Howdy all you sexy breeding mofos—LoL—as some of you already know, pollinating your cannabis garden is easy; way too easy sometimes, heh heh. Basically, you just put males and females together, get some air movement going indoors, and boom! Sex happens. But, when you have found a beautiful male that is flowering and you want to save some of that pollen for down the road… No need to fear, Rev is here to show you how.
In this article you will learn easy collection, storage rules, and styles of usage. You can use this stored pollen for at least a year after you store it; I have done this, many times. You CAN use a brush to pollinate female plants with, however, this is a highly inefficient way to use a small amount of pollen. I prefer using the “pollinating bladder” approach, and I’ll show ya all about that. Pollination indoors or outdoors is really easy and you can make a lot of seeds from just a little pollen.
ROAD RULES FOR POLLEN WORK
- Turn off all fans, no air movement or wind.
- Wear latex gloves always when dealing with pollen.
- Don’t do this while baked out of your gourd—LoL.
- You may want to use a mask (respirator) since you will breathe a lot of pollen.
- Use goggles and a mask if you are particularly sensitive to pollen.
- After collecting pollen don’t visit any friend’s cannabis gardens, unless you have showered and changed.
- Know and prepare all your working spaces ahead of time, it can cost you big trying to wing-it along the way while doing it.
- Have a suitable—and clean—air tight (I like glass here) container(s) to store your pollen in.
- Learn how to target many specific buds with tiny amounts of pollen using a pollen bladder and flour to practice with.
Collecting Cannabis Pollen
This is super simple and straight forward: simply bend the male flower over and give it a shake while holding it above a sheet of wax, or parchment paper. Put on your latex gloves before you ever touch your parchment/wax paper, otherwise pollen will stick to your fingerprints like a CSI thing. You can collect indoors or outdoors. I recommend early morning collection in either case. You will get a ton of the flowers mixed with the pollen, like in the photo above—don’t sweat it.
Run all these flowers mixed with pollen through a regular (clean) kitchen type strainer to remove almost all of the flower matter from the pollen. You want to remove every single bit of flower matter from the pollen, and I use tweezers to accomplish this to get the last few specs. Use a clean brush to pile all the pollen up into a central location on the parchment paper once all the flower matter has been removed, then spread it out a little bit.
Place the paper with the pollen on it in a dim location that is warm and dry for 48 hours. Temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees with humidity around 30% to 60% is absolutely primo. Make sure the pollen is out of any direct intense light; or sunlight. Make sure there is no real air movement from any fans. After 48 hours your pollen will have dried enough to store it without it decomposing, and it will still be completely viable.
Storing Your Pollen
You can find these tiny funnels at craft stores or in the craft departments of larger stores. You don’t need to use a funnel, but it makes life a lot easier getting all the pollen into a small container. But first things first… Use your brush to move all the pollen into a main pile on your parchment paper, and then break out some scissors.
I like to cut the piece of parchment paper at this point into a smaller piece that is easier to work with. Then I carefully fold it so I can easily pour the pollen into the funnel, and you can use your brush here as well to make sure you get all the pollen off the parchment paper and into the container. The rules are as follows…
- Your container needs to be light and air tight. I store my glass containers inside of small light/air tight coffee cans to add another layer of air tight protection and make them light tight as well.
- The refrigerator is the best place to store your pollen; don’t freeze it or you will likely kill it.
- Make sure to label your pollen and date it, always do this.
Using Stored Cannabis Pollen
Always take your pollen out of the refrigerator about 12 to 24 hours before you will want to use it. You can use it multiple times, reopening the container, getting some pollen out, and sealing it back up and putting it back into the fridge. But you will NEED to leave it out in room temps for at least 12 hours before you open it to use it, every time you use it; otherwise, your pollen will absorb moisture from the air rapidly while cold, and too much moisture will kill your pollen.
I love using a true pollen bladder here for dispersing pollen, no matter if I want to hit a whole room, or tent, or even outdoors. Early morning outdoors is the best time to pollinate, and you have to get a little skilled with using a bladder. You can get very accurate, and use very small amounts of pollen to dust a lot of buds. In a room or tent simply have killer air movement going on with fans and blow pollen into fans.
Fans on the floor aimed upwards vertically work awesome for this. Bladder spray your pollen into the fans and leave the fans on for about 15 minutes—boom—pollinated! Tents are really awesome for pollinations. You can practice using a pollen bladder by putting flour into it, squeezing rhythm and power are what it’s all about. Takes about 20 minutes of practicing; you’ll see.
Afterword with Rev
A pollen bladder really atomizes the pollen and gives you seriously upgraded bang for your buck when it comes to seed numbers made from small amounts of pollen. This is for sure the one tool you should absolutely get. In a pinch, DIY-style, you could use a “sawed-off” turkey baster, as long as it had a super thin and extremely flexible bulb; the bulb couldn’t be stiff at all. If doing this indoors with fans you could also just blow doses of pollen off of some parchment paper into fans. But seriously, the bladder rules.
Finally, keep well in mind that pollen can travel a long-long way with very little air current. Sativa and sativa dominant pollen flies the best. The Kush and Hashplant type indica pollen, being much better at falling than at flying. Sativa pollen particles are more like hang-gliders, while indica pollen particles are more like cardboard boxes, heh heh. Cheers and happy trails everyone.
I'm The Rev, and I have been with SKUNK for about a decade now. I hail from Southern California, spent mucho time in Northern California, and now reside in Southern Oregon; always coastal. I am an all natural style cannabis grower and I have written a couple books on the subject - check out True Living Organics 2nd Edition on Amazon - I have been growing for over 45 years, and I have been breeding cannabis for over 30 years. Check out kingdomorganicseeds.com to see some exotic selections. Growing connoisseur cannabis is what I teach mostly, growing it in living soil without using liquid organic nutrients to feed the plant. I am also a highly skilled synthetics grower, hydroponics, aeroponics, DWC/SWC/NFT, Ebb and Flow, and soilless, but I cringe when smoking synthetic grown herbs, so for the last 15 years or so I preach the artisan style of all natural growing, specializing in container growing. Cheers and welcome aboard.