As any knowledgeable cannabis grower will tell you, a successful production of the increasingly popular plant is packed full of resinous flowers, trichomes, and rich cannabinoid profiles. Typically though, these characteristics can only be found in the female flowers which are produced naturally at the same rate as the male plants. Fortunately for growers, there is a way to engineer the cannabis plant to produce feminized cannabis seeds on virtually every occasion, known as the “feminizing technique”. Using this technique, growers can manipulate the plant to produce female-only seeds.
What are ‘feminized’ seeds?
Feminized cannabis seeds are cannabis seeds that have been created by breeding two female plants together. As there are no male parents, all of the plant’s “offspring” will be female plants.
Feminized seeds ensure that you can count on all of your plants to produce resinous buds and you won’t have to concern yourself with removing any male plants. male cannabis plants don’t produce flowers like female cannabis plants. On its turn, male plants potentially can pollinate your female plants and you will end up with a bunch of seeds.
How is it possible?
The central principle behind feminization is that female plants are forced to produce pollen, which is in turn used to pollinate other female plants. This results in feminized cannabis seeds, with no risk of further pollination.
There are two methods in which growers can achieve this outcome – The Colloidal Silver method (safest and most popular) and Rodelization but in this article, we are focussing exclusively on the former as we give you the lowdown on how to make feminized cannabis seeds.
Colloidal Silver Method
Colloidal silver is pure, metallic silver with particles of up to 15 positively charged atoms that are attached to a molecule of a simple protein.
Producing Colloidal Silver is a relatively simple procedure where you have to use an electrode of pure silver to pass a small electric current through distilled water to create tiny electrically charged silver particles that remain suspended in deionized water. The Colloidal Silver method of producing feminized cannabis seeds is increasingly popular among cannabis farmers and growers because it gives you more control over the feminization process.
Colloidal silver is a distilled water-based solution whereby microscopic particles of silver are suspended. The nature of colloids means that their particles will never settle out and can’t be removed by using a normal filtration process.
Colloidal silver is also available to purchase commercially and has several alternative uses. It can be used to soothe burns, as an antiseptic and digestion stimulant in people, as a fungal control in horticulture and can even be produced at home.
Benefits of using the colloidal silver method
- You can produce feminized cannabis seeds from any two female cannabis plants
- Provides consistency in the production of feminized seeds
- You have control over the number of seeds produced
- You can create hundreds of feminized seeds if required
How to Make Feminized Cannabis Seeds
- Buy or make your own Colloidal Silver
- Spray the bud sites of your known female plant daily during the first weeks of the flowering stage
- Repeat until it starts to form male pollen sacs
- Let the male pollen sacs ripen until they split
- Harvest ‘Feminized’ Pollen
- Pollinate Another Female Plant
- Wait 6 Weeks to Harvest Seeds
When purchasing, make sure that the strength of the solution is at least 15ppm, preferably 30ppm. Less than 15ppm produces male sacs with very little viable pollen.
Once you have your Colloidal Silver, you must then select a plant that has the characteristics you want to preserve. Feminizing clones is typically practised by growers as the growth, flowering, and resin characteristics from the mother plant are already known.
Usually, the vegetative phase can be skipped once a clone is well-rooted. All you need to do is pot the clone into a small pot, give the cannabis clone a few days to recover, and then switch to a 12-12 light cycle(12 hours of light followed by 12 hours of darkness).
When following this process, it is also advisable to make two clones once you have selected your plant – One for feminization and the other to be left for pollination. By doing this, a separate breeding space is established and any possible accidental seeding of other plants is avoided. It is also worth noting that a pollen-producing plant only needs to be small as cannabis produces huge amounts of pollen.
Furthermore, cannabis plants can actually be induced to grow male sex organs as much as four weeks into flowering. As such, 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 it to ensure that it develops as a female.
When and how to spray
It is really important to note that once the plants that have been sprayed with Colloidal Silver they are no longer fit for consumption. DO NOT smoke or consume these parts in any form while any attempts to rinse them off or clean them will also be futile. Colloidal silver is a systemic treatment absorbed into the plant through the foliage and not a topical application. As such, don’t take any chances and get rid of them.
Spray the plant’s parts you want it to produce male pollen sacs with Colloidal Silver every day and three times per day if you have the time. Soak them well and repeat this process for the next two weeks before leaving the plants to grow as you would normally. It’s always recommended to spray plants in the dark to avoid burning and damaging your plants.
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 produced within 3–4 weeks once the plant has been sexed.
When growing cannabis, some growers will spray the solution until the plant shows sexual growth, just to be sure the method has worked. It is also important to ensure that 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 seeds.
Harvesting feminized pollen
Once the pollen sacs begin to crack and appear like they are about to open up (or if you can already see that one has opened) then your pollen is ready to be harvested.
Carefully remove all the pollen sacs and let them dry out for up to a week and then put them in a resealable bag. Shaking the bag should release the pollen quite easily although you may need to cut a few of them open by yourself.
When storing feminized pollen, the most important thing to avoid is moisture. One solution to this issue is to add regular cooking flour to the pollen. The flour helps to absorb moisture during storage while it will also make the application of the pollen easier when you come to the pollinating stage.
If you want to store your feminized cannabis seeds for a lengthy period of time, simply triple-bag the pollen-flour mixture and store them in your freezer at home.
How to pollinate other female plants
Once your mother plant is 2-3 weeks into the flowering stage, simply use a paintbrush to apply your feminized pollen on the developing bud locations that you want to pollinate. Bud sites are situated wherever you can see a leave meeting a stem.
As such, only the buds that come into contact with pollen will grow seeds. At this stage, you can choose to pollinate all of your buds on the plant or just a few depending on your requirements.
It is really important to make sure that you apply the pollen to the female pistils/hairs. Here is a video that explains how to do this.
When are the seeds ready to be harvested?
Typically, it will take about 6 weeks for the feminized cannabis seeds to fully develop. During this period, it is important to know that some plants are already dying as the seeds become ready so you have to try to keep the plant alive until the seeds begin to drop.
Once you have your seeds, you can use them immediately or store them in a cool dry place. Feminized Cannabis Seeds can be used for a few years following their production so you will want to label them with a date.
And that’s it! Now you know how to make feminized cannabis seeds.