t'Enchanter for taking the Time to c/p some Sexing info....here is some more I c/p from wiki



    Sexing is an important part of the growing processing for marijuana. It is the source of much uneeded worry for beginning growers. The reason you will want to sex your plants is so that you can remove males. Males have little potency of their own, it is the flowers of the female that you will want to cultivate if you are interested in psychoactive effects. Without chemical extractions the flower of the female is the only part of the plant that is can be used for medicinal and recreational use.

    It goes a bit beyond that though. A female plant that is not pollinated will direct the bulk of its energy later in its growth phase into developing the flower buds and swelling them with the resin that carries the bulk of marijuana's potency. The plant does this so that the large sticky flowers are more likely to catch pollen. If the flower is pollinated it will instead direct the bulk of its energy to seed production. This is where low quality dirt weed comes from. If you have seedy pot, it is dirt weed. The more seeds contained in the pot the lower the quality. And of course seeds add dramatically to the weight since they weigh more than the bud itself, this is sharply contrasted with stems that are mostly water weight and have a negligible weight compared to the bud.

    Plants generally should demonstrate their sex one to two weeks into flowering. During the first ten days of flowering there is very little need for concern about males pollinating your crop. Additionally, if you reproduce by cloning you will only have to worry about males once.


    Identifying the Male

    Males can be identified by looking at the inter-nodes where leaf and branch stems connect with the main stalk. Male flowers will contain balls somewhere between the size of a marijuana seed and a popcorn seed. One ball is not definitive since female pistils sometimes split from a small single ball that opens. But two or three balls in a cluster is sure confirmation that you have a male. Males should be removed and destroyed to prevent them from releasing pollen. The pollen transports easily so the males can not be safely grown anywhere that shares an a/c or ventilation system unless special precautions are taken.


    Identifying the Female

    Females are very simple to identify. They sprout white hairs. A small ball will form and split and two tiny white hairs like translucent threads will split out. These hairs are called pistils and intended to catch pollen. Later when the plant is not pollinated these hairs will change color.

    Pistils may guarantee that your plant is not a male but your plant could still be a hermaphrodite. You must watch plants grown from seed carefully for male flowers and even a trusted clone if it has undergone stress such as light during its dark period, lack of watering, or being left to flower far past maturity.


    Pre-flowers

    On certain strains what are known as pre-flowers may appear while the plant is still in vegetative growth. This is perfectly normal.


    Cloning for Sex

    No this is not the title of futuristic fantasy movie. You can always revert a mother to veg in order to take cuttings and can even take cuttings during flowering (although success rates will be lower and rooting will take longer) but this process induces stress on the plant that can and does cause hormonal and genetic changes. It is much better to have a mother plant that has never been flowering.

    Recognizing this, people have begun taking clones from their vegetating plants when they reach maturity. Once the clone is rooted, you would either flower the original plant or the clone and keep the other under 18hr or 24hr light indefinitely.
     
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  4. Ya I know what you mean but alot of Blades here know how to and would explain it very well..BUDSLINGER and Tim t'Enchanter are two who come to mind.
     
  5. #5 Yoda, Aug 25, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 25, 2009
    Making it easy to distinguish between male and female sexing marijuana plants.
    [​IMG]

    another example​



    GENETICS AND SEX IN CANNABIS

    Sex is an inherited trait in Cannabis, and can be explained in much the same terms as human sexuality can. Like a human being, Cannabis is a diploid organism: its chromosomes come in pairs. Chromosomes are microscopic structures within the cells on which the genes are aligned. Cannabis has 10 pairs of chromosomes (n=10), for a total of 20 chromosomes (2m=20).


    One pair of chromosomes carries the primary genes that determine sex. These chromosomes are labelled either X or Y. Male plants have an XY pair of sex chromosomes. Females have XX. Each parent contribute one set of 10 chromosomes, which includes one sex chromosome, to the embryo. The sex chromosome carried by the female ovule can only be X. The one carried by pollen of the male plant may be either X or Y. From the pollen, the embryo has a 50/50 chance of receiving an X, likewise for Y; hance, male and female progeny appear in equal numbers (in humans, the sperm carries either an X or a Y chromosome.)


    Flowering

    Male Plant


    Under natural light, males usually start to flower from one to four weeks before the females. Where the photoperiod is artificially controlled, as with electric lights, males respond quickly (in about a week) to a change to short photoperiods and usually show flowers sooner than the females.


    Male flowers develop quickly, in about one to two weeks on a vigorous plant, not uniformly. Scattered flowers may open a week or more before and after the general flowering, extending the flowering stage to about four weeks.


    The flowering stage continues to demonstrate the male's tall, relatively sparse growth. Most of the flowers develop near the top of the plant, well above the shorter females. The immature flower buds first appear at the tips of the main stem and branches. Then tiny branches sprout from the leaf axils, bearing smaller clusters of flowers. The immature male flowers are closed, usually green, and develop in tight clusters of knob-like buds. The main parts of the male flowers are five petal-like sepals which enclose the sexual organs. As each flower matures, the sepals open in a radiating pattern to reveal five pendulous anthers (stamens).


    Inside the ovoid, sac-shaped anthers, pollen grains develop. Initially, pollen sifts through two pores near the top of the anther; then, starting from the pores, longitudinal slits slowly open (zipperlike) over the course of a day, releasing pollen to the wind. Once a flower sheds pollen, it shortly dies and falls from the plant. Normally, male plants begin to die one to two weeks after the bulk of their flowers have shed pollen. Healthy males may continue to flower for several more weeks, but secondary growth seldom has the vigour of initial bloom.


    Female Plant


    The female plant generally starts to flower later than the male, under either natural light or an artificially controlled photoperiod. Female marijuana plants flower when the average daily photoperiod is less then about 12 to 13 hours. However, some varieties and individuals may flower with a photoperiod of over 14 hours. Some Colombian varieties may not respond until the photoperiod falls below 12 hours for a period of up to three weeks.


    The duration of flowering also depends on the particular rhythm of the variety, as well as growing conditions, and whether or not the plant is pollinated. Within these variables, females maintain vigorous growth and continue to rapidly form flowers for a period that ranges from 10 days to about eight weeks.


    Females generally do not grow much taller during flowering. Growth emphasises a "filling out," as flower clusters develop from each leaf axil and growing tip. Normally, the flowers arise in pairs, but the pairs form tight cluster of 10 to over 100 individual flowers that are interspersed with small leaves. These clusters are the "buds" of commercial marijuana. Along the top of the main stem and vigorous branches, "buds" may form so thickly that the last foot or more of stem is completely covered. Usually the leaves that accompany the flowers tend toward simpler structure, until each leaf has one to three blades. {Figure 76. Female in full bloom.}


    The visible parts of the female flower are two upraised stigmas, one-quarter to one-half inch long, usually white or cream, sometimes tinged with red, that protrude from a tiny, green, pod-shaped structure called the floral bract. This consists of modified leaves (bracts and bracteoles) which envelop the ovule or potential seed. The mature bract is a tiny structure, about 1/8 inch across and 1/4 inch long. When fertilised, a single seed begins to develop within the bract, which then swells until it is split by the mature seed.


    Bracts are covered more densely with large resin glands than is any other part of the plant, and are the most potent part of the harvest. Resin glands may also be seen on the small leaves that are interspersed among the flowers.


    The differences between male and female Cannabis become more apparent as the plants mature. The same can be said of the differences between varieties. Often, two varieties may appear to be similar, until they actually flowers and fill out to different forms. These appear in many ways: some varieties maintain opposite phyllotaxy with long internodes throughout flowering; bud sizes vary from about one-half inch to about three inches, with a norm of about one to two inches; buds may be tightly arranged along the stem, yielding a "cola" two feet long and four inches thick; and some varieties only form buds along their main stem and branch tips, with a few "buds" forming along the branches.




    When a female is well-pollinated, growth slows and the plant's energy goes into forming seeds and thus into the continuation of the species. Some plants (but only the more vigorous ones) will renew flowering even when pollinated. Females that are not well-pollinated continue to form flowers rapidly. This extends the normal flowering period, of 10 days to four weeks, up to eight weeks or more.


    Individual flowers are pollinated by individual pollen grains. In a matter of minutes from its landing on a stigma, the pollen grain begins to grow a microscopic tube, which penetrates the stigma and reaches the awaiting ovule wrapped within the bracts. The pollen tube is a passageway for the male's genetic contributions to the formation of the embryo (seed).


    The union of the male and female complements of genes completes fertilisation and initiates seed formation. The stigmas, having served their purpose, shrivel and die, turning rust or brown colour. On a vigorous female, the seeds reach maturity in about 10 days. When growing conditions are poor, the seed may take five weeks to ripen to full size and colour. Naturally, all the flowers do not form, nor are they pollinated at the same time - and there will be seeds that reach maturity weeks before others do. Although each flower must be individually fertilised to produce a seed, a single male plant can release many millions of pollen grains. A large female plant can produce over 10,000 seeds.


    Sexual Variants in Cannabis

    Cannabis has been studied for many years because of its unusual sexuality. Besides the normal dioecious pattern, where each plant bears exclusively male or female flowers, it is not uncommon for some plants to have both male and female flowers. These are called hermaphrodites, or monoecious plants, or intersexes. Hermaphroditic plants form normal flowers of both sexes in a wide variety of arrangements, in both random and uniform distributions.


    Natural Hermaphrodites


    Some hermaphrodites seem to be genetically determined (protogenous). That is, they naturally form flowers of both sexes given normal growing conditions. Possibly genes carried on the autosomes (the chromosomes other than the sex chromosomes) modify the normal sexual expression. Monoecious varieties have been developed by hemp breeders in order to ensure uniform harvests.


    It is also possible that these particular are polyploid, which means they have more than the usual two sets of chromosomes. This kind of hermaphrodite may have XXY (triploid), or XXYY or XXXY (tetraploid) sex chromosomes. However, no naturally occurring polyploids have ever been verified (by observation of the chromosomes) in any population of Cannabis. Polyploids have been induced in Cannabis by using mutagens, such as the alkaloid colchicine.


    Whatever then genetic explanation may be, one or more of these natural hermaphrodites may randomly appear in any garden. They are sometimes faster-maturing, have larger leaves, and are larger in overall size than their unisexual siblings. They usually form flowers of both sexes uniformly in time and distribution, and in some unusual patterns. For example, from Mexican seed, we have seen a plant on which separate flowering cluster consisted of both female and male flowers: and upper section of female flowers had upraised stigmas, and a lower section of male flowers dangled beneath the female flowers. In other plants from Mexican seed, the growing tips throughout the plant have female flowers; male flowers sprout from the leaf axils along the main stem and branches. Plants from "Thai" seed sometimes form male and female flowers on separate branches. Branches with female flowers tend to predominate, but branches having mostly male flowers are located throughout the plant.


    Abnormal Flowers, Intersexes, Reversals


    Gender is set in the new plant at the time of fertilisation by its inheritance of either the X or the Y chromosome from the male (staminate) plant. With germination of the seed, the environment comes into play. Heritage sets the genetic program, but the environment can influence how the program runs. (Sexual expression in Cannabis is delicately balanced between the two.) The photoperiod, for example, controls the plant's sequence of development. Also, the plant's metabolism and life processes are dependent on growing conditions. When the environment does not allow a balance to be maintained, the normal genetic program may not be followed. This is mirrored by abnormal growth or sexual expression.




    Abnormal Flower Abnormal sexual expression includes a whole range of possibilities. Individual flowers may form abnormally, and may contain varying degrees of both male and female flower parts. For instance, a male flower may bear a stigma; or an anther may protrude from the bracts of a female flower. Abnormally formed flowers are not often seen on healthy plants, although if one looks hard enough, a few may be found in most crops. When many of the flowers are abnormal, an improper photoperiod (coupled with poor health) is the most likely cause. Abnormal flowers sometimes form on marijuana grown out of season, such as with winter or spring crops grown under natural light.


    Intersexes and Reversals Much more common than abnormally formed flowers is for the plant's sex to be confused. One may find an isolated male flower or two; or there may be many clusters of male flowers on an otherwise female plant, or vice versa. These plants are called intersexes (also hermaphrodites or monoecious plants). Intersexes due to environment causes differ from natural hermaphrodite in having random distributions and proportions of male and female flowers. In more extreme cases, a plant may completely reverse sex. For example, a female may flowers normally for several weeks, then put forth new, sparse growth, typical of the male, on which male flowers develop. The complete reversal from male flowering to female flowering also happens.


    All other things being equal, the potency of intersexes and reversed plants is usually less than that of normal plants. If there are reversals or intersexes, both of the sexes will usually be affected. Female plants that reverse to male flowering show the biggest decline. Not only is the grass less potent, but the amount of marijuana harvested from male flowers is negligible compared to the amount of marijuana that can be harvested from a normal female. Plants that change from male to female flowering usually increase their potency, because of the growth of female flower bracts with their higher concentration of resin. Female flowers on male plants seldom form as thickly or vigorously as on a normal female. Between the loss in potency and the loss in yield because of females changing to males, a crop from such plants is usually inferior, in both yield and potency, to one from normal plants.


    Environmental Effects


    Many environmental factors can cause intersexes and sexual reversals. These include photoperiod, low light intensity, applications of ultraviolet light, low temperatures, mutilation or severe pruning, nutrient imbalances or deficiencies, senescence (old age), and applications of various chemicals (see bibliography on sex determination).


    The photoperiod (or time of planting using natural light) is the most important factor to consider for normal flowering. In 1931, J. Schaffner (105) showed that the percentage of hemp plants that had confused sexual characteristics depended on the time of year they were planted. Normal flowering (less than five percent of the plants are intersexes) occurred when the seeds were sown in May, June, or July, the months when the photoperiod is longest and light intensity is strongest. When planted sooner or later in the year, the percentage of intersexuals increased steadily, until about 90 percent of the plants were intersexual when planted during November or early December.


    Marijuana plants need more time to develop than hemp plants at latitudes in the United States. Considering potency, size, and normal flowering, the best time to sow for the summer crop is during the month of April. Farmers in the south could start the plants as late as June and still expect fully developed plants.


    If artificial light is used, the length of the photoperiod can influence sexual expression. Normal flowering, with about equal numbers of male and female plants, seems to occur when the photoperiod is from 15 to 17 hours of light for a period of three to five months. The photoperiod is then shortened to 12 hours to induce flowering. With longer photoperiods, from 18 to 24 hours a day, the ratio of males to females changes, depending on whether flowering is induced earlier or later in the plant's life. When the plants are grown with long photoperiods for six months or more, usually there are at least 10 percent more male then female plants. When flowering is induced within three months of age, more females develop. Actually, the "extra" males or females are reversed plants, but the reversals occur before the plants flower in their natural genders.


    Some plants will flower normally without a cutting of the photoperiod. But more often, females will not form thick buds unless the light cycle is cut to a period of 12 hours duration. Don't make the light cycle any shorter than 12 hours, unless the females have not shown flowers after three weeks of 12-hour days. Then cut the light cycle to 11 hours. Flowers should appear in about one week.


    Anytime the light cycle is cut to less than 11 hours, some intersexes or reversed plant usually develop. This fact leads to a procedure for increasing the numbers of female flowers indoors. The crops can be grown for three months under a long photoperiod (18 or more hours of light). The light cycle is then cut to 10 hours. Although the harvest is young (about five months) there will be many more female flower buds than with normal flowering. More plants will develop female flowers initially, and male plants usually reverse to females after a few weeks of flowering.


    Of the other environmental factors that can affect sexual expression in Cannabis, none are as predictable as the photoperiod. Factors such as nutrients or pruning affect the plant's overall health and metabolism, and can be dealt with by two general thoughts. First, good growing conditions lead to healthy plants and normal flowering: female and male plants occur in about equal numbers, with few (if any) intersexes or reversed plants. Poor growing conditions lead to reduced health and vigour, and oftentimes to confused sex in the adult plant. Second, the age of the plants seems to influence reversals. Male plants often show female flowers when the plant is young (vigorous) during flowering. Females seven or more months old (weaker) often develop male flowers after flowering normally for a few weeks.


    Anytime the plant's normal growth pattern is disrupted, normal flowering may be affected. For instance, plant propagated from cuttings sometimes reverse sex, as do those grown for more than one season.


    Sexing the Plants

    The female plant is more desirable than the male for marijuana cultivation. The female flowering clusters (bus) are usually the most potent parts of the harvest. Also, given room to develop, a female generally will yield twice as much marijuana as her male counterpart. More of her weight consists of top-quality buds.


    Because the female yields marijuana in greater quantity and sooner you can devote your attention to nurturing the females. Where space is limited, such as in indoor gardens and small outdoor plots most growers prefer to remove the males as soon as possible, and leave all available space for the females. To harvest sinsemilla (seedless female buds), you must remove the male plants before they mature and release pollen.


    Differences in the appearance of male and female Cannabis become more apparent toward maturation. During the seedling stage, gender is virtually impossible to distinguish, although in some varieties the male seedling may appear slightly taller and may develop more quickly.


    We know of no way to discover gender with any certainty until each plant actually forms either pollen-bearing male flowers or seed-bearing female flowers. However, certain general characteristics may help. Using guidelines like the following, growers who are familiar with a particular variety can often predict gender fairly accurately by the middle stage of the plant's life.


    Early Vegetative Growth


    After the initial seedling stage, female plants generally develop more complex branching than the male. The male is usually slightly taller and less branched. (Under artificial light, the differences in height and branching are less apparent throughout growth.)


    Some plants develop a marked swelling at the nodes, which is more common and pronounced on female plants.


    Middle Vegetative Growth


    In the second to fourth months of growth, plants commonly form a few isolated flowers long before the actual flowering stage begins. These premature flowers are most often found between the eighth and twelfth nodes on the main stem. Often they appear near each stipule (leaf spur) on several successive nodes, at a distance two to six nodes below the growing tip. These individual flowers may not develop fully and are often hard to distinguish as male or female flowers. The fuzzy white stigmas of the female flower may not appear, and the male flowers seldom opens but remains a tightly closed knob. However, the male flower differs from the female; it is raised on a tiny stalk, and the knob is symmetrical. The female flower appear stalkless and more leaflike.


    The presence of premature female flowers does not assure that the plant is a female, but premature male flowers almost always indicate a male plant. Unfortunately, it is much less common for male plants to develop premature male flowers than for female flowers to appear on either plant. For example, in one garden of 25 mixed-variety plants, by age 14 weeks, 15 plants showed well-formed, premature female flowers with raised stigmas. Eight of these plants matured into females and seven became males. Only two plants showed premature male flowers and both of these developed into males. The eight remaining plants did not develop premature flowers or otherwise distinguishable organs until the actual flowering stage at the age of 21 weeks. From these eight, there were four females, three males, and one plant bearing both male and female flowers (hermaphrodite). It does seem, however, that plants bearing well-formed female flowers, on several successive node, usually turn out to be females.


    Preflowering


    In the week or two prior to flowering and throughout flowering, many common marijuana varieties follow two general growth patterns which depend on gender. With these varieties, you can tell gender by the spacing between the leaves (internodes). For the female, the emphasis is on compact growth. Each new leaf grows closer to the last, until the top of the plant is obscured by tightly knit leaves. The male elongates just prior to showing flowers. New growth is spaced well apart and raises the male to a taller stature. This may by the first time the male shows its classic tall, loosely arranged profile.
     
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  6. some good reading their, should help many out, thanks
     
  7. Good info! I keep a link to a sexing guide in my sig haha...now only if we can teach these kids how to use the search button *sighs*
     
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  8. What happened here....hmmmm
     
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  9. I tried to merge flow00's post into this one...but it keeps Growing to the Beginning of the Thread not the end
     
  10. awesome thread ive learned a lot tonight:cool:
     
  11. Good thread Budslinger and it's got sticky stuff all over it so I can see it always. :D Don't worry, I won't clog it up with my madness, just wanted to say thanks for taking the time, there are always shit loads of sexing q's in here. :):wave:Ciao for now.
     
  12. good deal man..thats what its here for... any qestions feel free to post em...




    Haha.... sticky stuff all over it...ha ha... No i dint have it in the cubby...
    Usually whatever ends up in there comes out sticky....LOL..
    Thanks freedom...
     
  13. ah I c.... No biggie just kinda suprised me..haha...

    Thanks unoit
     
  14. so do male plants not yield any smoke-able bud or is it just really shitty seedy bud? i'm sure this is really trivial but i didn't see a definitive explanation.

    much appreciated!
     
  15. How tall should your plants be before you start 12/12?
     

  16. about half the height you want them to end up.
     
  17. Thanks for the new thread Budslinger. I felt funny about having a sticky with a banned member as the OP. Thanks for clearing that up boss man unoit.
     
  18. nice to hear from ya stranger..LOL
    It was good info so we had to keep it...;)


    Your flowering timing is directly linked to your area..
    as said ... plants generally double somtimes even triple in size depending on strain.
    It a good idea to start when they are 1/3 of your height...

    male plants you do not want to smoke...a headache is about all they will give you,
    although you can make some hash with them....

    hope that helps guys..
     
  19. im hung over, stoned, and got only two... about an hour of sleep.. anything else would have put me to sleep! thanks! this was some much needed info for my new grow. thank you. sir. ++
     
  20. Good question how tall should your plants be before going into 12/12?
     
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