You can also judge the ripeness of the Marijuana by taking a look at the trichomes; or little hairs/crystals on the flowers and surrounding areas of the Marijuana plant. If they are transparent its still too soon, if they are milky white they are ready and if they turn brown they have become over-ripe. It is also advisable to follow the instructions to harvest Marijuana seeds on the packet since most reputable breeders also have a tried and tested flowering time for optimum ripeness, potency and flavour of a Marijuana strain.
After the whole process of germination, growth and flowering, a lot of growers ask themselves when to harvest Marijuana seeds. Usually, the breeders will include a suggested flowering time for each strain, but as a rule of thumb, Indica marijuana plants harvest in 6-8 weeks while Sativa Marijuana plants take 10-12 weeks.
Look for these signs for when to harvest Marijuana seeds
If you meant when to harvest seeds from cross-pollinated Marijuana plants, then the seed will fall from the flower by itself once it is mature and ready to germinate into another Marijuana plant. Usually, as a best practice to harvest Marijuana seeds, some growers wait for the whole flowering cycle to end just as if they were harvesting the flower.
You might find our FAQ Submission How Do I Harvest My Plant? useful
Moisture is a death sentence for pollen viability. Because of this, many breeders opt to mix flour into their pollen at a ratio of 4:1 (flour to pollen) when storing it long-term. This additional step will help keep pollen dry for a longer period of time.
When it comes time to use frozen seeds, remove them from their container and let them sit out on a dry surface for several hours. Letting the seeds reach room temperature will help ensure a successful germination.
Cannabis genetics are often sourced from external companies and organizations such as nurseries and seed banks. For the individual grower, saving seeds and pollen removes this reliance on external companies. This is especially true with pollen, as very few (if any) companies offer pollen to the public.
Separate or sift seeds over the screen to remove any unwanted plant matter from the seeds themselves. Brush off the seeds—they should be completely free of any remaining plant material such as leaves, stem, or trichomes, as these elements put seeds at a higher risk for contamination and spoilage during long-term storage.
Long-term storage requirements for seeds and pollen are similar. Both require cool, dark, dry, and oxygen-deprived environments for optimal preservation.
A grower or breeder can also freeze the progress of a breeding project for months or years without losing any of the long, hard work. Endeavors such as phenotype hunting and maintaining desired mothers for breeding and cloning can all be saved for later through genetic preservation. This process is like backing up work on a hard drive.
It’s important to continually practice germination testing to be sure your stored seeds haven’t lost all viability. To test this, periodically plant a seed and document its ability to germinate.
As we mentioned earlier, cannabis pollen is typically used by breeders and expert growers to create new strains or seeds. They do this by harvesting pollen from their male plants and then applying it to female plants that are about 2-3 weeks into their flowering cycle.
If your cannabis seeds don’t meet this description, let your plant develop a little longer. Some cannabis plants can develop mature seeds really late into their flowering cycle. If that’s the case, make sure you keep your plant alive with plenty of light and nutrients.
This pollen plays an important role in breeding as it allows expert breeders to mix and match the genetics from different plant varieties to create their own cannabis seeds of their own strains.
HOW TO STORE CANNABIS POLLEN
The best way to store cannabis pollen is in a new resealable bag. You can store pollen this way in the fridge for a few days. Alternatively, you can store it in the freezer for up to 1 year.
Whenever storing your pollen, make sure you minimize the chances of any moisture entering the container or bag. A good way to do this is to store your pollen bag inside 1 or 2 other bags (also known as double or triple bagging).
Pollen is fine powder that usually has a golden yellow colour. It consists of tiny microscopic grains excreted from the pollen sac on male plants.
Cannabis seeds develop in the flowers of the female plants after about 4-6 weeks from pollination. You will see the seeds starting to form in and around the pollinated buds.