Can we tell if a particular cannabis flower has been successfully pollinated just by looking at it? Yes! I pollinated certain parts of my Reclining Buddha cannabis garden a few days ago, and as these photographs show, there are already clear differences that the perceptive gardener can spot!
Even from that preview, differences are obvious. The pistils, aka "white hairs", have retracted and darkened in colour. (That's a good thing.)
Here's what else I noticed.
The untouched, virginal, and unpollinated flower (shown on left above) has long and fluffy pistils that are white and pointed upward.
The base of the developing top nug is narrow. The bud is currently shaped like a V.
The "foxtails" (single-fingered leaves protruding from the flower) are pointed and lying flat.
Side note: Trichomes are developing! She smells beautiful already.
One node down on the same virginal branch shows more of the same:
The side of the plant which DID get visited by a pollen-coated cotton swab looks quite different. First, here she is 4 days ago, at the moment of conception:
Today, the pistils are thin, shriveled, and browned. No pregnancy test required - the pollen did its job:
The base of this developing top nug is wide. The bud is taking on a rounded shape.
The foxtails are rounded and curled.
Swelling calyxes are visible near the lower center of the bud. A calyx is a roughly teardrop-shaped structure that's a bit like a plant uterus. Each calyx that was successfully pollinated will contain one developing seed.
Congratulations! She's pregnant! A new generation has been bred, and is now being nurtured inside the mother plant. In just a few weeks, protective shells will form around these baby plants, and when the flowers are dried, the seeds will be gathered and saved.
The lower nodes of the same pollinated branch look the same:
Those foxtails are much more curved than on the virginal branch.
Check out those trichomes already, yum!
So yes, there are several clear indicators to look for when checking for successful pollination in cannabis plants. I hope these photographs and descriptions clearly demonstrate those indicators.
My other two females didn't get involved whatsoever. They're just doing their thing, unaware a male was ever among them! (He's in the compost now. RIP "Monster".)
Because they aren't part of the experiment, it's useful to follow their progress as well. So far, one is unremarkable, but the other seems to be accelerating:
Lots of growth - a big afro of pistils reaching and stretching for pollen! She clearly resembles the unpollinated side of the other plants, showing no signs of pollination at all.
I wouldn't exactly say she's "stacking up" or anything, but for 200% organic plants, this early into flowering, that's pretty good. In other words, maybe not having ANY pollinated flowers at all might boost a plant's sensimillia (seedless bud) production significantly.
That's worth noting, because I had previously believed that pollinating half a plant didn't affect the other half. It would mean I should treat each plant as either a seed-bearing plant or a medicine-bearing plant, not pollinating parts of plants. More experimentation is required.
In the meantime, I have 4 healthy adult females about to hit the prime of their lives! Stay tuned on Hive and Weedcash, to watch the production of a few dozen Reclining Buddha seeds, and lots of gorgeous unseeded bud covered in sticky trichomes!