Breeding With Early-Flowering Males?

so what's the consensus ladies? do any of you like a male that prematurely blows his flowers ?
Ha! Indeed, that is the question. Or I guess it's not so much whether they like them (they seem to like them just fine), it's whether their kids are any good.

I'll drop a note this weekend with a pic or two, but the growing is slow, and the number of happy seedlings is not high.
I can only tell my very limited info.

I was always selecting faster flowering males for my homebrew seeds

And in my trials, I worked Widow from DP.
Original plant was like Christmass tree (male was one shot sturdy guy), next gen was bit uneven in looks, and flowered slightly faster yet very airy - not so much nice buds, then I selected two plants that looked exactly same indica bushes male (preflowers in veg) and female - made cross and ended again with christmass tree, but the germination problems arrived, from 10 seeds only 2 germed..

I have also tried some Devil with Shit, again preflower Devil male selected (had nice pinky male flowers) crossed with Bushy Orangy Shit.
The outcome is, from 10 seeds only one germinated.

I wonder what Iam doing bad, can be anything actually, but in other crosses where i selected normal male (that doesnt preflower in veg stage) there is no such germination problem occuring.

May be bad luck, may be it is that preflower male ?? I dont know... Yet all those plants were in some kind special, pretty and good plants to say.

That is all info I can trade with you...

Will see this interesting topic. ;)
If the seeds are fresh, they dont germinate so easy.
I dont exactly know the science behind this phenomena but I believe has to do with the surviving of the plant in nature.

It will increase you germination rate if you let the seeds at least a month maybe even two in room temperature to dry and then put in refrigerator for another month at least.
This is a practical way to do it as I said not real science behind. .:)

I dont believe has to do with the selection of the early flowering male the germination problem you described.

Also I would like to add to the discussion that Traits like early or late flowering are not the only one to look at or they will effect the out come of the cross.

If you take the Mango Haze Ibl as an example ( 18 seeds price reached more 400 euros per vial at auctions)

I copy paste the following to my notes from Mu that did a post about the origin of Mango Haze Ibl )

Originally Posted by shantibaba 12/12/13
saw this thread and thought to dispel any doubts. The male S1 seed i used to go back with the MH mother select was broad leaf faster flowering similar structure to his mother...resin production was very quick on certain parts of the male...all positive traits.

So he was kept as a inter generational breeding partner.
The MH ibl is this beginning of the line i just can go many places from here depends what your selecting preferences are for...

Save The Brains
Hey @SaveTheBrains, thanks, and I tend to agree that the early male is probably not the cause of most of the slow going in @PtreeCi garden or mine, and yea, my seeds were dry, but not yet vernalized (I think that's the term for the freezing or "over-wintering" you describe). In the future I'll give seeds more of a chance to get cold, which could very well have upped the numbers of successful plants. I touch on this below, but I also need to pollinate earlier to give the beans a better chance to mature fully - almost all of the seeds germinate, but a lot of them just stall out after poking out a tail, which I attribute mostly to a paucity of internally stored resources.

First, the current (ever-changing) situation; second, some more background context; third (and doubtless) ramblings, musings, open-ended tangential questions, etc.

Seedlings, a small number good, a large majority not so much.


This F3/BC1 generation is proving very problematic, and characterized by slow growing, poor rooting, and a lot of mutants. There is likely a variety of causes for this: 1) It seems generally understood that F3's are going to be fraught with issues as alleles will here be recombining in wonky (technical term) ways that bring out the best, worst, and most mediocre potential of a gene pool. Point being, to some extent these problems are typical for the stage of breeding, but methinks the problems are exacerbated by other factors. 2) For instance, Goldi's fast finishing time presents a challenge in making fully mature seeds, and the general slowness to germ and failure of many to thrive after a promising germination may stem from inadequately made seeds on my part. Nothing about them appeared problematic, but I would have preferred to give them another week or two to better fortify them with carb/nutrient resources.

3) Furthermore, backcrossing to Goldi has proven to NOT be a reliable way of locking her down in seed form. Backcrossing (similar to selfing) is a very straightforward sounding way of collecting/concentrating a given plant's genetic material, and indeed that is what happens, but this is an advantage only if the plant in question is homozygous dominant for her or his most desirable traits. If, as seems apparent with Goldi, a plant is recessive or heterozygous (with a lot of recessive alleles hiding behind the expression of desirable traits), backcrossing and selfing continually remix the allele soup in unproductive ways. This can make for fun pheno hunting for one-off moms, but will not lead to stable inbred varieties. There are notable instances where the BC or selfing approach worked to great effect, one well-known example is Mr. Soul's Cindy 99, which he derived through a series of backcrosses to "Princess", which was (is?) homozygous dominant for what made her special, the somewhat more obscure Santa Maria was arrived at similarly. Chimera (whose given name is Ryan Lee, if memory serves, and his PotCast interview is worth hearing), makes note of this from a much more learned place than I occupy, and it would be worth looking up his explanation for a deeper take. Selfing in particular is no guarantee of replicating a mom, but has significant diagnostic potential in hypothesizing about her homozygosity vs heterozygosity, and thus helping to identify her potential as a breeder.

Here is a really informative link on the subject of backcrossing. It refers to corn, but other than the Genetically Modified aspect the breeding strategies are transferrable to weed (or plants generally).

4) Of course, these F3 problems may also be influenced by the early-flowering Kashmir male, but the conditions I'm facing here are somewhat exaggerated forms of problems one expects at this stage. The real test will be in the performance of the F4's, providing I can push through the moment's mutant morass.

As can be seen on the left side of the tray, there appear to be four seedlings advancing pretty well, and there are another half dozen or so in another space that just broke ground, and I'll know in a day or two whether any of them appear viable (I held back about ten beans before, but decided to just use them - I don't plan on remaking this gen with this male if things flop, regardless of the reason).

I mentioned a previous attempt with this Goldi X Ennio II, and out of a few dozen beans this is the only plant I kept around, and for all the issues I'm facing this one provides some reason for optimism.


This is a stable plant with good vigor, and of equal importance is its resemblance to the mature Goldi. This includes the overall shape of leaves and growth pattern, but also an aggressive attitude/"stance" that says "give me more f-n! You see these wicked serrations? You know what these can do to a man? Word to the wise buddy...more...f-n...light, last warning!". So yea, I try to comply so as to avoid a "Little Shop of Horrors" kind of scenario ("...feed me, Jagged-G, feeeeed me...").

I'll add the following background, for sake of interest.

The small plants elevated on the left are the original GMO X Kashmir f1's.


Don't ask me which, but one of them is Goldi and another is Ennio. Noteworthy is their general consistency but more so is the resemblance of the single F3 above to its recent ancestors; of course they are all young cannabis plants that have yet to differentiate into maturity, but other than being a little more "upward" in its bearing, the consistency of the F3 is encouraging.

So from here, the plan is to line breed these F3/BC1 survivors to F4, at which point the viability of all of this will become a lot clearer. Just how this will look remains to be seen, and relies heavily on how many plants will actually show up. At minimum I need two good plants, and a male/female pairing is my preference, but I would consider reversing a female if two really good gals show up. My feeling, however, is that there will be around a half dozen viable plants in total, which will open other possibilities such an open pollination of all males to all females (this might be the the ideal way to gather a lot of seed stock to hunt through), or if F/M numbers allow, perhaps this will be the beginning of two more or less identical lines that could be brought together after a couple gens (this is a more forward thinking approach that would lay groundwork for solving vigor problems typical of advanced filial generations).

Anyway, thanks, all, for working through yet another long update/stream of consciousness ramble, and any input is appreciated, as always!
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i like the ideas and questioning that is going on here.

the comment i want to make is in line with what has been mentioned of selecting a single trait, like height or quickness to flower, or quickness of the flowering cycle.
while in any random population of plants, selecting one plant out of the group based on 1 trait, does have the possibility that you are unwittingly selecting poor examples of the other traits,
it is not a certainty that that will happen, and in fact the special plant that you may be looking for is exactly the plant that has the 1 trait you select for, and you luck out by that plant also possessing positive qualities of some or all other traits you could compare to the rest of the population.
so if you want tall, select tall, and if possible, make a selection from multiple tall, but dont shy away from tall because you THINK that is all it has to offer, if that makes sense.

From my observations on early males, some of the hesitancy may be of a more practical nature of production rather than any bearing on the outcome of progeny.
males that are early, just flower easier. sometimes even in veg.
now the hard part can become keeping the male from flowering, trying to keep the male so you can continue to use him.
if you dont have nice vegetative branches to cut as clones, what are you going to do but watch the male flower and eventually die off, despite your best efforts.
this creates a higher pressure/demand to take cuttings more often/sooner in order to keep the vegging going strong, to clone before the flowering sets in.
so in summary, they can be more difficult to work with and more risky to a long term breeding plan.
So I'm waaay overdue for an update. About a week ago my laptop went caput, and I just managed to get into a new (used) one today. I'll get an update together tomorrow (there is some interesting stuff to report, mostly pretty good, actually).

@Throwback, thanks for the note, and what you are saying totally makes sense. It is especially true that keeping a dad could get complicated, and one that continuously or even occasionally sheds pollen is a poor candidate for keeping around. For the most part, these males seem to toss a little as "teenagers", but tend to be more reserved as mature clones - sacs stay small, and don't seem to develop, even under some stress. They're still not ideal dads as they take some extra monitoring, but interesting and informative to watch at different points of maturity.

Having said that, neither of the extant males is likely to be around for much longer. I have Ennio (the F1/brother of Goldi) in a couple other crosses that are showing some of the problems of the F3/BC1 generation of which he is the grandfather, and Ennio II just hasn't produced much progeny worth working with (I'll report on several notable exceptions later).


well one of the points i was trying to make is that despite any of the negative aspects of a given plant, there is always the possibility that it is exceptional when it comes to the offspring it produces.
so jump whatever hurdles are necessary, or just use them to make a large batch of seed before they are gone.
while a plant like this may not be ideal for a breeder that would like to continue production of a particular cross,
that does not mean that it is not a great plant to use to make seed with while you can, and a great plant to come across for a hobby breeder or someone just looking to make a nice stock of seed to go through for future efforts.

i am currently fighting this issue with a male that i have kept for the last 10 years.
it is heavier into flowering than ever, considering it is in a vegetative light cycle, 24 hrs of light.
there are two copies of it, and one older father that i moved outside.
i took some clones but the clones did not seem to like the dirt i planted them in,
so they puked out.
i took a cutting off the outdoor one, and stripped all the pods off it, as i feel that helps.
the more they grow flowers, the more they feel the need to grow flowers.
it is certainly a bit unnatural for them to revert backwards from flowering to vegetative.
i should collect all the pollen i can from them while i can, in case i dont get successful cuts this time,
and cant get them to pull back out of flowering enough to give me some good branches to clone.
usually the cloning process helps spur them into new vegetative growth, and the trick is to clone them again soon, before they start leaning towards flower again.

basically just trying to relay the fact that flowering time may have very little to do with quality, so selecting away from certain plants based on that trait may make you miss out on something truly special.
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Yes! Agreed, and points to the need for patience and time in testing male progeny regardless of a male plant's morphology. I have a pet notion that in cases where some desirable and elusive traits appear to be lost from the modern weed gene pool (RKS is an obvious example), that we are looking for it in the wrong places; perhaps a given trait exists in association with other attributes reflexively deemed undesirable in the context of today's "middle of the road" breeding strategies and gets culled along with the "bad" stuff in a baby-out-with-the-bathwater kind of way.

And I agree that flowering time alone is likely not a predictor of overall quality, and the male you describe is super interesting, and illustrates the benefits of a little extra attention and nurture.

I spent quite a bit of time looking at several forums before deciding MNS was a place I could open this can of worms without the elemental questions I am interested in deliberating through invoking bro-science backlash, and so far I'm pretty happy with the decision to work things out here.
Update time… beyond…

So quite a bit has gone on since my last installment, and here is rough summation of the project up to where we left off, starting with a quick summary:

The F1 generation was initially a half-dozen seeds of the original GMO X Kashmir cross, more or less just a germ test, and finding something special was not really part of the plan given the low numbers. Nonetheless, Goldilocks elbowed her way into my garden anyway. I haven't mentioned Goldi's sister, Skullvice (or, "Skully" as we call her around here); she is really excellent vape, but less vigorous, longer flowering, lower yielding, and less dense bud-wise. Skully's terps, however, are richer and more complex. I have a couple hundred Skully X Ennio beans as well, but haven't germed any as there is way to much going on as is.

Here is Goldi on 5/30 (second gen clone, revegged and reflowering):


Here she is currently:


Her stretch is done, and she's starting to work on flower. Her pace is faster than anything else I've grown.

The ultimate goal is to find Goldilocks in seed form, or at least a good approximation, while simultaneously remaining open to whatever else may arrive along the way.

She made a decent batch of F2 seeds with her brother, Ennio – who is no longer with us, RIP – and two much smaller batches of beans with one of her sons, Ennio II. Out of a total of +/- 80 seeds from the latter, most germinated, but very few had any “umph” at all, and most either just stalled out or were badly mutated with cruciferous looking growth or very lopsided development; inbreeding depression is at play for sure, but there is some issue with mutations to begin with, I think. These were some survivors as of a couple weeks ago:


The group is beset by mutations, mostly involving distorted leaves and uneven growth. The one seedling outside the tray is not actually part if the generation I'm working here, it's a Silver Mountain (Bodhi) X Ennio grown out to cross-reference with the BX1/F3's so as to hypothesize what traits Ennio reliably brings to the table. At its third node it began growing from one side only, which is one of the major problems with the BX1's, and so strongly suggests that Ennio is the source of that particular issue. That is interesting, because I had more or less assumed that Goldi with her fasciation and split meristem was the culprit - still could be, but looks more like the now deceased Ennio was/is the problem.

Needless to say, the worst of the mutos have been dispatched (a couple I may grow out, but not include in the project) one Goldi-ish pheno, and four very nice-looking broad-leaved plants that I will use to take the line to F4, where I expect to find either a resurgence of mutations or (more likely I think/hope) a fairly consistent generation of plants within a generation or two of uniformity, if perhaps shy of true IBL.

The Goldi-leaner:


Here is the other bunch as of a few days ago, then pictured as they are now:


And now:

The four that will carry on are the larger ones on the left. I had hopes for the small one occupying the prime real estate, but it began that lopsided growth thing. Top right will be culled shortly, and the bottom right looks great now, but its first two sets of leaves looked more like DinoKale than cannabis, and it won't be included in the F4's, but it it proves female I'll probably grow her out just to keep tabs on what does what in this line.

Phenotypically these are incredibly consistent, and it is my hope and (tentative) expectation that the aggressive culling of this F3 gen has scrubbed undesirable traits from the cross and focused the line’s energies on a more productive contingent of this gene pool. I’ll veg for another couple weeks, then flower to see what these can do, and hopefully at least one male shows up to the party. The largest has developed a stem rub similar to Goldi (it’s an vinegary/umami sort of smell like dill pickles and Slim Jims), and previous plants that have this trait have had effects similar to her. Hopefully, this is some predictor of final product, even though these survivors and thrivers are otherwise morphologically quite different than their mother/grandmother.

Lastly, here is a Goldi-A clone just in light dep for the S1 project. Branches indicated with blue zipties have been treated with STS for pollen, which will go on both this plant and another clone of her other half. I swear the two halves grow just a little differently, and a comparison between Side A X Side A and Side B X Side A will be interesting.


If she produces enough pollen, I'll backcross her to one or more of these Kashmirs, they are half siblings, same dad.


Thanks, all, and I'll try to keep the updates a little more regular!
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Quick update:

Pictured rear left quadrant are the four F3/BC1's re-situated in their new veg home for a couple weeks, and near left corner is a mutant of the generation that has straightened out a bit and I'll see through if it's a female, but as far as I am concerned not a proper candidate for making F4 beans for use in this breeding program. The other stinkers have been, shall we say, removed...with prejudice.


On the right are a couple plants of marginal interest. They are Kush and Cookies X Ennio, that similar to the Silver Mtn. X Ennio I've mentioned is helping to give a better sense of what the males I'm working with bring to the table. The K&C was a plant I kept around for about three years, and until Goldi came along was unmatched in my garden, but unfortunately I lost her just a few weeks ago. She smelled like a bakery inside of a Persian spice shop, equal parts savory and sweet, and the richest aroma I've found. She was a bullet proof female, and it kills me she is gone, but it's no one's fault but mine. Point being, I'm on the hunt for her too (both with these and in another unrelated cross I have her in).

Thanks, all, and be well!