While most, if not all, medical and recreational farms cultivate cannabis from seeds, guaranteeing that their plants are free from viruses, most home growers, even those with experience, typically begin with clones — essentially trimmed pieces of female cannabis plants that have been rooted in separate pots. “When most people think of cannabis — you know, what you smoke — they’re thinking about the flowers of female plants,” Lipton said. “When you grow from seeds, half of them will be males. If you’re only going to do one or two plants, you don’t want to waste your time with that stuff.” A clone sourced from a dispensary or a knowledgeable friend guarantees that the plant is female and will eventually produce bud pending proper care. “You can get up to four ounces off the right plant — if you know what you’re doing.”
Know the law.
pH of Water: 6.3 to 6.7. “You’ll need a meter that you can stick into your water and tell you the pH,” Lipton said. “You want something between 6.3 to 6.7 pH for watering your plants. That sounds like pretty sophisticated stuff but it’s really not. A lot of times your tap water will be 7.8. You can use what they call pH down. That’s a crucial step.”
Plant and maintain the vegetative cycle until the plant is mature.
Cannabis plants yield the highest-quality (and quantity) flowers after maturing. This usually takes about a month to happen. “I recommend planting in a five-gallon Home Depot bucket,” Lipton said. “It’s really important to have proper drainage, so you want to drill some holes in the bottom. The biggest mistake people make is that they overwater and suffocate the roots. Cannabis likes to be watered and dried out before it’s watered again.” During the vegetative cycle, the plant should be exposed to a minimum of 18 hours of light. Remember to open the closet door while the lights are on to prevent the space from heading north of 78 degrees Fahrenheit.
There are two types of hermaphrodite plants:
The rare hermaphroditic plant contains both female and male sex organs. These plants can sometimes self-pollinate, but this is typically bad as it will create buds with seeds and also pass on hermaphroditic genes.
Mycorrhizae, a beneficial fungus, can be added to soil to improve root systems.
Cannabis is a dioecious plant, meaning it can be male or female, and the male and female reproductive organs appear on different plants. What’s in your stash jar now are the flowers of a female marijuana plant.
Male marijuana plants
Often, growers will top, or cut off, the stem after about five nodes, which forces the plant to grow out laterally more, creating more bud sites.
Females are the prizes of cannabis plants—they are the ones that grow the buds that we all know and love. Anytime you see a picture of a cannabis plant with buds, you are looking at a female plant.
A bract is what encapsulates the female’s reproductive parts. They appear as green tear-shaped “leaves,” and are heavily covered in resin glands which produce the highest concentration of cannabinoids of all plant parts.
How to determine the sex of a marijuana plant
The pistil contains the reproductive parts of a flower, and the vibrant, hair-like strands of the pistil are called stigmas. Stigmas serve to collect pollen from males.
Plants originally developed trichomes to protect against predators and the elements. These clear bulbous globes ooze aromatic oils called terpenes as well as therapeutic cannabinoids like THC and CBD. The basis of hash production depends on these trichomes and their potent sugar-like resin.