More Female Pre-Flower Pics When starting with "feminized" seeds which you can usually only get from a breeder , all your seeds should end up being female, so determining male from female isn't very important. Learn more about buying seeds including feminized seeds from breeders online. But for growers starting with "regular" non-feminized seeds, about half of the plants can turn out to be male. And unfortunately, there's no way to look at a seed and be able to tell what gender it is.
What you're looking for is "pre-flowers. They usually show up in the upper parts of the plant, closer to the lights, but sometimes you'll search the whole plant and only find a pre-flower on a random branch lower down on the plant.
Although these are the general shapes of male and female pre-flowers, if you continue looking through the pictures below, you'll see there's quite a bit of variation on what pre-flowers look like from strain to strain.
Most male plants have grown a pre-flower by week from seed, while female plants don't show until week Basically all vegetative plants will have revealed their gender by about the 6th week from seed. Make sure to look around in different places, especially near the top of the plant and closer to the lights Note: Pre-flowers show up most often near the top of the plant and closer to the lights, but could be anywhere on the plant. There may be just one on the whole plant so you may have to search all over!
Male Pre-Flowers Male pre-flowers tend to have a "spade" shape, like the spades from a deck of cards. Male cannabis plants often but not always reveal their gender sooner than female plants. Male pre-flowers tend to be shaped somewhat like a spade This male plant was only 3 weeks when it made its first preflower.
Notice how tiny it is compared to the giant-sized thumb! Often it's unclear what the gender is when a pre-flower is this small unless you've got a lot of experience so if you're not sure, it's a good idea to wait and see how it develops, just in case. Pretty tiny, isn't it? Male pre-flowers are basically immature pollen sacs.
When the plant starts flowering, they will grow and turn into bunches that almost look like grapes. I've also noticed that sometimes though not always! However, this is just a generality, and should be used together with other factors to determine if a plant is male!
There are definitely male plants with pointy stipules and vice versa, but it's sort of a general difference. This particular pre-flower is really tough to determine. However, in the end it was a male plant. In the above picture the pollen sac is still mostly hidden, while in this next picture, the tiny growths have opened up to fully reveal the pollen sac.
Here's another male pollen sac pre-flower that's on a little "stem" A single male pre-flower appears Once you see multiple pollen sacs and no white pistils, you can be confident it's a male plant Although this plant ended up being male, the stipules are long, pointy and crossed like you'd normally see with a female plant.
That's why you need to confirm gender with the pre-flowers and not just look at other factors on the plant!
Sometimes it takes a few extra days for the pistils to appear. If you're not sure about gender after spotting a pre-flower, it's a good idea to wait and see for a little while, just to see if a white hair appears which means it's definitely a girl Another example of female cannabis pre-flowers that haven't revealed their pistil yet Here's a picture that shows a pistil right as it's emerging from the calyx!
Whenever in doubt, wait a week and look again! This female plant has a long, thin calyx and crossed stipules, which are typical female plant features In this pic, you can see white pistils emerging from the calyxes.
Female pistils are white and wispy, never green. Here's another female pre-flower that doesn't have a white hair yet, but you can tell it's female because it's long and narrow, instead of spade shaped One last female pre-flower without a pistil yet. Once pollen touches the white pistils, the pollen gets delivered to the inside and a seed starts forming! Unfortunately, due to the fact that different environmental conditions during the first part of life can alter the gender, you can't look at seeds and definitively know one way or the other whether the plant will end up being female because even the plant doesn't necessarily "know".
For example, say you take a clone of a seedling before it's 3 weeks old. It's possible that one clone will be male, and the other clone will be female. However, if you take a clone after week 3, the genders of clones will always match each other.