- 1. A central element in growing cannabis is understanding the difference between a monoecious and dioecious strain
A central element in growing cannabis is understanding the difference between a monoecious and dioecious strain
The "birds and bees" is accompanied in the imagination to "flowers and trees", and that is understandable ... Indeed, plants do reproduce. But unlike most mammals, there isn't always a male and a female. However, sometimes certain species of plants have what botanists call a "perfect" flower. This means that both male and female elements are housed in the same floral structure. So another flower on the same plant, or a flower on another plant is not necessary. This is what differentiates a monoecious plant from a dioecious plant… The distinction between monoecious cannabis and dioecious cannabis is therefore essential. It avoids many inconveniences and unpleasant surprises when a beginner wishes to start self-cultivation.
The dioecious plant, or in its "natural" version
Dioecious plants are those with distinct male and female plants. Each with a respective male or female flower. This word has Greek origins, it means "Two houses" in connection with the fact that the male flower is on the male plant. And the female flower resides on a female flower distinctly.
Asparagus and spinach are two examples of dioecious food crops. Unless the purpose is to allow them to flower to harvest seeds, whether the plant is male or female is relatively unimportant. Although male asparagus plants tend to give more than female plants.
Like all plants, cannabis aims to reproduce. In the plant world, there are several ways to proceed. The first way in which nature proceeds, and which concerns cannabis, is sexual reproduction. In this case, a seed is produced from the mixture of two DNAs from the male and female organs of the plants.
Cannabis is therefore no exception to this rule. In this case, a dioecious plant will have both organs on it. This is how the cannabis plant looks in its natural state. For the grower, this type of strain poses a problem in terms of yield. Only the female flowers are of interest to the consumer. Indeed, they carry a maximum of trichomes. Thus any space occupied by the male organs are as many females who do not grow ...
The monoecious plant, better adapted for production
The term "monoecious" is borrowed from the Greek and means " a house ". That is, monoecious plants have both male and female flowers on the same plant, but not the same flower!
The two types of flowers are distinct on a monoecious plant. Monoecious plants are called hermaphrodite. Because they have both male and female reproductive organs. However, this is only correct if both are on the same flower. A classification as "Bisexual" is more accurate when the plant produces male and female flowers separately.
Many common food crops are monoecious. Example, the acorn that appears at the top of a corn stalk is the male flower, which produces pollen which then falls off. Or more likely it will be blown by the wind to a nearby stem, onto receptive female flowers which, when pollinated, turn into corn cobs.
Cucurbits are also monoecious. These include crops such as cucumbers, squash, and pumpkins. Unlike corn, however, the flowers are much more similar in appearance. And the difference between male and female flowers is usually only determined by the presence or absence in the center of the flower of a stamen (male flower) or pistil (female flower).
Gardeners oblivious to this difference may be disappointed when they see that not all of their flowers are developing fruit. Of course, only the female flower will produce fruit. This is also why some people who eat cucurbit flowers have to differentiate in order to remove only the male flowers.
A second method is therefore asexual reproduction. It can be done with a bulb, or a rhizome or a stolon. And more rarely via a specific seed for this type of reproduction. In order to describe this type of development, it suffices to imagine a plant form of cloning. The plant resulting from this method is the exact copy of its parent.
The objective of the producers is to set up a strain allowing to develop only female flowers. Cannabis can also be presented with plants on which almost one type of flower grows. Thus some shoots will mainly see male flowers develop, and others only female flowers.
Strains such as Cannabis Sativa L consist of 90 to 95% female flowers. Cannabis with female flowers is the focus of growers.
Monoic or dioecious cannabis?
In conclusion, cannabis has its own specificity. Because Cannabis can be monoecious or dioecious. Cannabis has become an important and commercially viable agricultural crop. It is becoming more and more of a legitimate product day by day. Knowing that there are male and female flowers is therefore important for growing cannabis.
Monoecious plants are often called hermaphrodites. Although they are not always classified correctly… But we mainly cultivate female plants to obtain a better yield.
Male plants are generally used to create new strains. Male plants, as well as cross-pollinated marijuana with seeds, are generally sold as inferior products. The cannabis sought is almost always that which comes from purely female plants. Those that are not exposed to male plants ... If you grow cannabis only from clones, male plants are not necessary.
Interestingly, in the cultivation of hemp for fiber, male plants are usually more sought after. Because they produce softer fibers than female hemp plants. Which makes them more in demand for textile production.