Why my buds have seeds?
I’m sure it’s happened to you before: you’re growing one or more marijuana plants and, towards the end of flowering, you come across an unwanted presence. What is it? Learn 420 grow guide. These are seeds produced by the pollination of male flowers, either because your plant is hermaphroditic or because it has been pollinated by environmental factors. Although it may seem that this way we have new genetic material to plant, its use is not at all recommended. Moreover, we should look closely at the buds next to those that have appeared, because the ideal is to avoid them to obtain a cannabis of the desired quality.
The flowering of the cannabis plant is in its maximum development, you already prepare to harvest the buds and you get a surprise: seeds have appeared between the flowers. How is this possible? The quick answer is that you have unwittingly planted a hermaphrodite variety or there has been accidental pollination. But there is much more to explain, because your entire production has been put at risk anyway.
Unlike most plants, cannabis is characterized by being a dioecious plant, that is, with separate sexes (female and male). This means that sometimes when we grow marijuana we don’t know what kind of plant we are dealing with until it shows its sex. And it can have both, because a plant that is hermaphroditic means that it has both male and female flowers. The former are not useful for obtaining buds and are a real nuisance.
Even if you have acquired a feminized variety for planting, this hermaphroditism can occur due to environmental causes; and accidental pollination can also occur, for example, if an insect has arrived in the pot with pollen from another plant, or if the air has transported that pollen from the male flowers from somewhere else. The consequence is that once the plant is pollinated it starts to generate seeds. However, there are also varieties that, for genetic reasons, are more likely to produce hermaphroditic plants.
Hermaphrodite plants usually grow without apparent problems, but if male flowers appear they can pollinate other plants that are nearby and spoil an entire crop. If such male flowers appear (easily visible because of their banana shape and more yellowish colour), the plant must be removed, especially if you discover this at the beginning of flowering. If the flowers are few and we are in full bloom, we can remove these with tweezers sterilized in alcohol and give a second chance to our little one. And if we see the flowers or seeds when the harvest is about to arrive, we should advance it without a doubt, to avoid that the male flowers give off the pollen and can spoil the quality of the buds.
Now, once we have found the seeds, what can we do with them? Can we plant them? Yes, since they can germinate and grow a new plant. However, these seeds have a good chance of being immature and therefore not producing a quality plant. We will find out if, when they manage to grow, the leaves that are born are for example deformed or have a great shortage of branches and knots. Therefore, we will not have a quality marijuana and we will have to start the process again with another seed and the consequent annoyance of having wasted several weeks.
Therefore, it is best not to plant this type of seed and to bet on varieties offered by the banks. In general, any variety you buy from them will not give you any problems. The reason for this is that their breeders have spent a lot of time studying the genetics and the crosses in order to find a stable and quality product. In any case, feminized seeds are a sure bet for success, where surprises from male flowers will only be due to specific environmental conditions.
These are varieties that guarantee the production of female plants in a very high percentage (99%), giving cannabis plants that contain exclusively female chromosomes (XX). This has led to the spread and acceptance of these seeds has grown dramatically in recent years, as they allow the process to be speeded up and avoid losses of space, time and money.
How to avoid seeds
In addition to the fact that they are not useful for breeding quality plants, the presence of seeds in the buds can affect the final qualities of the buds, both in terms of taste and smell (the smell of burnt seed is very unpleasant) or even power, since the plant will spend a large part of its resources on producing these seeds. Thus, it is not at all advisable to consume a marijuana in which there are traces or fragments of seeds.
Conventional cannabis cultivation tends to eliminate all males as soon as they exhibit their sexual traits. This means that the females remain unpollinated, essentially virgin, so they put all their energy into producing resin instead of seeds. The result is a marijuana that has traditionally been known as “seedless”, much more potent than pollinated marijuana.
Besides buying the seeds from a quality bank, there are other ways to avoid hermaphroditism and have our plants produce seeds. One of these is by pampering the crop to avoid stress situations: for certain reasons (pruning methods, light conditions…), the plant may be subjected to extra effort and may choose to shorten the growth process by generating male flowers. Thus, knowing the needs of our crop and attending to it at all times will prevent these seeds from appearing.
The stage in which we should avoid this stress the most is right at flowering, when the buds start to develop. To do this, if we have to undertake any kind of pruning or change pots, we must do so in advance. Maś later, when we are about to harvest or in the middle of work, it will be convenient that we also check visually the buds, it is not going to be that some seed goes to the drying and manicuring process.
Having the growing space clean and safe from unwanted visitors also helps. Make sure that no insects get in and set off all the alarms if you see one lurking around. If you have just come from the countryside, a garden, a park… change your clothes before approaching your crop, in case you are wearing something impregnated with it.
With all these tips, avoiding the seeds in your marijuana buds will be pretty easy. And if they do appear, don’t scream: the experience will help us to be extremely vigilant for the next occasions. But the best advice is prevention: if you want to plant real seeds, go to the wide range of gene banks in our catalogue.