By: Sean Calahan | Feb 14th, 2015
When you come across a strain that hits you like a scent from your fondest childhood memory… your senses grasp hold tightly and your body’s subconscious begins to retain. What you might not think about is the brilliance granted by Mother Nature to allow us to have a taste of her many gifts.
Like the 70’s all over again with a different species in our place... A long awaited genetic playground of opportunity is slowly being discovered by your everyday cannasseur. Strains on top of strains! Do you have a favorite? Every time you go to your dispensary there’s SOMETHING new you’ve never heard of staring right at you from some dank container of some sort labeled ‘Black Mountain Kush’ or ‘. With so many genetics flying around these days I wonder what we’ll call this era of sex when we grow old… Green love?
Extremely selective breeding prevails on this beautiful planet we call Earth. And now that the page of new era is turning over for growers more and more new breeders are surfacing. If breeding cannabis tickles your fancy we’ve compiled a short guide to get you started. You don’t have to be a mad geneticist to start sexing your plants: All you need is the desire to find the perfect cross, some designated grow space, and two loving parents.
You will need a male plant and a female plant for this process. If you already have the Mother for a strain you love, then you can order seeds for the strain you want to be the Father. (DO NOT GET FEMINIZED SEEDS) Once your seeds have sprouted and the plant is large enough to take clones off of, take some clones and label them well. Once the clones have rooted, you will force them to flower with 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness to determine the sex of the clones.
Keep an eye out for pistils and pollen sacks. If you get a plant that has pollen sacks, immediately transfer that plant to a designated flowering area. This will be your sexing chamber. It only takes a little pollen to turn a whole crop to seed. You do NOT want a male plant pollinating your room full of females, so be diligent, check regularly, and be extra careful not to pollinate anything you don’t want pollinated. There are several photos you can find online to help you determine whether you are looking at a male or female plant.
If you get lucky and a handful of your plants are males, then you will have the luxury of picking out the strongest one to be the father. Remember, selective breeding prevails. Look at the stems and stalks for girth, check the node formations for density, and monitor the plant’s resistance to environmental stress. You want the breeding to bring out the best in your plants so really inspect the males and carefully evaluate your best potential suitor.
Once the pollen pods open, place a clean paper sack over the pods, and tie it up at the bottom. Leave the sack over the branch for a couple of days to ensure that you collect enough pollen. When it’s time to collect your pollen, shake the branch with the bag still over it one more time to dump off any extra pollen. If you want to save some pollen for another time you can dry it and freeze it in an airtight container. Just remember that moisture and heat destroy pollen.
When it’s finally time to do the dirty (3-4 weeks after the female shows her first pistils), you will place the bag of pollen over the selected female branch and leave it for a couple of days to ensure fertilization. Seeds will be ripe in 3-6 weeks, and you will collect them as soon as they split open the containing pod. Store your seeds in a cool dry place for 1-2 months to increase your percentage of germination! When it’s finally time to germinate those babies, your selective process begins all over again. Every seed will provide a plant with different characteristics, so pick the strongest and dankest plant for your newest selectively bred crop and enjoy your creation!