In the last post we found out how to pollinate a female cannabis plant but if we want to use the controlled pollination method at first we need to collect the male pollen. This male pollen collection can be done in a number of different ways but I will explain the most common techniques.
Simple shaking method
The easiest way to collect male pollen is to just take a matured male cannabis plant and shake it on a piece of paper or any other flat surface. If you are shaking the plant and nothing happens you can let the plant grow a little more and then shake it again. When you have a good amount of pollen collected on this surface you can just pour it into a jar or other container. This method is the easiest but many growers can’t apply this method because their grow room is small and they don’t want to grow the male plant in the growing area where the females are also growing. If you let the male grow out till it is ready for pollen collection then all of your female cannabis plants will also be pollinated and in case you don’t want that to happen you should apply other methods.
Another version of this method is to cut off a branch of the male autoflower plant, put it between two newspapers and let it dry out. Pollen sacks will burst open and you will be able to collect the pollen from the peace of paper that was beneath the plant.
Room with almost no air circulation
If you have a room with low air circulation then you can just put a piece of paper or any other flat surface beneath the autoflowering cannabis plant and let it grow. When the male plant is ready for pollen collection it will slowly open its flowers and burst out pollen. This pollen will then land on your surface and you will be able to collect it. This is a very easy method but you need a room or closet or any other space where there is almost no air circulation because male pollen is really light and any breeze of airflow will carry the pollen further away from your collection surface. You can also collect pollen on a surface beneath the male plant if you put a bag, plastic wrap, or cardboard box on top of the plant when it is ready to spill pollen. You need to check your plant daily and when you see the first flowers bursting open then you can put something on the plant. The thing you put on the plant needs to cover all of the branches but it can’t be airtight. If you for example put a plastic bag over your plant and seal it completely then the plant can’t breathe. The humidity in the bag will increase to 100 % and the plant will suffer. And that male pollen doesn’t like humidity so it can easily mold or just be useless.
Pollen bag harvesting
This method is a little more advanced and requires a little more work but it is reliable.
You need to check your plant daily and check when the first pollen sacks open and then wait when the next bags are almost ready to open. When this time comes you need to take a jar or some other container and snip off these male pollen sacks in this container. You must take only those flowers that are almost ready to burst open. When you have collected as much pollen as you need (it can take multiple sets) you need to break these pollen sacks open in the container and let the pollen out of them. When all of the pollen is out of those small bags then you need to remove them and you have your pollen!
Pollen Extraction chamber
This method requires you to build an extraction box from some transparent material like plastic. You need to construct something that is similar to what you can see in this simple drawing above.
You need to mount a fan (computer fan will do just fine) on top of the box and it needs to blow the air inside the box. The air that is blown inside the box must come out somewhere and that is why you need to make a vent hole at the bottom of the box. This ventilation hole must be sealed with some filtering material like coffee filters or smooth silk in order to let the air out but not to allow those pollen grains to escape the chamber.
One more thing you need to do is to set some kind of a pollen collection system. You can put a cardboard or paper surface beneath the plant and bend the side upwards to collect more pollen.
When your pollen collection chamber is ready you can put a male inside and let it grow and spill pollen. And when you have all the pollen you need just take the chamber out of your grow area and collect the pollen. This chamber is perfect because you can collect pollen without any worries of it pollinating close by female plants.
After you have collected all the pollen you can either pollinate your female cannabis plants right away or store the pollen for later pollination. Some growers say that you can store pollen for up to 2 years and it will still be valid and will produce seeds but most growers tend to store pollen no more than a few months.
The best way to store pollen is to put it in a dark glass jar and put it in your fridge but you must first take all the humidity out of those pollen grains in order for them to not mold. When you have collected your necessary pollen you need to put it in a dark warm place and let it dry out. You can put it between two newspapers or just put it on a flat surface. When the pollen has dried out you can put it in a jar and store it in your fridge.