Mother’s Day is on Sunday, and while we celebrate the different mothers in our lives, GrowHealthy is also celebrating our mother plants! Mother plants are essential to our garden. By taking cuttings from the mother plant, we are able to propagate clones of the mother to expand our garden and grow consistent strains.
There is a reason we are able to grow Queso Perro and Strawberry Haze again and again. It’s all thanks to the mothers!
Female plants are key to growing quality cannabis flower. According to biology scientists from Simon Fraser University, “In commercial production, marijuana plants are all genetically female; male plants are destroyed as seed formation reduces flower quality.” Additionally, Leafly states that male plants pollinate females to initiate seed production, but “female plants produce the resin-secreting flower that is trimmed down into the buds you smoke.” It is from these female plants that our growers can begin cloning.
Choosing phenotypes from seed can take time. When selecting phenotypes, since mother plants are always kept in a vegetation state, it’s incredibly important that our growers take into consideration how the seedlings develop over a course of several months. Growing strong moms after choosing a phenotype is critical to reproducing that strain. Experts at Royal Queen Seeds break down key characteristics to look for in selecting phenotypes and choosing mother plants:
- Vigor: Quality phenotypes should germinate quickly and demonstrate healthy growth during their seedling and vegetative stages
- Root health: Mother plants need well developed roots that spread throughout the soil and do not become strangled, get twisted, or spiral at the base
- Pest resistance: Strong phenotypes show a natural resistance to common pests and bacteria and keeping your mother plant healthy is critical to stay free of pest and pathogen.
- Exhibit female organs only: Some plants are naturally hermaphrodites, meaning they include both male and female reproductive organs. Healthy mother plants should only have female organs to prevent the clones from developing the male pollen sacs
- Strong bud production: Good phenotypes will produce high quality buds with a strong structure, a good flower to leaf ratio, and good trichome production
- Smoke report: Good phenotypes produce buds that are strong in flavor, aroma, potency, and yield size
Mother plants must be strong and resilient, much like all the mothers in our lives!
GrowHealthy wishes all moms (and mother plants!) a Happy Mother’s Day!