Cannabis Pollen: How To Collect From Male Plants
Are you curious about cannabis pollen? Female Cannabis plants are the gems and treasures that yield the buds that Cannabis growers and enthusiasts love. With this, some people get disappointed when they find out that they have been cultivating and growing a male plant. But, what we do not realize is that male plants are just as important as female plants, especially when it comes to sustainability in growing and producing cannabis pollen. Both varieties participate distinctly mainly in the pollination and reproduction process.
The male Cannabis plants are responsible for producing the pollen, just like all other male plant varieties, which is the key that allows germination with female plants to occur, and subsequently, produce Cannabis seeds. These Cannabis seeds are of great importance especially to experts and Cannabis breeders as they allow them to mix and cross the genetics of several varieties and strains of plants and produce new breeds or strains that possess the characteristics they desire to produce and distribute.
This fact is not only exclusive for breeders. Still, it can also be beneficial for people who have a particular taste in their Cannabis and wish to make a strain of their own, especially that the procedure to do this is laid.
Cannabis Pollen Defined
Pollen appears as a fine powder that is golden yellow produced by the male varieties of plants. This is true for all types of plants with male and female counterparts, including that of Cannabis.
Pollen is the particular component incorporated with the female buds for germination, or the production of seeds, to occur. Necessarily, germination will never happen without the other component so seeds will never be produced if one of the female and male variety is not present.
In a natural environment, pollen is transported from the male flowering plant to the female flowering plant through the blowing of the wind or insects. While in human-made environments such as grow-op facilities, pollens are manually collected from the male plants and applied to the female plants when they are starting to grow flowers.
Also, expert breeders manually collect pollen from male plants if they wish to produce a new breed or if they require Cannabis seeds. Pollens are just easy to collect and can even be stored for over a year.
Ways of Collecting Cannabis Pollen from Male Plants
Collecting pollen only requires a few steps, and many people find it very simple. You will know when a male plant already has sufficient pollen when you see golden yellow powder, the pollen grains, around its leaves or you can observe that its pollen sack is already filled.
Some few simple steps in collecting pollen are as follows:
- One of the simplest methods in harvesting pollen from a male Cannabis is by gently removing the pollen sac that appears to be full already. Have this pollen sac dried for about a week and store it in a resealable bag, for example, a zip lock bag, once it is completely dried. Afterward, shake the bag, and the sacs should split and crack and release the pollen on its own. It will be released to the bag, and then you can gently remove the remaining pieces of sacs and store the pollen grains in the resealable container.
- Another common way of collecting pollen grains that will not consume time for drying is by simply agitating the pollen sacs and putting the pollen grains in a bag, or a container, a resealable bag like a ziplock bag will do. The sacs should be bent and slightly inserted into the bag or the box, and then gently tapped to transfer the pollen from the sac to the container. Keep in mind to remove the pollen sacs that might fall off into the storage bag while harvesting the pollen grains.
Pollen is very easy to transport, even when you do not notice. If this happens, germination takes place, and your schedule of harvest gets disrupted. Therefore, it is essential to remember that one should not go near a female plant after having been in close contact with male flowering plants. Besides, male plants and female plants should not be placed close to each other.
Best Methods in Storing Cannabis Pollen
As individuals decide to venture with storing Cannabis pollen, it is essential to know and to keep in mind that moisture is the number one enemy of pollen grains, once pollen gets exposed to humidity they lose all their functionality and essentially become useless. Thus, pollen should be away from all risks of moisture at all times.
The best way to be able to preserve pollen is by situating it inside a new resealable bag and putting it inside a fridge for several days. However, if you wish to store it for a more extended period, the resealable bag should be placed inside the freezer, this method permits storage for around a year.
Another method that will allow Cannabis pollen storage is by mixing it with plain flour with a 1:3 ratio, one part pollen, and three parts flour before putting it in a container. This method aids in the absorption of moisture and makes pollination easier as it increases the volume of pollen collected, which can be utilized for the pollination.
Using silica gel packs, similar to the ones seen in medicine bottles and other storage containers, together with cannabis pollen, is also another effective way of keeping pollen free from moisture.
Lastly, double or triple bagging is also another effective method in preserving the functionality of pollen. This involves putting the bag containing pollen inside another bag and if you wish to do so, putting this bag inside another bag as well.
Recommended Procedure in Utilizing Cannabis Pollen
The cannabis pollen collected from the male plant becomes functional once it participates in germination, which occurs in the female plant. Therefore, to put the pollen grains into use, they have to reach the female plant.
Female Cannabis plants, when they are fit for pollination, will have their developing buds possess wispy white hairs which are naturally used to gather pollen from the male plants driven by the wind when in a wild environment. This phenomenon usually occurs within two to three weeks into the flowering stage of the female plant. This is also when expert growers and professional breeders generally prefer and recommend to apply the pollen from the male plant to the female plant.
The harvested pollen grains are applied onto the bud sites of the female plant using a brush. Bud sites are usually located in the region where the stem and the leaves of the plant meet. It is also a must to ensure that parts such as the pistil and the hairs in the female plant are well pollinated; they should be directly touched if needed.
Only the bud sites that we’re able to be in contact with pollen grains will allow germination to take place and produce Cannabis seeds. For this reason, one can opt to put pollen in other parts of the female plant as well or in the entirety of the female plant to be entirely sure.
Alternatively, more natural methods of pollination can also be done. This method is also very simple which only includes placing the female plant and the male plant in a similar room or within a very close distance with each other and shaking the male plant once or twice every day for two to three days. This will allow the male plant to release some of its pollen grains thus allowing the wind to naturally drive the pollen to the parts of the female plant.
Pollen grains are very easy to transport from one place to another; therefore, it will also be easy to reach the female plant. Because of this same reason, the male plants should be placed away from the female plant during periods when you do not wish for pollination to happen.
Detailed Procedure in Collecting Cannabis Pollen
Four weeks after pollination, one can already check the female Cannabis plant and look for Cannabis seeds that might be available for harvest. Seeds develop in the flowers of the female plant and can be observed in and around a pollinated bud. Pollinated buds do not look very similar to regular sinsemilla. Instead, they do not form large colas and have fewer trichomes. Mature seeds that are ready for harvest; on the other hand, usually look brown or tan and possess an incredibly hard shell that sometimes has light striping. You can check for the maturity of the seeds by trying to pick one from your pollinated bud and examining if it fits the description of mature seed.
If your Cannabis seeds do not look mature, do not harvest them yet and allow it to develop for a little longer as it is normal for seeds to mature up to six weeks. Also, it is normal for some Cannabis plants to develop mature seeds very late in their flowering cycle. During these kinds of situations, it is essential to keep your female Cannabis plants healthy and provide them with enough light and nutrients to ensure the proper development of the Cannabis seeds, as well.
Once you believe that the Cannabis seeds look mature and are available for harvest, you can start collecting the pollinated buds and digging deep to be able to collect all of the mature seeds. These seeds are all ready to use and can be germinated to start the process of growing new plants or developing new strains. They can also be stored in a cool, dry place for several years before being used.
Sustainability is essential nowadays, and it is the time to level up your Cannabis journey by starting to collect cannabis pollen from male cannabis plants.
Pollen – How To Collect It And Use It
- Dec 30, 2007
Fallen Cannabis Warrior
How to take and use pollen:
This is a simple method of collecting and administering pollen to your female plants in a shared environment.
As the picture shows, this male plant is raring to go. (My totally simple pollen collection technique in action.) I recommend doing this only after you have closed the ladies up for the night. Shut off any fans in the vicinity, as pollen is an airborne ‘agent’ and will travel for quite some distance if allowed.
Also be considerate of household members that are sensitive to pollen
1) Place a dry, sterile, open bag/container under the opening male flowers.
2) Gently tap the stem with a finger. The pollen will slowly settle into the container. (If you are careful, only a few flowers will fall into the mix.
3) Remove any flower/plant parts that land in your container with the pollen. Tap them off gently before removing, to recover the pollen. (Moisture = BAD)
4) Dilute pollen with sterilized flour at a four-to-one ratio. This will allow more coverage if required (Optional)
5) Refrigerate until use. (Viable for around 3-5 days)
6) Immediately change your clothing and clean up before going near your female plants.
[Also, it is a good idea to isolate your pets during this time. I had a cat run in once when I was collecting pollen and after I chased it out, it promptly ran downstairs and into my Flowering room. A month later I had some very unusually crossed beans]
This is a real easy and practical method for harvesting a small amount.
Pollination disclaimer: This method is not recommended for everybody. Cross-pollination is often a result of pollinating plants in the presence of other females. Proceed at your own risk.
Due to weak branches, space and size considerations, etc., it may be necessary to pollinate your plants without removing them from the others. If possible, I would advise removing the female to be fertilized prior, but when that isn’t possible, this is a good alternative.
Wait till the grow lights go off as scheduled, and shut down all of the fans. Adjust your timers to eliminate ‘surprises’. Eliminate any drafts in the outer and adjoining room and shut off your furnaceAC. The room must have zero air movement before you begin. Place a small garbage bag in a pocket at this time, later you can put all of the pollen ‘tools’ inside it when finished.
Strategically locate the female(s) to seed next to each other and against a wall earlier in the grow. Now prepare a clear plastic drop cloth to isolate these plants from the rest of the garden. The plastic featured here is 4′ high and 7′ long.
Tape a straight edge against the far side of the tarp so that you can anchor it against the wall securely. You do not want it to come down! Use the thinnest plastic you can find to avoid excess moisture and damage to the plants. Because it is thin, be very careful to avoid damaging it.
After arranging your divider by draping it loosely between the plants, (do not anchor it yet), mist the floor, net pots and buckets with distilled water. This will neutralize any errant pollen that drifts by or lands on the floor.
Thoroughly mist the other plants that you do not want to pollinate, being careful to avoid blowback on the plants to be fertilized.
I prefer to wear tight-fitting clothes during this procedure to reduce pollen transfer. Carefully retrieve the pollen container, put the brush inside (a Q-tip will work for smaller amounts.) and place it into a larger, clean, storage bag. After sealing it shut, wipe the outside with a damp cloth to remove any pollen. This is important, you do not want any pollen to escape during the trip to the selected plants.
Select the branches that you intend to fertilize and label them with computer labels. This will aid in identification later. Avoid going overboard here. A single MJ plant is capable of producing several thousand beans; only pollinate a few depending on your needs.
Make sure that the branches to be pollinated are in an area that will get good light coverage. Avoid pollinating the extreme lower branches, as they will likely not mature into viable seeds.
While wearing gloves, position the bags nearby and below the branch and lightly coat the paintbrush with pollen. While holding the brush a short distance (3-6″) above the target bud, lightly tap the brush, releasing pollen onto the fertile flower(s) below.
Do not contact the flowers directly with the brush. The ‘tap’ is similar to tapping off the ash on a joint, be careful, a little pollen goes a long way. For interior buds, simply tap the end of the brush lightly against the stems.
Try to select branches that are nearest to a wall, to avoid direct contact with other non-pollinated branches. Cross-pollination will occur anyway, but usually only a few extra seeds are a result.
When you are satisfied with the coverage, seal up the inner bag, remove your gloves carefully and place them in the larger zip lock before sealing it as well. Now place the bag into the clean garbage bag that was previously secured in your pocket.
You may wish to remove your shirt slowly and place it in the bag as well.
Keep a wet washcloth nearby to wipe off your face, arms, legs and other pollen magnet areas. Doing this will reduce the spread of pollen as you leave the area. Remove the pollen bag from the room and return after washing up.
Secure the far end of the plastic barrier to the wall. Be careful to do this slowly to avoid stirring up the air/pollen. Secure the end closest to the door using squares of stiff cardboard and tacks. These are essentially homemade roofing felt nails and will prevent the plastic from tearing.
Now shut them in for the night, making sure that the fan(s) are still disabled. You may need to raise the lights during the lights on period to compensate for the lack of fans.
This continues for 48 hours. On the third day’s lights off time, mist the fertilized plants thoroughly to take out any viable pollen that remains behind, in the morning turn on the fans and adjust the light(s) as normal.
Remove the plastic divider after one week when you are certain that there is no contamination threat.
Remember at the end of the grow to thoroughly clean your grow room with a damp cloth to remove all traces of pollen.
Four to five weeks later, you should have a bunch of viable beans to grow or share with your friends and nature.
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Take the target plant out of the grow room just before light’s out. Put a garbage bag over it and poke a branch out of a hole on the side. Use a small paint brush or roughed up -Tip to dip in the pollen, tap off excess in the container then tap lightly over a few buds. Dip and tap until the buds you want seeds on are dusted. Leave sit in the dark until it’s time to go back into the flower room. Approach the bagged girl with a loaded spray bottle and mist it all over including the dusted branch to deactivate the pollen.. Hit the floor as you approach and around the plant too. Allow the branch to dry then take off the bag and put her back under the lights. If the plant is ready to crop before the seeds are splitting their calyxes crop the plant but leave that branch on. Move it somewhere and put some CFLs close to the branch if the plant is in the way in the grow room.
I’ve devised over the decades a couple ways to collect pollen that are easy-peasy. If he’s not in the way cut off all the branches but one and bag it. Use a paper bag, cut a window in it and carefully tape some clear plastic in there. Tape it inside too for extra security. Hold the bag up to the light and inspect closely for any cracks or weak spots and put some Scotch tape over those if any. Those windowed bread bags for French bread work really good. The window lets light in to grow the flowers and the paper bag part lets the moisture out so it doesn’t mess up the pollen. A horizontal branch works best so the pollen doesn’t fall into the neck of the bag and maybe find a tiny hole to slip out of. Don’t have a horizontal branch? Make it so! Tie the bag tightly around the stem with twist ties and wait for the pollen to drop. I’ve done this 3 times and it worked great. This one I thought of for sure as it was a dozen years ago the first time.
If the male isn’t too big find a cardboard box it can fit in. In a box line the bottom with tin foil, shiny side up then lay the plant on it’s side with something under the top side of the pot to hold it up at a bit of an angle. Put a 2700K or 2 above the foliage and stick it in the closet with a timer doing 12/12. To water jiggle the plant a bit to shake any loose flowers and pollen off then stand it up slowly and give it a drink. Don’t worry about feeding it or pH or anything. It’s on it’s way out and giving up the goods as long as it doesn’t dry out. When you have enough pollen toss the plant then carefully lift out the tin foil and pick all the dead flowers and any little bits of plant material out until it looks clean. After pouring the pollen into a vial or container you can seal put that in a bigger jar that can be sealed. Put some drying crystals in the bottom or some white rice that you’ve warmed up in the oven a bit to dry it completely then put the OPEN vial of pollen in the pile of rice and seal that jar for a good week to desiccate the pollen. Then if kept in the freezer should be good for 3 – 6 months.
Another thing I’ve done a few times that is even easier is just cut a branch or two about a foot long. Clean the bottom few inches of foliage then stick it in a glass off water so it leans out to one side and lay some tin foil under the branch on a shelf in a closet far removed from the grow room. Same with the light and timer. If you have 2 nice looking males of the same strain and can’t decide which one, take a branch of each and get a better mix of genetics in the beans you produce. Don’t have a pic of that. Sorry.
Here’s a nice pic of the little buggers that make the pollen. Notice their resemblance to bananas? Hence the term ‘nanners.
How much pollen can a pollen-chucker chuck if a pollen-chucker could chuck pollen. Say that fast 3 times when you’re really blazed!
How to take and use pollen: This is a simple method of collecting and administering pollen to your female plants in a shared environment. Collection…