BREEDING - Cannabis Growing Guide
It is possible to breed and select cuttings from plants that grow, flower,
and mature faster. Some plants will naturally be better than others in this
regard, and it is easy to select not only the most potent plants to clone or
breed, but the fastest growing/flowering plants as well. Find your fastest
growth plant, and breed it with your "best high" male for fast
flowering, potent strains. Clone your fastest, best high plant for the quickest
monocrop garden possible. Over time, it will save you a lot of waiting around
for your plants to mature.
When a male is starting to flower (2-4 weeks before the females) it should be
removed from the females so it does not pollinate them. It is taken to a
separate area. Any place that gets just a few hours of light per day will be
adequate, including close to a window in a separate room in the house. Put
newspaper or glass under it to catch the pollen as the flowers drop it.
Keep a male alive indefinitely by bending the top severely and putting it in
mild shock that delays it is maturity. Or take the tops as they mature and put
the branches in water, over a piece of plate glass. Shake the branches every
morning to release pollen onto the glass and then scrap it with a razor blade to
collect it. A male pruned in this fashion stays alive indefinately and will
continue to produce flowers if it gets suitable dark periods. This is much
better than putting pollen in the freezer! Fresh pollen is always best.
Save pollen in an air tight bag in the freezer. It will be good for about a
month. It may be several more weeks before the females are ready to pollinate.
Put a paper towel in the bag with it to act as a desecant.
A plant is ready to pollinate 2 weeks after the clusters of female flowers
first appear. If you pollinate too early, it may not work. Wait until the female
flowers are well established, but still all while hairs are showing.
Turn off all fans. Use a paper bag to pollinate a branch of a female plant.
Use different pollen from two males on separate branches. Wrap the bag around
the branch and seal it at the opening to the branch. Shake the branch
vigorously. Wet the paper bag after a few minutes with a sprayer and then
carefully remove it. Large plastic zip-lock bags also. Slip the bag over the
male branch and shake the pollen loose. Carefully remove the bad and zip it up.
It should be very dusty with pollen. To pollinate, place it over a single branch
of the female, zipping it up sideways around the stem so no pollen leaks out.
Shake the bag and the stem at the same time. Allow to settle for an hour or two
and shake it again. Remove it a few hours later. Your branch is now well
pollinated and should show signs of visible seed production in 2 weeks, with
ripe seeds splitting the calyxes by 3-6 weeks. One pollinated branch can create
hundreds of seeds, so it should not be necessary to pollinate more than one or
two branches in many cases.
When crossing two different varieties, a third variety of plant will be
created. If you know what characteristics your looking for in a new strain, you
will need several plants to choose from in order to have the best chance of
finding all the qualities desired. Sometimes, if the two plants bred had
dominant genes for certain characteristics, it will be impossible to get the
plant you want from one single cross. In this case, it is necessary to
interbreed two plants from the same batch of resultant seeds from the initial
cross. In this fashion, recesive genes will become available, and the plant
character you desire may only be possible in this manner.
Usually, it is desirable only to cross two strains that are very different.
In this manner, one usually arrives at what is refered to as "hybrid
vigor". In other words, often the best strains are created by taking two
very different strains and mating them. Less robust plants may be the result of
interbreeding, since it opens up recesive gene traits that may lead to reduced
Hybrid offspring will all be very different from each other. Each plant grown
from the same batch of seeds collected from the same plant, will be different.
It is then necessary to try each plant separately and decide it is individual
merits for yourself. If you find one that seems to be head and shoulders above
the rest in terms of early flowering, high yield and get buzz, that is the plant
to clone and continue breeding.
In depth genetics is beyond the scope of this work. See Marijuana Botany;
Smith, for more detailed info in this area.