Most marijuana growers eliminate males from their grow rooms by using feminized seeds or by cutting males down as soon as they show male flowers. But I am here to tell you that male marijuana plants are valuable…because they help you breed your very own strains of marijuana.
Why would you want to breed your very own strains of marijuana when there are hundreds of strains for sale? Here are some reasons:
Save money (the best marijuana seeds for sale can cost $200 or more for ten seeds.
Avoid problems with shipping, ordering and security risks when you order marijuana seeds online.
Get into the marijuana seed business and make money.
Be sure of what you’re smoking, because you grew it. Control your own genetics and tailor them to exactly what you want.
Of these, this last feature could be the most important: by breeding your own marijuana strains cannabis seeds you create seeds that give you the effects you want.
There’s a lot more to breeding cannabis than just the generic process outlined below, and later on in this article I’m going to tell you about a marijuana breeding book that has a huge amount of useful info, but this will get you started:
Get the best marijuana non-feminized marijuana seeds possible, of the strains you like the most.
Sprout your medical marijuana seeds. Monitor plants closely to see which ones have the most favorable growth and structure.
Flip to 12-hour light cycle when plant development is appropriate for it. Within two weeks you’ll see some plants developing male flowers and some developing female flowers. Take a look at the videos embedded in this article, which give you a visual guide to recognizing male and female flowers, and other seed-breeding tips.
Select the most desirable males; isolate them in a separate 12-hour grow room so they can’t contaminate your females. Ensure there are no vectors that allow inadvertent pollen transfer from your male room to any female plants.
Place black poly plastic under your male plants; that makes it easier to look for pollen, which shows up as a yellow powder.
When your male plants are producing pollen, bring a small, dry, sterile, shallow, wide-mouth glass or plastic container into your room.
Place the container under ripe male flowers and tap the flowers lightly so that the pollen falls into the container. Do this until you have as much pollen as you can get.
If you’ve planned properly, your female flowers will be ready to pollinate at the same time your male flowers are ripe. Male flowers tend to produce pollen slightly ahead of when female flowers first ripen enough to be pollinated.
After you’ve collected pollen, seal the container it’s in and place the container in the top half of a refrigerator.
After being in a pollen room or handling pollen, change clothes and take a shower before you enter your female plants’ grow room (pollen easily travels on clothes, shoes, hair and skin).
Choose lower branches on prime female plants for pollination. If necessary, use paper or plastic to temporarily and loosely wrap adjacent branches to prevent inadvertent pollination of the entire plant.
Use a small, new, clean artist’s paintbrush (size numbers 3-5) to dip into the pollen.
Lightly apply pollen to all bud surfaces, as deep as you can go into the bud without damaging it. Label your branches or plant pots with identifying language such as: “Haze crossed with Northern Lights”
Keep grow room air movement to a minimum for at least one hour after pollination. At the end of the hour, and before removing protective coverings from adjacent unpollinated branches, very lightly move the pollinated branches to shake off excess pollen and to further embed pollen into your flowers. Remove protective coverings, being careful not to distribute stray pollen as you do so.
Take a shower; put on fresh clothes after any work with pollen before you go back into a female plants’ grow room.
If your pollination session has been successful, you’ll soon see seeds swelling up in your buds and those seeds will be ripe 4-8 weeks from pollination, depending on the strain you’re breeding.
Let your buds develop all the way to harvest and then remove the seeds after you’ve harvested, using tweezers and being gentle. Remove any leaf or other green covering material from your seeds.
Let them dry for a few days in a dark, aerated, clean place with 75F temperature and low humidity.
Store cannabis seeds in a sealed, clean glass jar in the top half of your refrigerator.
Here are fundamental tips to provide you a good foundation for breeding marijuana seeds:
Let females grow all the way to harvest and test the dried and cured marijuana, and then rejuvenate the females, so you make sure you’re pollinating the best females.
If you want to breed a cannabis strain with itself, don’t buy feminized seeds: you won’t get any males (no pollen).
Using regular unfeminized seeds, ratios of female to male is usually about 60-40 in favor of females.
Turn off all aeration fans and venting fans before you work with pollen.
Properly-bred, harvested and stored seeds remain viable 1-5 years after harvest under optimum conditions.
Grow out your new seeds as soon as possible to see how viable they are, and to test their growth characteristics and high.
Get Yourself the Cannabis Breeder’s Bible
Making your own marijuana seeds can be as simple as what I talked about earlier. You just grow out some male plants and female plants, collect pollen, put it on the female flowers, and you’ve got your own seeds.
But if you really want do to it right, get Greg Green’s “The Cannabis Breeder’s Bible.”
This book is expressly designed to teach you how to become a professional cannabis breeder and entrepreneur, and it covers topics you would never figure out on your own.
The book acquaints you with the mysterious marijuana seed breeders’ lingo, such as “F1,” and “backcrossing,” “true-breeding,” and “genotypes.”
You get a basic but complete look at how genes and chromosomes work, and what kinds of marijuana strains should be bred together, and which ones are so different from each other that you can’t count on the resulting seeds to be stable or predictable.
You also learn how to recognize and select the many characteristics that are particular to marijuana strains, but not so dominant in the strains you already like.
You might want a fast-growing, short, stocky plant, but you also want that plant to be good outdoors in a moldy climate.
Or you don’t care so much about how fast your crop grows or matures, but you want a heavy yield and an uplifting high.
Greg Green guides you through the process of breeding for marijuana traits that usually don’t come together in one strain, kind of like choosing which notes you play on a piano, to make your own THC music.
The color photos in The Cannabis Breeder’s Bible are inspiring; many of them come from Paradise Seeds, a major Dutch seed breeder. We can only hope to have the unlimited greenhouse and outdoor space that the commercial seed breeders have.
Green points out that the more plants you have, and especially the more carefully-selected mothers and high-value males you have, the bigger the menu of traits you can pick from.
With useful detours into useful topics such as “tissue culture,” “advanced breeding principles,” and how to protect your plants from diseases and pests, Breeder’s Bible goes beyond the basics.
I predict you’ll especially like Green’s explanation of the marijuana seed business: how you can become a seed seller, how you protect your seeds from people who try to use them to copy your strains, how to do business in the seedy marijuana seed industry.
As with other books from Green Candy Press, this must-have hydroponics marijuana seed breeding book is professionally bound, edited, illustrated, and organized.
And while it’s true that you can follow my pollen to female flower advice in this article above, and produce seeds that’ll grow well for you, professional growers know from personal experience that investing in hydroponics marijuana literature is a sure way to increase your knowledge so you grow your heaviest, kindest, most valuable buds ever!