How to Breed Regular Weed Seeds: A Comprehensive Guide
Cannabis breeding is gaining popularity as many users want to explore various weed strains and mix the qualities of their favorite cultivars. Due to the breeding of regular seeds, the industry is awash with thousands of weed seed varieties that growers can cultivate to produce new strains.
There are numerous reasons why cultivators might want to breed regular weed seeds. However, breeding marijuana can be complex and time-consuming. Identifying and stabilizing a specific seed variety may take a lot of time. That is why experts usually do breeding with the right substantial facilities and the appropriate equipment. Nevertheless, basic breeding isn’t rocket science and can be done even by home growers.
In this guide, you will learn more about the art of cannabis breeding for regular seeds. You can get the regular marijuana seeds here to start your breeding experiments.
1 What Is Cannabis Breeding?
It is imperative to understand the term “cannabis breeding” before we embark on how it is done on regular weed seeds. Cannabis breeding is the process of cross-pollinating two plants to alter their sexual reproduction. It usually occurs by crossing pure strains or two-hybrid strains. Because of this process’s complexity, only seasoned cultivators who want to develop a tailored strain perform this procedure.
So, how are regular weed seeds produced? They are formed when a male weed plant fertilizes a female plant. Breeding these seeds may take a few weeks, say two to twelve weeks, depending on when the female will be ready for pollination. Let us explore the steps you should follow to breed your regular weed seeds.
2 Steps in Regular Weed Breeding
As a home grower, you can follow these few steps:
- Choose Cannabis Parents
The first step is selecting the cannabis parents needed for breeding the regular seeds. Choosing a suitable female plant is easy compared to the male counterpart.
Most professional breeders who know what they are doing consider several factors when selecting the parents. For instance, potency, potential yield, flavor, disease, and pest resistance, genetics, among other traits. Thus, you must research the strains of your choice and understand the qualities of the seeds you want to breed and produce.
On the other hand, selecting a male plant can be quite challenging. The male plants hide their traits, while the females reveal their features pretty openly. Many cultivators will rub the stem of the male plant to smell the odor. However, the best approach to test the male traits is conducting a progeny test. It entails harvesting the male pollen and placing it on specific plants to trigger fertilization.
These plants will eventually produce seeds; you can plant them when they are ready for cultivation. When the seeds germinate and mature, they will reveal their traits. After identifying a desired male plant for breeding, you should remove all other male plants to get pure results.
- Collect Pollen
Once you have selected the male parent, proceed to collect its pollen. Remember to cut down additional male branches to prevent accidental pollination. When the anthers start to appear, isolate this male plant from the rest of the plants.
Be keen during this step because you must cover the male branch with a plastic bag right before the anther opens up. Make sure you tie the bag firmly to avoid falling off.
Let the bag cover the branch for a few days for enough pollen to be collected. When you are satisfied with the collection, remove the plastic bag carefully to prevent the pollen from escaping. Keep in mind that the pollen grains are tiny particles that can be blown off easily.
- Store the Male Pollen
After successfully collecting the male pollen, you must store it in a suitable indoor environment. Leaving the pollen in its natural habitat will only preserve it for a short time. So, find an appropriate container and store it in a cool environment, preferably in a freezer, as high temperatures and humidity can damage the pollen grains.
Storing the pollen in a freezer will preserve the strength for several months. However, you must first filter the pollen with a fine screen to eliminate any leaves or components from the anther. Leaving impurities in the pollen might cause contamination, resulting in spoiled results. So, use clean wax paper or a plate when filtering the pollen.
Finally, put the filtered pollen in a sterilized tube, container, or sealable bag. This will ensure the pollen you use to breed cannabis seeds is placed in a clean environment.
It is imperative to note that you should not remove the frozen pollen and thaw it frequently when you want to breed the weed. Take what you need and leave the remaining pollen frozen. Continuous freezing and thawing reduce the viability of the harvested pollen.
- Use the Pollen for Breeding Seeds
When the male pollen is in contact with the female pistil, pollination and fertilization happen. So, you can place the pollen you collected onto the pistil. Since each female plant is different, the breeding period might vary, depending on the specific plant’s variety. The female plants should be ready for fertilization from two to twelve weeks after flowering.
If the female plant produces many pistils during pollination, the production of weed seeds will be higher. Look out for white pistils if you want optimal results since these are the best for pollination. Brown or rusty pistils are not suitable for fertilization, so be keen when you are in this phase.
Pollinating a female cannabis plant is simple; you only have to take the bag filled with pollen and cover the branch. Shake the plastic bag lightly for a short while to ensure proper pollen distribution and contact with the pistils.
Don’t remove the bag immediately. Leave it for around two days, still covering the female branch. This ensures successful fertilization happens. Usually, it is recommended to conduct breeding in a separate growing room to avoid random fertilization of other female plants.
After removing the bag, spray the female plant with water to remove the remaining pollen that might have remained. Take this pollinated female plant to the flowering room and let it thrive.
Another method of breeding is to use a small paintbrush. Dip the brush into the pollen container and slowly apply it on the pistil. Turn off the fans in your room to avoid blowing the pollen all over. This technique is suitable for cultivators who want to breed seeds on specific branches of the female plant.
- Mature Weed Seeds
After completing the breeding process successfully, expect the seeds to mature after around six weeks or earlier. It all depends on the weed parents you choose in the first step. Mature seeds will break open the calyxes, and they will be visible. The ripe weed seeds are usually grey or dark brown. Conversely, immature seeds are white or green and will be enclosed firmly in the calyxes.
Suppose you don’t get mature seeds after breeding, and the life cycle of the female plant has ended. In such a case, you can consume the seeds. In this phase, you can harvest the seeds from the bud. Depending on your harvesting method, you may pick the seeds manually or crush the buds. Keep in mind that mature seeds are very firm and can’t break by using a thumb and index finger.
When you notice the seeds have broken off from the calyx, they are ready for cultivation. If you don’t pick the seeds on time, they will fall on and start germinating.
Breeding regular weed seeds is straightforward and cost-effective. You don’t require expensive equipment or large facilities to produce new seeds for cultivation. Identify the parents and proceed with the steps above to start breeding. However, the method outlined in this guide is appropriate for small-scale home growers who want to experiment with different breeds. But if you want to produce seeds commercially, you can approach a professional breeder for assistance. Ultimately, it all depends on what you want to achieve.
This article is a creation of Tia Moskalenko, one of our skilled weed experts. Her extensive knowledge and experience in the cannabis industry are unrivaled, making her a great asset to our team. Tia is passionate about information sharing and guides growers on the latest cultivation approaches for maximum cannabis yields.