Regular seeds preserve genetic stability, vital for breeding purposes. They also offer the possibility of phenotype variation, allowing for unique and varied cannabis strains.
Marijuana regular seeds produce both male and female plants. This makes them ideal for growers who want to start breeding. Male plants can be separated and pollinated with a specific female plant to create new strains.
While feminized seeds are popular with commercial growers who want to ensure their crops contain only female plants, regular seeds are often preferred by home growers for their genetic diversity. Breeding regular cannabis seeds is straightforward and can be done without the use of chemicals or large facilities.
The process of growing and breeding regular seeds begins with the identification of two inbred parents, which should then be crossed to produce a seedling. Once the seedlings have reached the flowering stage, it is easy to identify male and female plants based on appearance.
The next step in breeding is to place a bag over the female plant and allow it to collect pollen from the male plants. This is best done in a separate growing room to avoid accidental fertilization of other female plants. It’s recommended to wait for around two days before removing the bag. If all goes well, the pollinated plant should produce a high-quality crop of new seeds.
Clones are cuttings taken from vegetative mother plants in the cannabis cultivator’s grow room and then rooted before being planted into soil or hydroponic medium. They are genetically identical to the mother plant, making them an ideal option for growers seeking to replicate a specific strain.
However, clones can carry diseases and pests from their source. Additionally, they are fragile and require a highly controlled environment to root and thrive.
If you choose to clone, be sure to select healthy “mother” plants that are at least two months into their vegetative cycle. Doing so will ensure that they have enough time to grow full and mature before being flipped into flower, where they are less likely to perform well. Also, consider selecting “mother” plants that are easy to work with. This can be determined by checking for white roots and watching for any signs of disease or pests. Lastly, clones need to be fed regularly with a balanced nutrient solution.
As regular seeds are sourced from reputable breeders and seed banks, they typically offer high levels of genetic stability. This is important to growers as it means that you can expect your plants to be identical from one crop to the next, and this is key for breeders working with new phenotypes.
Feminized seeds on the other hand are far less stable. This is due to the process that they undergo, which involves crossing the hermaphrodite plant with itself and then backcrossing it several times. The goal is to create a plant that is similar to the original clone but with seeds that are guaranteed to be female.
The challenge is that this technique can cause inbreeding depression and the seeds may not produce the desired characteristics. This is why many growers prefer to use regular seeds, especially when working with hermaphrodite plants. This requires careful monitoring to identify and remove hermaphroditic plants and prevent unwanted pollination.
The environmental conditions that seeds are exposed to can also have a significant effect on their germination success. This includes temperature, light sensitivity, moisture and burial depth.
For seeds to “wake up” and germinate, they need to be able to absorb moisture from the soil. However, some seeds have a hard or thick seed coat that prevents moisture from entering (physical dormancy), while others may have internal chemical dormancy that requires breaking. This can be achieved by leaching the seed, cold/moist stratification or scarifying the seed coat.
Drought is a common environmental factor that can impose osmotic stress on seeds. Osmotic stress inhibits the natural flow of water into seeds from their surrounding environment and is a major impediment to triggering germination. In this study, the osmotic stress treatment of 0.2MPa completely inhibited germination in both the Ingliston and Gnarwarre populations. The deeper the seed is buried, the less likely it is to emerge and grow. This may be because smaller seeds have a lower energy reserve that can be expended to reach the surface of the soil.