Apollo-13 is one of those strains a grower could spend his life learning and one I have been working with for a long time now. The cutting we have is old and hard to work with. She is a bit picky on nutrients and has an almost vine like growth creating a very wide sagging bush that needs a lot of support to keep her from having bud flop. She has a very distinct peppery, yet also a funky rotting fruit smell. She has many different expressions according to environment. She can go from being very fox tailed with dread like airy buds in a warm room to hard tight colas in perfect conditions. She prefers a daytime temperature of around 75 degrees but does not like chilly nighttime temperatures like some strains. As she approaches harvest her fan leaves will sag and curl under making trimming a time consuming process but every bit of her smaller leaves are covered in resin that yields a red bubble hash that has to be tried to believe. Her downside is trimming. I spend a good 4 hours on just the upper portion when harvesting. The buds are covered in swirling curled sticky leaves that take loads of concentration and small scissors to clean up. I focus hard to remove all the sugar leaf as my main goal here is Bubble! I have noticed that actual sugar leaf makes the best hash. When I use pure bud I never get the same yields as with trim leaf. I think its almost a waste. So my buds get cleaned well to make more Apollo-Bubble.
The original information on this Brothers Grimm strain states that only 500 seeds were ever made so to have an original cutting is a big deal. Brothers Grimm are responsible for the famous Cindy99 and a few other killer hybrids and they were big on back crossing to there mother plants to improve stability by Cubing a clone only strain. Apollo-13 is Genius x p-75 the 75 indicates that 75% of the desired traits will be determined by the male that has been back crossed twice already.
This is how it works it simple terms. You have a clone only female cannabis plant youd like to have seeds of. These seeds will produce plants that display 50% of the females traits and 50% of the males. You pollinate her with a male plant keeping a copy or clone of the original mother alive. This is an outcross and these seeds are grown out and the best male is selected based on desired traits. This male is then used to again pollinate the original mother plant. The seeds of this breeding will produce seeds that display 75% attributes of the mother plant. This process is continued twice more until the strain is cubed and in theory 99% of what the mother was. Now the science is much more complicated than this but this is a good lamens explanation of cubing. In fact I find these hybrids add new life to old strains and in some cases the sibling crosses can be as good or better than the mother strain in terms of ease of growth. The Apollo-13 mother plant still is the tops as far as resin is concerned it has a flavor and consistency like no other. Its resin shards up on scissors like clay or plumbers putty and has a deep red color. A small hit of the Apollo-13 red bubble out of a bong on a clean screen is like a heart punch and leaves you making the worst grimace ever seen.
That doesnt mean I dont treasure my stash jar of Apollo each harvest I truly do she has a buzz all her own even though she can give you a work out figuring out what exactly she wants each run. I have been growing her in super soil now for 3 years straight in the same conditions and have her just about figured out now as to what she wants and when. She likes a lot of high Nitrogen nutrients all the way up to day 30 of budding or she will start to fade to early making harvest an even bigger nightmare with yellow leaves curled over each bud. Apollo-13 has a harvest window from day 54 all the way to day 65 for a completely different high and flavor. I always top her to make sure she has at least 3 heads and I keep her in the vegetive state ( 18 Light 6 Dark) for a full 2 months to make sure she has a solid root base and enough branch support to yield 3-4 ounces per plant in soil. I use bamboo stakes and plastic coated garden wire to keep her held up once the buds start to form.
I first saw a cutting in the mid 90s and most of my internet friends grew her for head stash but she was considered a smaller strain because back then we really didnt understand temperature control and most of the people growing her were doing so in a bud room with temps above 80 degrees and in many cases close to 100 which almost no strain does well in except pure sativas. Since then we have learned to keep our rooms cooler and we have seen some of the older clone only strains shine in these conditions reaching some decent yields while producing simply primo buds.
We have used this clone to produce some amazing hybrids like Sputnik thats featured on the cover of Big Book of Buds 3 and Vortex our current favorite medical strain it is in high demand for the happy up buzz it provides while still having a serious punch in potency a favorite of bubble hash makers to. I recently created a new hybrid we call The Void using Apollo-13 and our new Querkle male that has a grape smell and purple coloring and this strain is currently a week into budding and already has a grape scent. One day I will find the male I want to work back to the Apollo mother plant until then we will have a lot of fun testing her offspring.
You can find Subcool and the Apollo-13 Hybrids at
“Apollo 11 & 13 are from the same mother plant (Genius). The father of Apollo 13 was P.75 whereas Apollo 11’s dad is Cinderella 99. Apollo 13’s mother was bred from a mysterious hybrid of Jack Herer crossed with an unidentified male which seems to have given it an unusually SHORT flowering period. Its scent is a pungent Lemon Pledge citrus with an undertone of acrid skunk. You really taste lemons when you smoke a joint. The high is STRONG, and starts hitting you while you’re smoking it, rather than being a creeper high. It’s easy to grow, matures rapidly, and manicures easily.” MrSoul
“The potency of A13 and Cinderella are “on par” in strength, but the character of each high is unique. A13 is a more “happy, social high” although seriously potent. Cinderella has a bit more “paranoia-inducing” high. Neither one has the “couch-lock” effect -they give the smoker an “up”, energetic feeling… good for doing something physical, as opposed to lying around comatose.” MrSoul
From Brothers Grimm Original Discription
“Apollo 13: This skunky girl will make your eyes water with her pungent perfume. The delicate balance of Indica/Sativa makes Apollo 13 perfect for growers limited to a single strain. The long, fat colas and sparkling, sticky side branches really weigh in at harvest time. This is the type of smoke you can’t hold down; it expands and blasts off from the lungs. The high is clear and cerebral, without a hint of paranoia. Her citrus flavor and happy high make Apollo 13 very popular at parties! Two hits and you can leave your own footprints on the moon. Flowering: 45-55 days Height: 120 – 150 cm.Yield: 400 gm/m2.”
The Brothers Grimm were Cannabis breeders that were only around for a short time but they had a huge impact on my Cannabis collection. One of the strains they created was Apollo-13 and it is without a doubt one of my all time favorite plants. Never mind the incredible red bubble hash she makes, or the fact that the buds produced by this plant will make a novice smoker sick due to it’s amazing potency. Her best trait may be the genetics locked inside that produce such amazing hybrids when she is using in a breeding project. I have written extensively on the history of Apollo-13 but just in case your unfamiliar I better cover some facts. Apollo 13 is a cross between Genius and P75, two strains created by The Brothers Grimm. I grew the Genius variety back 8 years ago at the same time I was growing the Apollo-13 and let that cutting go because of her small yields. Back then I was much more concerned with yield over quality and I will always regret that decision as Genius an Apollo-11 phenotype was my second favorite smoke and considering Apollo is one of my favorites to this day I am sure genius would still be also. Only 500 of the Apollo-13 seeds were ever produced so its rare to start with and then from that small gene pool I am only aware of three cuttings that survive today from original stock. I am lucky enough to have saved not only 2 packs but also acquired one of the prize female cuttings close to the source. It is very hard to describe Apollo-13 as she is unique to all other plants excluding her hybrids. She has a strong smell that is a mix of sour rotting fruit as well as black pepper and an underlying citris smell that mixes with a skunky flavor. This is what The Brothers Grimm had to say;
“Apollo 13: This skunky girl will make your eyes water with her pungent perfume. The delicate balance of Indica/Sativa makes Apollo 13 perfect for growers limited to a single strain. The long, fat colas and sparkling, sticky side branches really weigh in at harvest time. This is the type of smoke you can’t hold down; it expands and blasts off from the lungs. The high is clear and cerebral, without a hint of paranoia. Her citrus flavor and happy high make Apollo 13 very popular at parties! Two hits and you can leave your own footprints on the moon. Flowering: 45-55 days Height: 120 – 150 cm. Yield: 400 gm/m2.”
So for years I grow this girl out writing stories about her exploits and making some great hash along the way and finally when I got into breeding Cannabis I used her to create one of my award winning strains called Vortex. Combining Apollo-13 with Space Queen we had an instant winner and one of the best of her hybrids that I had created. Online followers of my work urged me to continue my work with the Apollo-13 and back cross the mother plant in order to produce what we call in the breeding game a BX. This is a method of using a plants sibling male to pollinate the mother plant producing a hybrid with additional traits from the mother plant. In theory each time this stage is performed the resulting seeds produce plants more and more like the mother plant. Each time the step is taken the desirable traits of the mother plant are increased. I said in theory and what I have found is if you continue the process there is not a great benefit as far as stability goes. With one proper back cross of the correct plants can yield an amazingly close replica of the mother plant in high numbers.
Once I was finally talked into this project by Apollo-13 lovers I started by germinating 20 Vortex seeds in order to find 10 males in order to select a breeding male from. As Luck would have it I got 19 female plants and even though the one male was a nice one we scrapped that project for the time being. Later that year I had another legal grower start 40 seeds for me and over time we worked our way down to 4 nice males that we put through our selection process until we found the one male that performed as we wanted. This process in very involved and time consuming as the only way to check the traits of a male is to breed to a known female. The resulting seeds are grown out and then the hybrid that most resembles the mom is noted and the male plant that produced this effect is saved. This is how we created Apollo-13 BX but I have one time saving trick, as a contributor to many medical groups I can donate these crosses to medical growers and collect their information and apply it to my research. This saves a great deal of time and I think works better than one person trying to track hundreds of plants over time.
By compiling all this information in 2009 we were ready to do a test release of our Apollo-13 BX to some medical growers and sat back to watch the findings. At the same time I had people close to me start a few packs so we could observe how the hybrid compared to the Apollo-13 mom. I knew we had a winner early but kept quite as I saw plants in early growth just covered in resin and by week 3 of budding I could start to smell traits I was all to familiar with in the BX. We released the strain privately late in 2009 and again watched as the gardens bloomed until we were sufficiently impressed. The strain went live in 2010 and quickly sold out in the first few weeks leaving us scrambling to make more.
Apollo-13 BX is the spitting image of her mother and I am hard pressed to tell the difference my looking at my own pictures of the two. Whats even more impressive is the collection of pictures I have collected by growers of Apollo-13 BX that look like I gave them my mother clone instead of them starting a few seeds. I am completely satisfied with the results and I cannot wait to get a sample tested for potency. Like her mother the high of Apollo-13 BX is inspirational and Motivating as long as you don’t overdo your consumption. It’s slightly creeper but you still feel it the second you inhale it just keeps building over time and I have more than once quickly took a few hits in between chores and found myself higher than I expected 15 minutes later. If you on the other hand take a few to many hits then your immobile physically but your mind is running wild with way to many ideas to actually get anything done.
Simply put this is Exceptional Cannabis