Sorry for late reply. We have people sick and on holiday, and I’ve overlooked your first mail.
For my answers see below in your mail.
You mean triploidy? I have so far only seen it in plants grown from regular seeds, not in fem. plants. Although I have grown far more Regular seeds.
If you refer to hermies, then I have to say that they certainly occur in reg. plants, but one should expect a higher % in fem.plants, how much more depends on the way the fem. seeds were made.
Many unfertilized female plants will produce a few male flowers or a few bananas here and there after their peak of the flowering cycle. This tendency is part of how the sex expression of the cannabis plant works. I dont want to go into too much detail here, but I’m sure you know this is not as clear as in humans, which is almost 100% pure male or female. In cannabis its rather a gliding scale with on opposite ends the true male and females, because they do exist. Those plants have no tendency to grow flowers of the opposite sex no matter what you do to them. You could trie this out with (some) plants you have; let them flower on and on till death. Many will show some flower from the opposite sex, but some will die by themselves and will never show any banana or full male flower ( a banana is only a part of the male flower), also not under any type of stress.
It is those true male or female plants which we use for breeding. For reg, and also for fem seeds. Many seed companies do not do this but rather choose the easier plants to produce fem seeds with. But, as you’ll understand, when choosing the parent plants for your fem seeds, the easier the plants change sex, the lousier the fem seeds are.
But the really difficult plants to change sex, are for that reason rather difficult to work with. And so the question is; what kind of plants does one use to produce seeds, easy to-change-sex-plants (lousy fem seeds) or difficult ones which leads to good fem seeds. If you want to make life easy (and the fem seeds not so good) choose for the easy plants, and vice versa.
Fem.seeds should not be produced from the female plants which will produce male flowers or bananas after either stress, or when they are permitted to flower way passed their normal life expectancy, period.
If you do use those ‘easy’ plants then you will produce inferior fem seeds, which will be unfair for the customer, and bad for the reputation of fem seeds. Well, this is going on off course.
A change of sex has no higher occurance in fem seeds, it might even be so that this happens more frequent in reg. seeds but it is a rather difficult thing to test out. As you may know the environment influences the sexual expression of Cannbis plants. For example high temps during germing of seeds leads to a higher rate of male plants. People who give their germing seeds temps of 30 Celsius or higher know this from experience. They think the seeds were bad but it was their own doing.
What is going on here? This means that the same plant ‘decides’ to become male under certain circumstances. (Even some animals have the same trick, the temp of hatching eggs decide which sex the young crocodiles will have.)
Temp is one factor but there are more factors which influence sex and we do not know all of them. If in reg seeds a plant changes its sex, who will recognize this? If in fem seeds a plant (which should be female, right) turns into male it doesn’t go by unnoticed. As usual the seeds are blamed, but it rather is the environment. Which factor(s) exactly can be held responsible is unclear. But when growing fem. seeds, certainly if there are many together in 1 room, you better keep an eye open for these unwanted flip overs.
This changing of sex is strongly embedded in the cannabis genome and cannot be taken out. May be with genetic enginering we will, but I don’t think oldfashioned breeding can do this. So we have to deal with keeping an eye open.
Can we recognize these sex flip-overs? Certainly we can; those plants usually start with showing female preflowers. Then, after the onset of the flowering cycle you can see a full blown male all of a sudden. What is that a Hermie?? No, a hermie has male and female flowers in the same buds. This is a plant which was determined to be female but decided to become male in stead, hence the female preflowers.
The perfect harvest point cannot be pinned down to a certain day, plants are living objects and they develope differently for each individual, therefore you should always check the trichomes before harvesting.
After 53 days you should check one top bud of your plants with a handheld microscope (available in every growshop). You look at the trichomes (=cristals), they look like a mini mushroom, with a gland (=stem) and a head (=round ball on top of stem). You have to take a closer look at the heads of the trichomes.
When they develope they are clear and transparant, as soon as the plant starts to ripen the heads will turn milky, they get a white colour inside the heads and when the plant is ripe the heads turn amber (=yelowish colour).
The perfect moment to harvest is when appr. 1/3 of the heads of the trichomes are amber.
You look at one top bud and when in the area you are looking at has about 1/3 of the amber heads, you should harvest.