Did you know there are both male and female medicinal plants? Yes, medicinal plants show gender, and the sex matters a lot to the grower.
That’s because only female plants produce buds. How do you grow female plants?
Regular medicinal plants seeds will be 50% male, and 50% female. That means half of the seeds will be unusable as far as growing buds.
One way around this is to purchased feminized seeds online. These seeds are available from all reputable online seedbanks, and the plants produced by these seeds are always female.
When do medicinal plants reveal their gender?
Medicinal plants go through two stages of life, the “vegetative” stage and the “flowering stage.”
They first go through the vegetative life stage, which you can sort of consider its “childhood” since the plant is only focusing on growing bigger and taller, and gender doesn’t matter. At the beginning of this stage you usually can’t tell what the plant’s gender is.
However, once the plant is about 6 weeks old, it will usually show signs of “pre-flowers” which will alert you to the gender before the beginning of the flowering stage.
Next, medicinal plants switch to the flowering stage which means they stop growing bigger and taller, and instead spend all their effort growing flowers (the buds we want are flowers!). The flowering stage is like the “adult” stage of a medicinal plant since at this point it’s only interested in adult stuff like growing their male and female parts, then pollinating 🙂 In the flowering stage, plants start growing buds or pollen sacs in earnest. The buds we want are female flowers, so growers generally only want to grow female plants.
Growers Want Female Medicinal plants – These Produce Bud
Regular Medicinal plants reveal their gender in two situations:
1. After spending a long time in the vegetative stage – some strains/plants will show preflowers (pistils for girls and “balls” for boys) during the vegetative stage if they grow old enough, even when they are constantly kept under a vegetative light schedule. For example, clones can come from plants that are several years old, so you’ll see a lot of clones have female pistils showing, yet will not continue to flower any more than that until after they’ve been switched to a Flowering (12-12) light schedule
2. Otherwise, all remaining plants will reveal their gender in the first 1-3 weeks after lights are switched to 12-12, and plants enter the flowering stage of life.
When your medicinal plant is about to reveal it’s gender, what you’re looking for is medicinal plants “pre-flowers.” These usually show up when the plant is around 6 weeks old from seed, but they always appear once the plant is changed over to the flowering stage.
Male and female pre-flowers look different from each other (though it can be easy to confuse them at first). Sometimes it’s hard to tell which is which at first, and in that case you’ll just have to wait until they develop a few more flowers and it becomes more obvious.
You may need LED grow lights if you grow medicinal plants.
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