When it comes to growing marijuana, there are different seed types available. The type you choose depends on your needs, growing conditions, and overall goals.
There are two main types of cannabis seeds: regular and feminized. Each has its own pros and cons, so it is important to consider them before making a purchase.
A regular seed will produce consistent plants and expressions that are predictable across multiple environments and breeding. This is known as ‘genetic stability’, but it is not the same thing as ‘true-breeding’.
Genetic stability is the result of selecting and crossbreeding plants over a large number of generations, working to create the best plants possible. It is also important to avoid mutation, as this can make the plants more prone to problems like hermaphroditism and pollination issues.
In addition, a stable genetic can be the result of cloning, where genetic features are transferred into an unrelated plant. This technique is used for introducing desirable traits into a plant, such as purpling leaves or webbed stems.
However, a cloned seed is not completely genetically stable; it can be altered by environmental changes or by other factors, even after it has been grown for several years. This is the reason that many breeders prefer to use regular seeds over clones for their crops, as it has less risk of genetic instability.
Less Risk of Hermaphroditism
While regular seed can naturally grow to become hermaphrodites, it is much less likely than feminized seeds. This is mainly because feminized seeds are derived from genetic crossings of female chromosomes (XX) with male chromosomes (XY).
The majority of flowering plant species are dioecious, meaning that they produce a male and a female flower. However, cannabis plants can also be hermaphroditic, which produces a single plant with both male and female sexual organs.
Hermaphroditism is an interesting breeding system for a number of reasons, including the fact that it allows plants to breed with their own sex and to have more control over their crop yields. It also gives growers the opportunity to cross breed plants for their own unique crossbreeds, something that can be incredibly useful.
The risk of hermaphroditism in a strain can be caused by a number of factors, both environmental and genetic. Generally, the more stress a plant is under, the more likely it is to hermaphrodite.
Less Risk of Pollination Problems
A great way to attract a variety of pollinators to your property is with a good seed mix. The key is to provide a diverse selection of flowering plants for native bees and other pollinators to find and eat. The result is a win-win for you and the animals in your life.
While the best way to achieve this is with a seed mix, you can also try some other methods that can be used to increase pollinator numbers. The easiest is to plant a pollinator strip between or near your garden and crops to offer a forage buffet. Another is to create a hummingbird sanctuary or other wildlife conservation area. These habitats offer safe, accessible, and long-lasting water sources for pollinators like bees, birds, and butterflies to find and eat. The best part is that these areas don’t require much maintenance and will help to protect your crop yields in the long run. If you haven’t done so already, make it a point to incorporate pollinator plantings on your property this year.
Less Risk of Male Plants
A major advantage to growing regular seed over feminized seed is that it has less risk of male plants. While a few of your seeds may turn out to be hermaphrodites, this is far less common than with feminized seeds.
This less risk of male plants is due to the fact that genetically, regular seeds aren’t created by artificial means. When they are germinated, they have a 50/50 chance of becoming female or male.
As a result, you will need to be diligent about identifying your crop of plants. During the 3-6 weeks before your plant enters the flowering stage, it will produce small leaves that can be used to determine its gender. A male plant will have more circular “ball” leaves, and a female plant will have longer and thinner leaves. A grower can then decide whether or not they want to cultivate the crop as a female or male. This is a vital step for the health of your harvest and crop.