Common Marijuana Grow Myths
- Myth: Stressing your plants during flowering, either by withdrawing nutrients, changing the lighting cycle, subjecting them to cold or frost-inducing temperatures, or forcing them through prolonged dry spells will increase their resin production.
The Facts: When you subject your plants to unnecessary stresses during their flowering period, you actually cause more harm than good; stressing your plants slows down their rate of growth and can even turn susceptible females into hermaphrodites with male-style flowers. These types of unnecessary stress factors can also damage the cannabinoids already produced by the buds. Remember that your cannabis plants are living organisms, so the more hospitable you make their environment; the more they will thrive and reward you with a bountiful harvest.
- Myth: Harvesting during the night cycle, or giving your plants 24 – 72 hours of total darkness just before giving them the chop, will increase the potency of your herb.
The Facts: Although many growers do harvest during the night cycle and some growers put their plants in the dark for a few days before harvest, no measurable difference has been found between plants harvested during the day, at night or after 24+ hours darkness.
This grow myth has been rather pervasive, due in part to two legitimate factors: the hormones that induce flowering in the cannabis plant and production of resin are activated at night, and THC and other cannabinoids are known to suffer from photo-degradation, i.e. light causes them to break down. When you consider the amount of time that cannabis spends flowering (usually 50 – 60 days or longer) though, it makes more sense that a couple of days (or nights, in this case) is not going to make a huge difference in the level of resin or associated cannabinoids in your crop.
- Myth: Using the pollen from the flowers produced by hermaphrodite plants to fertilize other females will allow you to harvest fully feminized seeds.
The Facts: Whenever a hermaphrodite shows up in your crop, you should actually cut it down for the sake of maintaining the genetics of the rest of your plants. While some breeders use the pollen from these hermaphroditic females to pollinate other plants and produce so-called feminized seed, the reality is that you don’t want plants with hermaphrodite genes in your crop if you can help it. Plants with the genes to turn hermaphrodite are less resistant to stress, including bugs, mold, nutrient deficiencies or overloads and generally poor growing conditions.
In short, a plant turning hermaphrodite is a sign of weak genetics, and you certainly don’t want to purposefully pass those genetics on to your future crop. Reputable seed banks will sell seeds that re known to be ‘stabilized’, meaning that the seeds are from plants that are three, four, five or more generations descended from the original plants. These seeds comes from parent plants that have been shown to reliably produce similar results; while isn’t not impossible to get a plant that turns hermaphrodite from a reputable seed bank, the chances are very slim.