How To Make Feminized Cannabis Seeds Like The Pros
Growing from feminized cannabis seeds is a space and resource-efficient way of getting all girls, all the time. Find out how to create your own feminized cannabis with Royal Queen Seeds.
MAKING FEMINIZED SEEDS
Growing cannabis is all about resinous flowers, trichomes, and rich cannabinoid profiles. These splendid characteristics can only be found on the female flowers. Having gardens full of robust, un-pollinated sinsemilla females means jars full of mind and body-friendly, crusty nuggets.
The only bummer, unless you grow from clones, is that cannabis is wired to produce about 50% male seeds and 50% females. It is just the nature of the beast.
Wouldn’t it be sweet if it was possible to grow all females from seed, every plant, every time?
Well, that is where the feminizing technique comes into play: two methods of manipulating the cannabis plant to produce only females from seed, every-time. To be truthful, it isn’t every single time. But 99% of the time is a pretty good number, and could be considered entirely male risk-free.
The general practice behind feminization is that female plants are forced to produce pollen, which is in turn used to pollinate other female plants. The outcome? Resulting seeds will be feminized, with no risk of further pollination.
Feminized seeds are super efficient for indoor and outdoor gardeners. Area, time, and resources aren’t being given to plants that will be thrown away two weeks after the 12-12 flip. Similarly, outdoors where a large plant can consume a lot of time and resources in upkeep prior to the autumn show of flowers, feminized plants are also a good way to reduce guerrilla crop pollinating. There’s nothing worse than bush-bashing out to a well-hidden crop only to find a rogue male or two have impregnated every female plant.
INHIBIT THAT ETHYLENE
“Applications that reduce the ethylene level in tissues or antagonise the action of ethylene causes the formation of male flowers instead of female ones” — Paraphrase, Byers et al., 1972.
There are a number of solutions that can be sprayed on female plants to create male pollen sacs: benzothiadiazole, gibberellic acid, silver thiosulphate, silver nitrate, and colloidal silver.
Colloidal silver is by far the easiest to source or make. It is non-toxic, non-caustic, and can be bought from a pharmacy or easily online. The other solutions can be dangerous, difficult to get a hold of, and expensive—except gibberellic acid, which can be found in nurseries, but is not as effective as colloidal silver. But if you want to watch some freaky plant growth just for the fun of it, give gibberellic acid a try. It is a growth stimulant and makes plants stretch and stretch.
TECHNIQUE 1: COLLOIDAL SILVER
Colloidal silver is a distilled water-based solution in which microscopic particles of silver are suspended. The nature of colloids means the particles will never settle out and can’t be removed by normal filtering. Colloidal silver is available commercially, or you can make your own if you want to totally geek out (see how-to section at the end). It has numerous uses as an alternative medicine. For example, it is used to soothe burns, as an antiseptic and digestion stimulant in people, and as a fungal control in horticulture.
Be sure the strength is at least 15ppm, preferably 30ppm. Less than 15ppm produces male sacs with little viable pollen.
To begin with, select a plant that has the characteristics you want to preserved. Feminizing clones is the usual practice as the growth, flowering, and resin characteristics from the mother are already known. There is no need for any vegetation time once a clone is well-rooted. Simply pot the clone into a small pot, give it a day or two to recover, and begin a 12-12 light cycle right away. A pollen-producing plant only needs to be small as cannabis produces copious amounts of pollen.
Hint: Make two clones once a plant has been selected, one to be feminized and one to be left for pollination. This way, a separate breeding space is created and accidental seeding of other plants, or an accidental sneeze pollinating a whole grow cupboard, is avoided.
Plants can be induced to grow male sex organs as late as four weeks into flowering. Though spraying one week prior to the light changeover is recommended for clones. If a plant grown from seed is being used, wait until the plant has sexed before spraying so you can be sure it is female.
Spray the plants to be feminized with colloidal silver every day, and three times a day if you can manage. Soak them well. Do this for two weeks, then leave the plants to grow as normal. Some growers report getting results after spraying for only 5–10 days.
When sexing begins, male pollen sacs will develop instead of female calyxes and pistils. Male plants mature much faster than females, and viable pollen can be expected within 3–4 weeks once the plant has been sexed. Some growers will spray until the plant shows sexual growth, just to be sure the method has worked. Make sure these plants are well-isolated from any flowering females. A burst pod can release millions of pollen spores, and it only takes one spore per hair to create a seed.
DON’T SMOKE IT
Once the plants have been sprayed with colloidal silver and the pollen is collected, they are write-offs—86 them and don’t smoke them. Giving them a thorough rinse will not work. The colloidal silver is a systemic treatment absorbed into the plant through the foliage and not a topical application. Be safe and bin them.
TECHNIQUE 2: RODELIZATION
Sinsemilla is an unnatural state for cannabis. Without human intervention, it would be rare to find an unpollinated female in the wild—unless it was sterile. When sinsemilla plants are left to go beyond their desirable maturation stage by a number of weeks, the plant, through whatever amazing processes evolution has bestowed, knows it has not been pollinated. As a last ditch effort at propagation, it will produce male pollen sacs in an effort to self-pollinate.
This is not the result of genetic or stress-induced hermaphroditism. They are genuine XX chromosome male bananas. With all the genetic information from the female and no Y chromosome, using rodelized pollen creates female-only seeds, although as with colloidal silver, an occasional male may appear.
HARVESTING POLLEN AND POLLINATION
There are a number of harvesting methods employed to catch pollen.
- Cover the top of the pot with plastic or card to catch pollen as it falls, or modify a plastic drink cup to shroud the plant and catch falling pollen.
- Fix a clear plastic bag, perforated at the top for air exchange, around the whole plant.
- An experienced eye will remove each flower pod prior to it bursting completely open to be sure of catching every spore.
- Pollinating a female is the easy bit. Depending on how many seeds you want to make, there are a couple of methods that can be used.
- Using a watercolour or other fine, soft brush or even a cotton bud, dip into your pollen collection and gently apply to the chosen flower. Although thousands of viable spores will be on the end of the brush, enough to pollinate a whole plant, the trichomes on the surface of the pistils will greedily glue everything you offer them. So dip into your pollen stash a few times as you dust.
- For lots of seeds, put pollen in a bag and put over a whole branch or a whole plant, shake well, and leave for twenty four hours.
- It is possible to pollinate different branches with different pollens and have a breeder plant that has 1, 2, or 15 different crosses on it.
- It is also possible to self-pollinate the plant from which the male parts were created. This won’t produce as many seeds as pollinating a separate plant because less female flowers are produced and many are nonviable because of the feminization process.
GROWING FEMINIZED PLANTS
Treat feminized seeds as you would any other seed from germination to veg, and veg through flower. Observation is where it’s at now, you want the best plants for your garden. Ideally, setting up a separate vegetation/flower space where a number of plants can be grown lets your standard grow space continue with uninterrupted production.
Plants bred using feminization are homozygous. This can have two effects that can’t be assessed until the seeds are grown. Homozygosity will increase the dominant or recessive traits of the parent in the progeny, so features you don’t want and do want can be amplified. Genetics is a weird, weird thing.
Just as with standard male to female crossings (which is a heterozygous process), a number of plants will need to be grown and the best selected for mother plants and future breeding. With enough room, hundreds if not thousands of new plants can be grown in order to select the best of the best phenotypes.
With a bit of aforethought, it is possible to set up an efficient feminization breeding programme—and have female seeds from your favourite phenos on hand all the time. You never know, you might discover the next big thing!
MAKING YOUR OWN COLLOIDAL SILVER
The easiest and relatively inexpensive way—considering how much money is potentially saved by not growing resource and time-consuming males—is to buy a colloidal silver generator, which is the no-fuss plug and play option. Or, make your own, which is quite straightforward and doesn’t require any special skill.
Colloidal silver is formed by passing a current from a pure silver electrode through distilled water. This simple electrolysis is all there is to it. Although distilled water does not conduct electricity very well due to its lack of mineral content, enough is passed through to create micro silver particles and silver ionisation. Sounds technical, but it really isn’t.
Feminized cannabis seeds only produce female plants, which has a number of advantages. Find out how to do it with Royal Queen Seeds.
How are feminized seeds made?
Image of a purple seed emerging from many others in black and white
Feminized seeds were a revolution when they came on the market more than 15 years ago. Nowadays they represent more than 75% of the worldwide sales of marijuana seeds, and this is no coincidence, as during this time they have proven to be just as good, or even better, than regular seeds. In this article we will see different ways to create 100% feminine seeds, are you in?👉
🔥 Is it easy to create feminized marijuana seeds?
If you have ever wondered how to feminize a cannabis seed and you imagined it was a difficult task I’ll tell you it wasn’t, creating a good regular variety can be as complicated as producing female cannabis seeds, because the greatest difficulty is in finding parents who transmit their best qualities to the offspring.
If you have already accomplished this step and your only concern is to know how to extract feminized seeds from a cannabis plant, I am going to explain it to you briefly.✍
Image where you can see the thin pollen produced by a reversed plant falling on female cannabis flowers*
🎯 How to make feminized seeds with STS step by step
- Prepare STS (Silver Thiosulphate), mixing silver nitrate with sodium sulphate.
- Spray the STS on the plants that we want to reverse their sex, these will act as “male” in pollination.
- Change the photoperiod to flowering and repeat the spray application of STS one week later and again 15 days after the first time.
- After the third application change the photoperiod of the receptors that will act as female during pollination, this will be the last application of STS, after the second one we already inhibit the production of ethylene, which causes the plant to flower as male instead of female.
- About 25 days after putting the receptors in bloom they will begin to be at their best to be pollinated, depending on the variety, this will happen at the time when the reversed ones start to release pollen.
- Pollinate for 2 or 3 weeks if you want to get a lot of seeds, if you want to get few and take advantage of the rest of buds to consume you can do a located pollination on a single branch.
- After the last pollen intake by the females it is time to ripen the feminized seeds, it is very simple, we only have to feed the plants for 30 days more as when we cultivate to produce flowers.
Requirements for parental selection
The females chosen to be reverted to male have to undergo a number of tests to prove that they are suitable for reversion. These tests are based on the resistance and sexual purity of the selected specimens and basically they try to induce different types of stress. Only plants that stay fully female will pass the test and then they can be considered good breeding tools.
When we choose the varieties we want to cross we have to look at the desirable qualities, such as taste, production, effect, speed, and so on. But it must be clear that these features are only useful if they are transmitted to the progeny, a good phenotype is only a good phenotype if its qualities are not transferred to its descendants. On the other hand, if it transmits those qualities, it can also be considered a good breeding tool.
Photograph of a hermaphrodite marijuana bud where you can see both male and female flowers*
🧐 Are there other ways to produce feminized cannabis seeds?
Yes, there are, although not as effective and reliable as with STS, so we do not recommend them. But if you want to know other ways to make 100% feminine seeds of your favorite weed I’ll tell you. First of all you have to understand that all techniques are based on stressing a female plant to revert its sex to male, so it can produce flowers with which it can pollinate another female.
The first feminized seeds on the market were made by naturally stressing a female to pull out male flowers with pollen. This is not a good method, since plants that revert under natural stress can easily transmit this trait to their offspring. It often happened that those feminized strains were hermaphrodites, so natural stress is not a good way to reverse cannabis females.
The most common technique used to cause stress to female plants was known as “Light Poisoning“ or light stress. It’s easy, you just have to use irregular photoperiods, or often interrupt the night cycle of female cannabis plants during flowering.
⚠️ What is Rodelization?
It is another stress process, in this case due to over-ripe, i.e. not harvesting in time or lengthening the flowering cycle of a female cannabis plant to produce male flowers. This method is not very good because of the small amount of pollen that is created, it is not worth it if you want to make many feminized seeds.
This is something they do naturally as a way of perpetuating the species. When a female guesses she’s going to die and hasn’t been pollinated, she spontaneously generates fertile male flowers to self-pollinate and continue with the lineage.
⛳ Making feminized seeds with colloidal silver
The technique for producing feminized marijuana seeds with colloidal silver is based on the same theory as the STS one. Both use silver to inhibit the production of ethylene in a female plant, and that this specimen blooms as a male and releases pollen.
With colloidal silver there are also several spray applications during the night cycle in some of the first days of the flowering cycle. The silver used in this method, or in the STS technique, is a heavy metal that can be toxic. It is therefore important to cover the substrate so that possible droplets from the sprayed leaves do not wet the soil.
👌 How are feminized seeds made with gibberellic acid?
This way of producing 100% feminine seeds with gibberellic acid was published by the great Robert Connell Clarke in his magnificent book “Marijuana Botany”. With this method several applications must be done during a period of 5 or 7 days. The biggest problem with gibberellic acid technique is its instability, since a very precise dose is needed to be effective, around 100 PPM. It is also common that each variety may need a different dose, so not many people use it nowadays.
If you want to make your own feminized seeds, I recommend you the STS method, it is the most used for some reason. You have to be careful not to inhale the gases it produces, protecting yourself with a mask, safety goggles and gloves for its manipulation, but it is the most effective technique. It is surprising to see an elite clone bloom as a male after having grown it many times as a female, I invite you to try it.
If you liked this article you can help us if you share it, that way if a friend of yours is curious about how to get feminized seeds he/she can see it here.🤪
Do you want to know the best way to produce feminized cannabis seeds? ✨ In this article we will show you ❤️ See how easy you can create your 100% feminine.