The title of this chapter may sound like that of a cheesy 1990’s R&B song, but rest assured that sexing your plants is no laughing matter, and is very important.
Many first time growers may get daunted by this task, thinking it’s very tricky, but in reality, if you know what to looking for, it’s pretty straightforward. Let’s brake it down as simply as possible:
What is the value in sexing your plants? Plain and simple, it’s advantageous to remove the male plants from your crop so that they do not pollinate the females. Once female plants are pollinated they focus their energies on seed production as opposed to potency production, which makes for a great decrease in the potency of your crop.
You won’t be able to determine the sex of your plants until they reach the pre-flowering stage which begins after you decide to change the lighting of your crop over to a 12 on/12 off cycle which signals the beginning of the fall growing season to your indoor crop.
While male plants are generally leggier than females, and females tend to be squatter and bushier, the only definitive way for you to be sure about the sex is to be very observant and perhaps whip out your trusty magnifying glass.
The area you will need to focus on is the juncture of the branches and the central stem of the plant. Once you’ve started your plants into the fall season/flowering stage, that’s when you need to start paying close attention. For the tell-tale sign of male plants you are going to be looking out for little balls forming from the pollen sacs located at the base of the branches at the juncture with the stem. These will be visible to the naked eye once large enough, but using a magnifying glass will help you to see them more easily.
As far as the female plants go, their flowers are going to be located at exactly the same juncture point as described above for the male plants, but they will be structurally different – two long hair like growths called pistils.
Once the males have exposed themselves, go ahead and remove them from your crop to maximize the potency of your yield.