If you’re not a total beginner as a grower, you probably know that male cannabis plants pollinate female plants. You may also know that only female plants produce the flowers that cannabis fans know and love.
The problem with male plants is that if they pollinate your girls:
- The girls will produce seeds
- Their buds will have less resin & THC
- Your total bud yield will be lower
Growers normally buy feminized seeds from breeders and seed banks because they can count on almost all of those seeds becoming female plants with high THC and all the other goodies cannabis has to offer.
Here you will learn to feminize seeds yourself.
What is a Feminized Seed?
A feminized cannabis seed is what you get when you breed two female plants instead of a male and a female. When you plant feminized seeds, they germinate and grow into females.
The way to feminize seeds is to force females to produce pollen sacs. You can use that pollen to fertilize other females.
How do you trick them into producing male buds? Induce environmental stress or change their hormones chemically.
Choice #1 – which is called Rhodelization - is not a favorite method of breeders. It’s more complicated than changing hormones.
The trick to rhodelization is to fool the girls into “thinking” that they’re dying. A female anticipating death wants to optimize the continuation of the species. When they think they’re doomed, they will produce female seeds almost exclusively. This is because a small number of male plants can fertilize an entire room full of girls, so very few of them are needed. Cannabis pollen outdoors travels far and wide. The girls are more essential.
How to Make Feminized Cannabis Seeds by Changing the Hormone Balance Chemically
This is the most common method top breeders use to feminize seeds.
To do this, you can use one of four substances:
- Colloidal silver (CS)
- Silver thiosulfate (ST)
- gibberellic acid (GA3)
You can find colloidal silver at bricks and mortar natural foods stores or through online supplement stores. If you want to make your own, there are plenty of guides online that show you how to do that.
Step 1: Grow 1 or More Female Plants
Let these ladies grow through the vegetative stage.
Step 2: Spray the Bud Sites Daily
When the buds start forming, put colloidal silver in a spray bottle and drench the bud sites once per day. The buds will develop into male-like buds that have the power to pollinate. The process will take three or four weeks. Don’t stop spraying them until the pollen-filled buds start opening and the leaf that protects the pollen begins to crack.
Warning: If any female buds form, don’t smoke them. They could be dangerous because of the chemicals.
Step 3: Harvest & Dry the Pollen Sacs
Pluck the pollen sacks. Place them somewhere that allows them to dry. The drying process should take about a week.
Step 4: Put Your Sacs in a Bag & Shake ‘em Up
You can use a can for this, too. The sacs will release pollen when you shake them. Keep your container closed while doing this so that no pollen escapes.
Store your pollen in a ziplock bag or something air tight.
Step 5: Fertilize Some Lady Plants
The best time to pollinate your plants is when they are about two or three weeks into the flowering stage. If you wait too long, they’ll produce less seeds.
Do this step in a closed room. It’s a delicate process. There are lots of tutorials online about how to pollinate cannabis. Find a good one and follow the steps.
Step 6: Harvest Your Feminized Seeds
You can tell the seeds are ready when some of them start dropping from the buds. They should be brown and not green. You may need to give the plant some nutrients or whatever it takes to keep her alive so that she can get to the seed dropping phase.
Harvest the seeds with your fingers.
Step 7: Store Your Seeds or Plant Them
Keep your seeds in a cool and dry place. Mark them with a harvest date so you know how old they are. If you store them properly, they’ll keep for a few years. You can plant them any time after harvest.