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Cannabis Sativa: The Essential Guide to the World's Finest Marijuana Strains

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If the female Sativa plant has been growing and the hours of dark are at 12 hours or more then the hormones inside the plant will change the cycle of growing into flowering. The Sativa will show small hair like pistils to confirm preflower has begun. When this stage is reached with the female it would be recommended to keep your male Indica in a place that has more than 16/18 hours of light so it remains in a growing phase, giving the female time to develop and get her ready to be mature enough to produce a good fertile seed crop. If the male pollinates the female too early the female will produce a small amount of seed since the plant stops developing and puts its energy into seed development and not into flower cluster development. If the female is pollinated too late there will be a lot of non viable white seed produced as a result - so getting the female ripe and ready is the point in seed production.

As a general rule if you bring the male plant into flowering 2 weeks after the visible signs of flowering have been identified on the female, the pollination will be complimentary producing a good amount of extremely dark and healthy seed. However if you only use one single male plant to pollinate a series of female plants they can all be flowered at the same moment but a plastic bag can be placed over the male plant to control its pollen dispersal. Painting on or dusting female plants with collected pollen are also a very good method of controlled pollination and are useful when the male and female are out of sync in their flowering cycles naturally.

After introducing the male into the flowering cycle it will take approximately 2 weeks before the male flowers begin to become visible. A few days after that, the male flowers will mature and open releasing their pollen into the air, and with the female flower ripe to receive pollen, germination of the plant takes place. Controlling the amount of male pollen and the female plant it needs to pollinate can be done Within another 2 weeks there will be visible signs of the seed forming and the female plant will cease growing anymore flowers but rather put the energy into the development of the seed. When the female plant runs its natural life cycle and begins to die, the seed will become mature.

Cutting the entire female plant down and hanging it with all the seed inside it for 3 to 4 weeks will ensure a hardening off period for the seed to become useable. It has been known that too fresh a seed sometimes has problems germinating but leaving the fresh seed for the next season, there should be 100% germination of the F1 seed. So it is important to show patience when making and dealing with seed.

The importance of selecting plants for the traits that are useful to the breeder/grower is the main reason genetics have evolved as they have. Male plants of this species need to be carefully selected to avoid a lot of laborious work, which means one will need to do a lot of testing of F1 seed made from a particular male to verify if the sex linked traits are real or not. Males that auto flower irrespective of daylight hours are normally eliminated to insure against hermaphroditism or unwanted male traits. Males that flower too quickly or too tall are also not the best for breeding since they put too much energy into fiber production which is not the trait one is looking for in a medicinal plant. Males that have large hollow main stems are sought out rather than males that are more pith-filled stems - the main reason are that large hollow stemmed males are better THC producers than other plants. Males that produce tight floral clusters rather than airy sparse floral clusters are usually better to breed with. Finally if you rub your fingers against the stem of a developing male and are able to get strong odors or aromas (terpines) you will be advised to use these males as trichrome production and flavor are directly related to plants that produce odors early on. There are several other traits to look for in a male but these are rather advanced and need microscope help which is not really relevant for the hobby grower/breeder.

The purpose of reputable seed breeders is to start with good genetics, it will save years of selecting and doubt of parent origin, etc. and going on with interbreeding or hybridization from plants selected by yourself will help you design and select for things that you want in a plant. After 5 generations of this sort of hobby seed breeding the plant you will have will be unique to your selection process and very different from the parents, making it basically your creation. The process of seed breeding by way of selection is a very satisfying accomplishment and as close as we can get to designing Mother Nature, without interfering chemically or genetically manipulating a plant. Selective breeding is a long process and not for everyone, that is why companies have been spending years of research into selection of both female and male plants of Cannabis.

With time, focus and a lot of patience the knack for recognizing desirable and undesirable traits becomes more apparent. Having an open and curious mind, along with a developed sense of intuition will be the most useful tools for breeding good quality medicinal herbs.

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