What happens to pollinated females?

Why is it so critical to get rid of the male plants? Is it so they don’t pollinate the females? And, what will happen if I don’t get them out of my garden?
Cedar Grove, New Jersey

Pollinated females put their energy into seed production, rather than growing flowers. Buds are dense formations of flowers. They will continue to grow in density on the branch for four to six weeks as long as they remain unpollinated. Should a significant number of the flowers become pollinated, the plant will stop producing more flowers and will instead focus its energy on seed production. Seeded buds contain less useable flower material than unseeded buds.

Even a small single rogue male or a hermaphrodite can produce enough pollen to ruin a garden, so it is very important to remove all males before the flowers open and ruin your efforts.

Readers with grow questions (or answers) should send them to Ed at: Ask Ed, PMB 147, 530 Divisadero St., San Francisco, California 94117, USA. You can also email Ed at [email protected], and send queries via his websites at www.ask-ed.net. All featured questions will be rewarded with a copy of Ed’s book, The Big Book of Buds. Sorry, Ed cannot send personal replies to your questions.