Cannabis growers are pretty good at determining what stage their plant is at in the grow cycle. There are indicators for both male and female sexes as cannabis makes it pretty easy to determine either of them.
It’s important to pay attention to anything your cannabis plant is doing as it’s always trying to tell you something.
You might be noticing little white hair-like strands starting to appear when your plant starts to flower and is an important indicator of a few things your plant is telling you.
The little white hairs, also known as pistils or stigma, are the sex organ of your female cannabis plant. In the case of reproduction these pistils will be pollinated by the male plant’s pollen. You will see pistils forming when the plant reaches sexual maturity and in the flowering cycle.
There are so many nuances because of how diverse cannabis genetics can be, but seeing white pistils is a good sign that you have a female plant and that it’s ready to produce beautiful flowers for you to enjoy.
Do Male Cannabis Have Pistils?
Just as female plants cannot have pollen sacs, male cannabis plants cannot have pistils growing out of them. If you notice pollen sacs and pistils on your cannabis plant that means you have a hermaphrodite, which has both male and female parts.
This phenomenon is also called an intersex plant which means it will pollinate itself. This effectively makes the flowers and seeds produce useless as the plant has put all of its energy into creating that seed.
Some growers will use an intersex plant to pollinate another female they have and is a common practice in creating feminized seeds.
When you see an intersex plant you need to inspect the rest of your plants and remove the offenders. You should also take a look at your grow room or setup to see if everything is dialed in.
When you have a hermaphrodite it means that your plant was either stressed out too much for too long or you had very poor genetics, a seed from another intersex plant would cause it.
Are Pistils A Good Indicator For When To Harvest?
There is a common rule that says once your cannabis hairs are covered with red, orange, or brown pistils it means that your flowers are matured enough for harvest.
While this can be true in some cases, red pistils can also be a sign of too much light or you sprayed your flowers with something to combat a pest. Both of these things can change your cannabis pistils prematurely.
The best way is to still check out the trichomes with a magnifying glass or just observing the trichomes when you know it’s almost time to harvest. The further along your cannabis flowers the more visible the trichomes will be to the naked eye.
Always look for your trichomes to be a combination of milky and amber, this is an indication it is time to harvest. If they are most clear, it means that your trichomes are immature and need a little more time.