Ask Ed: Grow Questions and Answers – Unwanted Seeds

CANNABIS CULTURE – Ganja Guru Ed Rosenthal on how to stop unwanted seed production.

Question: I have some plants growing indoors in a controlled environment with filtered air. For no apparent reason my plants are going entirely to seed. There are no known males anywhere. The plants were started as cuttings from a known variety. The seed is abundant in every part of the plant and they all are infertile. This has happened several times with several different varieties. The plants are extremely healthy and vigorous and have not been stressed. There are no insects in the room and the plants have been grown in pots using coco fiber. I have over twenty years experience and have never come across anything like this before. Do you have any suggestions that may help?

Rod B., Sydney, Australia

Ed Rosenthal: Parthenogenesis, the development of embryos without pollination, does not occur in cannabis. The seeds are the result of the flowers being fertilized. There are two ways this could occur: the first is that the plants produce male flowers. You say this is unlikely since you inspected the plants carefully; and another indication that this didn’t occur is that seed production occurred in several different crops using different varieties.

If pollen does not originate in the garden, then it must originate outside and be carried to the garden in the airstream. Somewhere within 150 meters of your garden someone may be growing male cannabis plants and this pollen is affecting your garden.

Frankly, of the two scenarios, I’d guess that the first, rather than the second, is most likely, since it is highly unlikely that someone is growing a male garden. The male flowers in your garden have been eluding you, but they are there.

The reason the seeds are infertile is that the buds were picked before the seeds matured.

Send your grow questions to Ed Rosenthal at [email protected].



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  4. Anonymous on

    Does anyone know a legit seed bank without getting held up at customs im in need of high quality white widow seeds!

  5. Anonymous on

    resin protects the plant and flowers from uv rays the seeds take up all the plants energy therefore not sufficiently making resin to protect the plant but rather use its energy toward seed production so you want no seeds so you can maximize the resin and the buds swell up with resiny goodness not seeds when is the last time you find good nug with seeds and did you get to try some of the other buds at the top of the plant with less seeds or maybe none….ya thet are more potent cause no seeds, read up you fools, there is so much information read over and over many different opinions you will soon realize whats right and wrong…………

  6. Sir Les on

    I always thought that resin production was induced to protect the seeds from UV light from the sun.
    The production/fertilization of a crop at the right time should increase the production of resin, and thus make more thc.
    Just an observation, but one that has been mistakenly overlooked, and misrepresented by the idea of seedless makes better pot.

    Seeds are a good thing!

    Sir Les

  7. Mr E Green on

    I have observed that, occasionally, a pollination will result in failure to produce viable seeds. It seems that some pollen will not take on some females and some pollen will take but will leave the plants full of dead seeds. This seems to be more likely with hermi (hermaphroditic) flowers. Whatever the source of pollen, it is difficult to determine why the seeds are infertile.

  8. Anonymous on

    highly unlikely but listen to this ed and others. I went ahead and gave the males to my neighbor one year and he grew a male garden that pollinated at least one of my females :(…….

  9. Tony Aroma on

    My last grow I had a hermie and ended up with seeds. I never found any male flowers, but based on location, I’m certain it was the plant closest to the fan. The further away from the fans, the fewer seeds. Even after harvest, I never found any nanners. But they were there. It only takes a very few nanners, and they can hide down under the female buds.