Breeders feminize cannabis, and why shouldn’t you do it too? Learn how to make feminized seeds at home and grow female marijuana from a homemade source. At this point in time, we all know what feminised seeds are, although even today there is some confusion regarding the most common methods to produce Germinating cannabis seeds is important because it gives the grower an advantage in cultivation and it speeds up the process
How To Make Feminized Seeds At Home: A Complete Guide
Learning how to make feminized seeds deserves a spot on any sustainability-focused cultivator’s to-do list.
Fem seeds let you bypass the potential pollination struggle and cultivate only seedless buds every time. This variety (and its accessibility) is a gift that keeps giving, but some growers are after a higher level of self-reliance.
Feminizing marijuana might take some trial and error, but anybody can master it with enough dedication. Once you do, fem seeds of any strain you wish become available at any time.
Join us and discover how to feminize seeds at home.
How are feminized seeds made?
Before discussing how to make feminized seeds, here’s a short biology lesson to make sure everybody’s on the same page.
All marijuana seeds are ‘regular’ at first, developing into male and female plants at an approximately equal rate. Females produce buds, which serve as a holding space for new seeds upon pollination. Male crops create the pollen necessary for this process.
Males fertilize females in natural environments, causing more seeds to develop. That’s excellent for the persistence of the species, but it can be a pain for smoking purposes.
To make feminized seeds, you need to cross-fertilize one female plant with another. That way, no male chromosomes enter the picture, letting all offspring remain bud-bearing females.
Since female marijuana doesn’t produce pollen on its own, we introduce additional elements that enable fertilization. Here’s where another concept emerges—ethylene.
Ethylene is a cannabis hormone responsible for aging. Among other functions, it induces flowering, regulating how the plant expresses its sex. Females with low ethylene levels grow male flowers, making feminized cannabis seeds possible.
This process sounds like a whole lot of chemistry, manipulation, and trouble, and you might be reluctant to give it a shot. Let’s explore the reasons you’d want to pursue it.
Why should you make feminized cannabis seeds?
Fem seed varieties are all the rage on the marijuana market. Why bother with feminization when this variant is available for purchase? We’ll discuss how to make your own feminized seeds, but first, let’s see why you should do it.
Availability stands as the primary reason. While most cultivars come in feminized versions, not all do. You can only get regular marijuana seeds of certain strains, making sticky bud cultivation a hassle.
After feminizing marijuana, it produces hundreds (sometimes even thousands) of seeds.
What’s more, you could practice strain crossing without having to deal with new hybrid males. Knowing how to make feminized marijuana seeds lets you taste the results of your original idea in their full glory.
Growers on a budget reap extra benefits. Feminized seeds are usually more expensive than their regular counterparts, making this process an investment.
Of course, you could produce more regular seeds, but that means that about 50% of each garden goes to waste every time. Even worse—males could pollinate females, leaving you with more seeds but no buds to smoke.
Female seeds are a different story. They develop into fem crops 99% of the time, eliminating this headache-including concern. Making feminized seeds now brings the following benefits to every future cultivation journey:
- No risk of pollination in your garden.
- Seedless colas with a high smoke value.
- Higher cannabinoid and terpene contents.
How to make feminized seeds at home?
As we mentioned earlier, studying how to feminize marijuana seeds incorporates various interchangeable methods.
Below, we share three ways to cause this structural shift in a female crop. Choose according to your skill level, desire for accuracy, and comfort with using chemical agents.
How to make feminized seeds using the rodelization method?
How to produce feminized seeds without using chemicals? Roderalization is an all-natural method of forcing female crops to develop male pollen sacs.
Staying seedless is an unnatural state for female cannabis plants. Like most things in nature, its main goal is to produce offspring and help the species survive. Evolution found a handy way to make this happen.
As the end of its life cycle approaches, a marijuana plant in nature develops male organs, self-pollinating to produce more seeds. Think of it as a last-ditch effort to propagate its genome.
Of course, any grower for smoking purposes would collect the colas before this happens. If you’re after new seeds, though, nature can do half the work for you.
Here’s how to make feminized seeds with rodelization:
- Care for your plant as normal until the end of flowering.
- When the harvest period arrives, don’t touch your plant.
- Let the crops sit under the same flowering conditions for two to three weeks.
- You’ll notice stamens and anthers (pollen-producing organs).
Feminizing marijuana this way is easy and cheap, requiring only time and patience. It’s ideal for first-time seed producers who aren’t comfortable with using chemicals.
Note that this technique can be a hit-or-miss, though. Even if there’s pollen, there’ll be much less to go around than with other methods.
Note: Although rodelization doesn’t produce hermaphrodites (crops with male and female chromosomes), their offspring have hermie tendencies.
How to make feminized seeds with colloidal silver?
While rodelization is great for first-timers, many growers seek efficiency and higher success rates. For that reason, they use colloidal silver to make feminized seeds.
Colloidal silver is a distilled solution of water and microscopic silver particles that inhibit ethylene production. You can get it commercially or make your own.
If you purchase from a store, get a solution with at least 15ppm silver. A product around 30ppm is ideal.
In the spirit of keeping everything sustainable and self-sufficient, we’ll provide an alternative to shopping. Here’s how to make colloidal silver at home:
- Gather supplies. You need a 9-volt adapter, two electrical wires, two clips, distilled water, two silver pieces, and a ppm meter.
- Strip the wires. This method of making a solution for feminizing marijuana requires unbridled electricity.
- Connect a clip to the end of each wire.
- Fix the wires to each end of the adapter.
- Place a piece of silver in each clip jaw.
- Fill a jar 3/4 full of distilled water and suspend clips on opposing sides of the container.
- Turn on the adapter and let it work.
The solution for making feminized seeds turns pale gold after around 20 minutes. The meter should read at least 15ppm silver, too. After that, all you need to do is let the liquid sit and cool.
Once you have your product, here’s how to make feminized seeds with colloidal silver:
- Pick a female crop that’s early into flowering. The earlier you start, the better the outcome.
- Soak the plants generously using a spray bottle. Focus the silver showers on future bud sites.
- Keep spraying daily for two weeks. Try doing it at the same time each day.
- Leave the marijuana plants to grow as normal.
You should start seeing pollen sacs within a month, but it’s a good idea to move these crops from any smoking-purpose plants right away. Otherwise, you’re running the risk of a random pollen burst fertilizing an entire garden.
Making feminized seeds with colloidal silver is straightforward and almost 100% guaranteed to work. The crop you used is a write-off, though. Colloidal silver travels through the plant, causing flower toxicity.
How to make feminized seeds with STS?
Making feminized seeds with silver thiosulfate (STS) is a recent technique, but its efficiency is helping it gain traction. It’s the only option that brings the 99% feminized figure of other techniques to a certain 100%.
STS is a solution of distilled water, sodium thiosulphate, and silver nitrate. It halts ethylene production, forcing male flowers to blossom. As with colloidal silver, the plants are no longer viable for consumption once you spray them.
Much like silver, the elements for STS are accessible in most pharmacies and online shops. You can make this liquid yourself or get a bottle on Amazon and go to town with it.
If you decide on the first option, you need to prepare two solutions and only mix them when it’s time for feminizing marijuana. Always use protective equipment and choose glass or plastic containers to avoid contamination.
Here’s the recipe:
- Pour half a liter of distilled water into a measuring cup. Measure 0.5 g of silver nitrate before adding it.
- Stir until the crystals dissolve. Pour solution A into a brown glass bottle.
- Repeat step number one with 2.5 g of sodium thiosulfate.
- Stir and pour into another bottle. You now have solution B.
- Combine 50 ml of solution B, 50 ml of solution A, and 800 ml of distilled water in a spray bottle.
- Add ten drops of washing detergent and lightly shake the mix.
The liquid should stick to leaves, not immediately slide down. If it does, you need more detergent in the blend.
Once the chemistry exercise is all done, here’s how to make feminized seeds with STS:
- Start spraying five days before the flowering stage. Focus on the leaf areas and be generous with the soaking.
- Continue spraying once every five days, covering the roots with paper to avoid damage.
- Continue for four weeks. Spray at night to help the crops soak in the solution.
- Leave the plant to develop as normal after the four-week mark.
You should see pollen after another month. If you notice any yellowing or burnt tips, add more water to your STS liquid.
This technique for making feminized seeds requires more caution, but it’s as effective as it gets. Once you master the application, STS massively reduces trial-and-error, making it even easier to move on to the next stage.
How to handle pollen for making feminized seeds?
The main section of making feminized seeds is over. Your female crops are now forming pollen sacs, and you’re soon to collect the precious substance and finish the cycle.
Let’s talk about the steps that follow feminization.
How to collect pollen
Collecting pollen is the next level of teaching yourself how to make feminized cannabis seeds. This one is all about timing.
As a rule of thumb, wait until the sacs swell but act ASAP once they do. Otherwise, they can burst and pollinate nearby female plants, ridding you of your precious source.
When the time is right, cap the top of your plant with a plastic bag. Fix the cover around the crop and remove the male flowers one by one. Be careful when grabbing them to avoid pollen explosions.
Leave the sacs to dry for a few days and filter them using a micron sheet. Place a sheet of parchment beneath and shake the pods, letting the golden powder fall and collect on the flat paper surface.
You can use this pollen to make feminized seeds right away or store it for future use.
How to store pollen
If you plan on making feminized seeds later, the pollen remains fresh for a week in the fridge and up to a year in the freezer. The key idea here is to avoid moisture.
Storage with cooking flour is the way to go for avoiding humidity issues. Combine the two powders, sticking to a 3:1 flour to pollen ratio. Wrap some paper around the mixture and place it inside an airtight, opaque container.
Tip: Reduce the amount of oxygen in the jar to further prevent degradation. You could also add paper, cotton, or rice to the container.
Wrap reusable bags around your container. Leave it in the cold spot of choice, staying vigilant about temperature fluctuations.
How to pollinate the plants
How to make female seeds? Pollinate female plants with female pollen. The process can begin as early as two weeks into flowering. The method depends on the number of seeds you’re looking to produce.
If you’re going for smaller-scale production, use a soft-bristled paintbrush to dust the pollen onto buds and branches. The spores stick to the trichomes, making fertilization easy to localize.
If you aim to make feminized seeds from an entire crop, there’s a quicker way to do it. Place the pollen in a bag and cover the crop with it, shaking to help it spread. Let the bag sit there for another day.
You’ll have to wait for another four to six weeks before the plant produces seeds. Keep providing optimal conditions during that time.
Grow female marijuana from your own stash
Bravo—you now know how to make feminized seeds, and you have tangible results as proof of your skill.
Take your time to master these methods before you make feminized cannabis seeds at home. Do everything right, and you’ll never again find yourself settling for regular varieties of hard-to-find strains.
Visit our store to find the best strains worth feminizing. Check out the post on recognizing quality seeds to ensure you’ve done everything right.
About the author: Parker Curtis
Parker Curtis has around a decade of cannabis-growing experience, specialising in soil-less and hydro grows. He’s mastering outdoor, greenhouse, and indoor grows.
How to make feminised cannabis seeds
Until the 1990s, any cannabis cultivator was aware that, at some point, they had to separate the male and female plants if they didn’t want the first ones to pollinate the latter, which results in plants completely full of seeds. However, those were the days when pioneering seed banks like Dutch Passion were revolutionizing the cannabis scene with the birth of the first feminized cannabis strains, or in other words, seeds that only develop into female plants. At the beginning of the 20th century, many seeds banks were offering this type of seeds, feminized versions of classics strains that had been cultivated during many years as regular plants.
We are sure that by now you’d probably have grown some feminized seeds, maybe even though you are a purist and the fiercest defender of regular seeds. But. do you know where feminized seeds come from? Are you familiar with the processes used by both breeders and growers to obtain them? In this article we explain everything!
Feminized cannabis seeds quality control
Advantages of growing feminised seeds
Indeed, the advent of feminized seeds brought about a genuine revolution within the cannabis sector. Growers were now sure that all their plants would be females, without the need to differentiate between male and female plants or having to remove the males before they could ruin the crops, which offers a number of benefits of significant importance:
- Space and resources saving: no more growing plants which eventually will be removed for being males.
- Reliability: it’s not that most plants are female, or that they are genetically more likely to produce female plants. The plants grown from feminized seeds have only female chromosomes (XX), therefore this method is 99% reliable.
- Sinsemilla plants: by not having males in the grow room, your female plants won’t be pollinated, so they won’t produce any seeds during the flowering period (something that every cultivator wants, unless they want to obtain seeds)
These advantages were of great interest for the growers, and soon feminised seeds accounted for a large portion of the seeds available in the market. In addition, being able to use only female plants (generally known and selected clones) to produce seeds had another great advantage for seed producers and breeders of new varieties: they no longer need to keep males in their gene pools! And not only that. from that moment on, any female plant they could get their hands on could be used as a male to pollinate other plants, thus exponentially increasing the possibilities of creating new crosses.
Outstanding Orange Candy feminised from Philosopher Seeds
It is not surprising, therefore, that at present, feminized seeds represent virtually all the seeds in the market, since they offer a number of significant advantages for both professional and home growers and breeders, for photoperiod and autoflowering plants. The main disadvantage of this method is a well known and hotly debated issue: the growers who buy this type of seeds cannot produce their own seeds in the absence of male plants, so the only way they can manage it it’s using the same process to obtain this type of seeds. But. what are these processes and what are they based on?
Female crosses: feminised cannabis seeds are born
As we’ve already mentioned, feminized seeds are the result of a process that reverses the sex of a female plant, that is, she is forced to produce male flowers. This way, and once into flowering, the female chosen will start to develop what we know as male flowers (stamens and anthers), which, just like male plants, will release the pollen that will pollinate the female plants. What is then the difference between a male plant and a reverted female plant?
The sex of cannabis plants is determined in the same way as ours, through the so-called sex chromosomes or genosomes. Male plants have a couple of different sex chromosomes called “XY” or heterogametic, while female plants have two chromosomes called “XX” or homogametic. When crossing a male (XY) with a female (XX), we will obtain around half of the plants of each type in their offspring. In other words, when a breeder uses a male and a female plant, the seeds produced by them will be approximately 50% males and 50% females.
After this explanation, many of you will have already figured out that if we cross two female plants (reversing the sex of one of them to force it to produce pollen), the result will be seeds that will produce female plants, as there are only female sex chromosomes in the equation. If crossing XY with XX produced 50% of each class (male and female), crossing XX with XX will produce plants that only exhibit chromosomes XX, that is to say, female plants. No matter how many times we “transform” a female plant into a male plant, we won´t be changing their genetic composition, which will still be female or XX. This way, the pollen produced by this plant will pass down female sex chromosomes exclusively.
Feminised seeds grown indoors, 100% female plants
As you can see, and although we normally use the expression “reversing the plant sex“, that is not exactly what is done, because the sex chromosomes of the female plant (XX) have not changed, even if we managed to produce male flowers. This “sex change” of female plants can be achieved in a number of ways, but usually with the same goal: to reduce the level of ethylene in plant tissues and/or inhibit the ethylene action, which makes the plant develop male flowers on entering the flowering period, as if it were a male from regular seeds. This is because ethylene is a natural regulator of the sex expression in plants!
Let’s see now the most popular ways to reverse the sex of a female plant in order to produce feminized seeds.
Methods used to produce feminized cannabis seeds
There are several ways to secure that a female plant produces pollen, and almost all of them require some type of chemical that is often sprayed on the plant. Once sprinkled with the chosen product and under a flowering photoperiod, the plant will flower normally, but as a male instead of female, producing ‘feminized’ pollen (which only contains chromosomes XX) that can be used to pollinate other females in order to produce seeds. These are some of the most commonly used techniques:
Stress or rodelization
One of the first methods used to obtain seeds that produce female plants was stress or rodelization. There are several ways to stress the cannabis plants to make sure they develop male flowers, such as through temperature, nutrition, photoperiod, and pH. However, supporters of this technique often prefer something as simple as delaying the harvest 2-3 weeks in order to force the plants to develop a few male flowers without stressing them as much as with any of the other methods we have mentioned.
Although this action will produce far less pollen than other techniques like STS, it will be enough to obtain a handful of seeds for the domestic growers to try to create their own feminized crosses. Also, the great advantage of this technique is that is 100% natural, and it doesn´t use any chemicals. It is an excellent alternative for anyone who just wants a few seeds and wishes to keep it simple without any formulas or laboratory products. However, bear in mind that this is the only method listed in this post that may produce some plants with hermaphroditic traits.
Male flower produced by rodelization
STS or silver thiosulfate solution
Without any doubt, one of the most commonly used methods for both producers and seed banks. This is a solution made of distilled water, silver nitrate and sodium thiosulphate (sometimes called sodium hyposulphite) that, after being sprayed on the female plants, inhibits their ethylene action resulting in the formation of male flowers once flowering has been induced. STS is relatively easy to prepare, although its lifespan after combining the two components is quite limited, barely a few days as long as it´s well preserved (in a dark and cool place).
It is important to mention that you must not consume any part of the plants sprayed with this type of product, although that would be weird, as the plants have “become” males and won´t produce any buds. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t use the reverted plants to make resin extracts; the best thing is to discard them after harvesting the pollen. Both components, sodium thiosulphate and silver nitrate, are also used for photo-development.
This is another way to revert the sex of the plants, but this time using a solution made of 30ppm colloidal silver (that you can easily find in many pharmacies and also online) and distilled water. The solution must be applied for a few days until the plant starts producing male flowers, something that it´s not necessary with STS, where in most cases one single application is enough.
Colloidal silver is formed by electrically charged silver nanoparticles and has antibacterial and antifungal properties. This product was introduced in the market in 1980 for therapeutic use. However, as with STS, you should get rid of the sprayed plants once their pollen is harvested, as colloidal silver is absorbed systemically by the plant and remains in its tissues.
This sativa plant treated with STS started flowering as a female but soon developed male flowers
This is a method researched by Mohan Ram, who also conducted extensive investigations on plant sex reversal with STS. According to his findings, sodium thiosulphate (STS) is more effective in producing male flowers and viable pollen in female plants. Probably because of this, silver nitrate is mixed with sodium thiosulphate, instead of using it in isolation.
Gibberellins are plant hormones that help regulate various processes related to the development of the plants. There are several types of gibberellins available in the market, although the most common and effective is gibberellic acid or GA3 (Gibberellin GA3). This product is used in a very similar way to colloidal silver, sprayed on the plants during several days before switching the photoperiod over to flowering.
It is worth stating that one of the side effects of gibberellic acid is a significant stretching of the treated parts of the plant, so don’t be surprised if this happens to your plants! The recommended dose to achieve the best results is approximately 100ppm.
Urban legends and lies about feminized seeds
Despite the fact that, after two decades of cannabis cultivation, many of the false myths surrounding feminized seeds have been debunked, from time to time we still hear some arguments like the ones shown below. As is often the case, many of these stories are spread by people who have never grown this type of seeds or have none or very limited experience with them. Ignorance is always a bad thing, and that’s why we want to emphasize several points in relation to feminized seeds and the myths that often go with them; myths such as the following:
Feminized seeds produce hermaphrodite plants:
The problem with monoecious hermaphrodite plants has more to do with the parents used (and if they exhibit any hermaphrodite trait) rather than with the type of seeds produced. If to create a feminized seed you use a female plant with a tendency to produce male flowers, part of its offspring will likely inherit that characteristic, whether the said female plant is used as a pollen donor (after reversing its sex) or as a recipient of pollen (letting it flowering as usual). Yet the same thing happens when producing regular seeds: if the male or female parents are not stable in this respect, neither will be their offspring (or at least part of it).
Marijuana and hermaphroditism
Many growers have been surprised by the presence of hermaphrodite plants in their marijuana crops. In this post we will tell you how to detect them and how to proceed if you find a hermaphrodite cannabis plant in your growing space. We will also discuss the causes of this hermaphroditism.
Feminized seeds produce mutant plants:
Nothing could be further from the truth. It is true that sometimes some plants develop weird traits or mutations, although this also happens with regular seeds. Unfortunately, there seems to be not enough studies comparing the ratio of specimens with mutations of one or other type of seeds; however, given the millions of feminized seeds that have been germinated in the last 20 years, if mutations would pose a problem, the quantity of feminized seeds sold would certainly not be so high, and this would be a “public security” issue within the cannabis sector, both for the growers and the producers of the seeds.
Feminized seeds have chemicals:
This is another lie that some people believe. As it’s been mentioned before, a female plant is sprayed with some chemicals in order to inhibit its ethylene action. After a few weeks of this and once in the flowering period, the plant will produce male flowers and pollen, which will be harvested to pollinate the female plants designated to produce seeds. Once the seeds are formed, they are collected and packed immediately, so they don’t come into contact with any chemicals or the plants that produce seeds, nor, of course, with the seeds themselves. Also, to produce cannabis seeds, you normally need two separated indoor cultivation areas, one for the reverted plants (treated females) and the other for the females to be fertilized to produce the seeds, so the latter can’t get “contaminated” with any chemicals.
Feminized seeds are GMOs:
Once again, this is a false statement. We have already pointed out that by using these sex reversal techniques we inhibit the ethylene action in the female plant, and under no circumstances the seeds (or plants) are genetically modified. The sex chromosomes of the female plant converted into a male plant are still female (XX), nothing has changed at a genetic level.
We hope you found this article interesting; even today, many people are still unaware of the intriguing process behind this type of cannabis seeds. Do not hesitate to leave your comments; we will be delighted to answer them.
- Marijuana Botany, Robert C. Clarke
- The Cannabis breeder’s Bible, Greg Green
- The Cannabis grow Bible, Greg Green
- Breed your own vegetable varieties, Carol Deppe
- Induction of Fertile Male Flowers in Genetically Female Cannabis sativa Plants by Silver Nitrate and Silver Thiosulphate Anionic Complex, Mohan Ram, Sett R.
The articles published by Alchimiaweb, S.L. are reserved for adult clients only. We would like to remind our customers that cannabis seeds are not listed in the European Community catalogue. They are products intended for genetic conservation and collecting, in no case for cultivation. In some countries it is strictly forbidden to germinate cannabis seeds, other than those authorised by the European Union. We recommend our customers not to infringe the law in any way, we are not responsible for their use.
How to germinate all types of cannabis seeds: Three methods
A seed is like an egg in many ways. Inside are very similar components: an embryo, a radicle, a plumule and cotyledons, and outside is a protective shell.
Germination is important because it gives the grower an advantage in cultivation and a faster start. And it makes sure you’re not planting a small rock where nothing will grow out of the ground.
The different types of cannabis seeds
For those who want to cultivate for recreational or medicinal purposes, the female plant is the only one that matters. Only she can produce the flowers we expect at the end of the cycle.
Cannabis is a dioecious plant, that is, it has a female and a male plant. The male flower produces pollen after calyx development, which, when it meets the flowers and pistils of a female plant, will be fertilized, generate a new seed, and guarantee the survival of the species.
Cannabis seeds have undergone several modifications and are currently available in three main categories: normal, feminized, and auto-flowering, also called automatic. Recently, a new category, quick flowering seeds, has gained popularity.
Regular or normal seeds
Regular seeds are mostly chosen by breeders and established growers seeking stable genetics. (Algirdas Gelazius/123rf)
If the cultivator’s desire is to perpetuate a variety or make improvements, he should choose seeds of the normal or regular type. They are created by crossing a male with a female plant.
We call them regular or normal because they develop naturally. This type of seed can produce species of both sexes. Here, the grower has no control over gender. The odds are divided. Regular seeds have a 50% chance of being a female plant and generating flowers, or 50% of being male, which will result in small bags which grow very quickly into clusters of calyxes and flowers with pollen grains, essential for the multiplication of the species.
Regular seeds are mostly chosen by breeders and established growers seeking stable genetics or new cannabis terpenes or profiles by pheno-hunting through regular seeds which become the mother stock for all feminized seeds. Traditional landrace growers continue a long tradition of growing flowers and pollinating their crops which lose commercial value but guarantee sufficient seeds for the next season. Traditional landrace growers are slowly disappearing from the most remote regions on earth due to feminized seeds and readily available hybrids seeds which fetch a higher commercial value.
- Breed and create new strains
- Equal probability of male and female plants
- Create pollen bank
- Sex of the plant is unpredictable
- Male and female plants can be confused by a novice grower
- Pollinating males will seed female plants, resulting in fewer flowers to be harvested by the grower
- Preparation of different grow tents
Feminized seeds are obtained by crossing two female plants. One of them is exposed to a high level of stress. (Shutterstock)
In the late 1990s, with the need to cultivate seeds that guaranteed the appearance of female plants, feminized seeds emerged. As the name implies, they are those that will result in female plants. Males are unlikely to appear unless cannabis is under stress or someone has offered it a “cat for a hare.”
In the beginning, these plants had quality problems or were genetically unstable. Furthermore, they could transform into hermaphrodite plants. Over the years, with improvements and new technologies, feminized seeds have achieved high levels of quality both in production and in taste and final effects.
Feminized seeds are obtained by crossing two female plants. One of them is exposed to a high level of stress until it becomes a hermaphrodite. After crossing them, feminized seeds are obtained.
Another method to get feminized seeds, and perhaps the most commonly used one, is the application of a solution of colloidal silver, a famous and easily found natural antibiotic. The solution placed on female cannabis plants induces the production of pollen, which fertilizes other female plants that will generate feminized seeds.
Feminized plants are photoperiodic plants and depend on hours of daily light to transition from the vegetative phase to the flowering phase. Photoperiod plants allow the grower greater control over the moment when the cannabis starts to flower by maintaining the light hours. Thus, growers can wait as long as necessary to remedy any problem with the plant still in its vegetative state, such as excess water or nutrients, or take clones or cuttings to ensure the survival of your favorite cannabis plants.
Less experienced growers should start with feminized plants until they get some experience. This is more likely to ensure that they are always healthy and within the correct growth parameters.
- Production of female plants
- Ideal for growers who want flowers
- Simplification of the cultivation process
- Not suitable for breeding
- Must be started from the seed
- Can turn into hermaphrodites
Automatic and autoflowering seeds
A few weeks after germination, autoflowering plants start flowering, regardless of the structure or health it presents at that time.(Shutterstock)
After feminized seeds, in 2008, automatic or autoflowering seeds appeared which were bred from Cannabis Ruderalis plants found in areas such as Eastern Europe, Russia, and Alaska. They flower in a shorter time, where there is no need for different photoperiods between the vegetative state and flowering, but they do require more attention.
Many people think that it is easier to cultivate, as it doesn’t need to change the photoperiod and the whole cycle happens in an “automatic” way. But not quite. A few weeks after germination, the plants start flowering, regardless of the structure or health it presents at that time. With that, the cultivator has no margin to correct eventual unforeseen events, such as excess or lack of nutrients, pests and diseases, and slow growth due to inadequate parameters.
- No need to change photoperiod
- Fast flowering time
- Lower yield
- Difficult and risky to clone
- Little time for care
Photoperiodic plants have the advantages of greater control by the grower during the plant cycle, a richer THC and CBD profile, better terpenes and higher production. There is also the advantage of producing clones from a selection of mother plants.
Autoflowering plants, on the other hand, have a faster cultivation, more than one harvest can be made during the year and the possibility of cultivation with the light always on.
|Type||Male||Female||Possible to clone|
Sativas, indicas, or hybrids?
Firstly, you need to decide whether you want to use it medicinally or recreationally. Certain cannabinoids are more present in certain genetics.
The differences between indica and sativa plants are quite significant, such as the shape, height and even the effects. Their morphological differences are much greater than those attributed to them in dispensaries and in popular culture, however.
Indica-predominant plants originally obtained from landraces in drier, more arid regions such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India have a shorter and more shrubby stature, a greater number of branches and a shorter space between nodes. This makes it a more compact and ideal herb to be grown indoors. They have a shorter flowering time, are easy to grow and especially under artificial light.
Indicas are more resistant to cold, require less water and do not handle high humidity well.
Sativa plants originally obtained from landraces in tropical and higher altitudes have a greater height, a “pine tree” structure, and the space between their nodes is greater.
Flowering times are longer and are usually a little more difficult to grow. They don’t like the cold, are more heat resistant and better suited for outdoor use.
Nowadays seeds that are predominantly sativa or predominantly indica are landraces which are still available from select breeders and keepers of cannabis history. Hybrids are more common and have some characteristics of each variety.
How to check if my seed is ok?
The best seeds have a rounded shape, are big and fat. The closer your seed is to these characteristics, the greater the chances it will germinate. (Shutterstock)
There are a few ways to find out if your cannabis seed is ready to be germinated or not.
You can start by using your senses of sight, touch, and smell to determine if cannabis seeds are good or bad.
To test using vision, you can resort to using a magnifying glass. The best seeds have a rounded shape, are big and fat. The closer your seed is to these characteristics, the greater the chances it will germinate.
Bigger, harder seeds are best. The surface should have a slight sheen.
They are dark in color (usually brown, black, or gray). The darker the color, the more likely they are to grow and produce a better plant. The dark bark means they came from a better-quality plant.
If they are pale, white, or light green, they were picked too early and are probably immature. This means they are not good and are unlikely to germinate. If they are light-colored and dusty, they are probably old and slower to germinate.
Another tip is to check if the seed has light streaks. Good seeds are usually darker and some look like they have tiger stripes and are also referred to as tiger backs.
You can’t always judge a seed by its color alone. It is necessary to know what is inside the seed. If you break a seed and it is oily and moldy, it is spoiled. If it’s black inside, it means it’s fermented and won’t germinate.
Other tests that can be done to verify that a seed is in good condition is the touch test. Just lightly squeeze a seed. If crushed easily, it probably won’t grow well. There should be no small cracks or holes. If they have these characteristics, they probably won’t germinate. They must not be wrinkled or cracked. If they aren’t cracked, you know they’re intact. If it resists the susceptibility test, the seed has a good chance of germinating.
The other test consists of placing the seeds in a container of warm distilled water for two hours. If they sink, they’re good. If they float, they are premature and probably will not grow and therefore are unusable. Healthy seeds are heavy enough to sink or sink once a little water is absorbed.
How to germinate my seeds?
To germinate seeds, four simple elements are needed: humidity, warm temperature, oxygen, and darkness.
Most seeds germinate between 24 and 72 hours, but some may take longer.
There are several methods to germinate a seed. The first and best known is germination on paper (it can be on napkins, cotton, or paper towels). In a pot, place a sheet of kitchen paper, separate the seeds so that there is a few inches between them and add another layer of paper on top. Both sheets should be damp but not soaked. If the paper loses moisture, add a little more water. Once the white root reaches 2-3 mm, carefully transfer the seeds to the pot. Do not close the pot, as oxygen is essential for successful germination. (You may also consider soaking the seeds for a few hours before placing them in the paper towels.)
Another method to germinate the seeds is with a glass of water, but it is not as effective as using paper. Place your seeds in a glass of water, preferably at a temperature of 22ºC. After 3-5 days, the seeds will start to open, and the small white radicle will appear. Then, just transfer to the soil already prepared to receive it. This is a simple method and suitable for first-time growers.
The grower can also place their seeds directly in the soil, in which case transplanting is not necessary. It is a safer option due to the fragility of the small root that appears when we germinate in a glass of water or on paper. Put the soil in the pot where your plant will be. Poke a hole to a depth between 10-15mm. Introduce the seed and gently cover it with more soil, but it is not necessary to compress it on top of the seed. Put some water on top to make the soil moist. After 4-10 days the grower will watch the plant sprout as the roots go under the ground.
Remember to always wash your hands and have all materials clean to prevent mold.
How to store my seeds?
Cannabis seeds should be stored in a cool, dry place. They can be stored in drawers and cabinets if there is no great temperature variation in these places. They can also be preserved in the refrigerator or even in the freezer.
Rapid temperature variations are the main problem when storing seeds and can harm genetic integrity.
If storing for just a few days or months, the grower can use a Ziploc-type bag, a glass jar, or an airtight container. If you want to keep the seeds preserved for a longer time, the most recommended method is in a closed vacuum package.
If you are going to keep your seeds in the refrigerator, choose a place further away from the door. That way, they suffer less from changes in temperature when opening the refrigerator.
Remember that by freezing your seeds every time they are thawed and refrozen, they become less viable.
By storing your cannabis seeds correctly and properly, they can last up to 10 years.
Special thanks to Sunshine Coast Genetics for helping fact-check this article.