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The typical cannabis grower normally doesn’t have a reason to keep males, and will want to get rid of them as soon as they are spotted. Cannabis breeders, on the other hand, may want to keep males along with their crop of female plants. In such cases, the breeder will normally separate the sexes to avoid any accidental pollination. They may grow females in one tent and males in another. When grown outdoors, such as in a garden, the males are often kept in the most remote corner of their growing area, as far from the females as possible. Even then, because of the wind carrying around the pollen, there is always some risk of accidental pollination.
Among the early signs that your female has been pollinated is that her bracts become larger. Bracts are small, leaf-like structures that protect the female’s reproductive parts. These are the sites from which the flowering buds appear. Do not confuse the bracts with calyxes.
Spotting male cannabis plants and pollinated females early can save you from investing further time and effort into an entire growing season that will be for naught. Most of the time, the best course of action is to get rid of the males along with your pollinated ladies and just start a new grow.
HOW TO SPOT MALE CANNABIS PLANTS
Male plants won’t show hairs at these nodes, but will develop little sacs of pollen. These pollen sacs will look like little balls. These balls can appear on their own or in clusters, depending how far into the pre-flowering stage the plant is. At some later stage of growth, the pollen sacs will burst open, spilling the pollen and possibly pollinating your females.
Pollination requires the presence of males or intersex (hermaphrodite) plants, which are females that will also produce pollen. The first thing you want to do to keep the risk of pollination low is to remove as many males or “hermies” as as you can. Especially during the first three weeks of flowering, it’s important to frequently check for possible male specimens in your garden.
There is a good reason why most growers keep male plants away from their ladies: Pollination from males causes the females to develop seeds. As a result, females focus their energy on seed production, rather than on growing you some fine-quality bud. This seedy and unfortunate final product can be avoided by implementing a few basic techniques.
Obviously, no one wants to smoke seedy weed. When you grow cannabis and learn how to identify male plants and signs of pollination, you can remove these plants to save your remaining females. Likewise, recognising a pollinated female early allows you to start again before it’s too late, rather than finishing a grow that will only result in a poor-quality harvest.
Branches that have completely snapped off and detached themselves from the plant can be one of the most stressful problems to deal with. Luckily, these detached stems can be healed and mended with the same techniques used for other kinds of stem damage. They simply require more care and attention than bent or broken stems. However, if the detached stem is small, or located towards the bottom of the plant, it may be best to simply toss it away and cut your losses.
Similarly to fixing broken or detached stems, be very careful when removing the tape. Bent stems can be easily damaged again if not careful.
When training rigid plants, or when training during the flowering phase, plants are at an added risk for broken stems. If left untreated, the branches of these stems will stop growing. These stems can be easily fixed with the tape method or with a support structure. Plants have a natural healing mechanism that will allow them to mend themselves. However, if you act quick enough, you may not even notice a reduction in the plant’s production on these branches.
Broken, bent, or detached stems are common growing problems, especially for first-time growers. They have the potential to seriously endanger your grow and limit your final yield. However, with care and attention, these issues can be fixed quite easily. Even branches that have completely snapped off the plant can be saved by using a few simple methods.
Follow these steps to fix your broken stems:
This is the most common type of stem damage that occurs. When branches are bent or stressed too much by training techniques, permanent damage can occur. Bent or folded stems are unable to support themselves. Bends or folds can make it more difficult for branches to receive water and nutrients from the plant. These stems will continue to grow, but at a slower pace than the rest of the plant. This is not just because they are bent, but because their bending makes them hang lower, potentially blocking their exposure to light.
Stems can be damaged by something as simple as moving plants carelessly. This can especially be a problem with plants that are more rigid and upright. Moreover, damage from wind or excess airflow can similarly damage branches and stems.