A Guide to Feminized Marijuana Seeds
When you enjoy a cannabis vape, edible, or smoke, remember that female cannabis plants make it possible. The female plant provides the buds that bring us the cannabinoids we all enjoy. Therefore, most breeders prefer feminized seeds, which carry only female genes and produce more female plants.
By comparison, non-feminized seeds offer a crop that’s composed of approximately 50% male plants. Although these are useful in breeding programs, they don’t make for a very productive bud crop. With feminized seeds, you won’t waste space, money, or time growing male plants. Here, you’ll learn more about feminized seeds and how to create them.
How the First Feminized Seeds Were Made
Today’s cannabis cultivators use modern techniques to feminize seeds with a nearly 100% success rate. However, things were a bit different in the beginning. The earliest feminization attempts involved the use of two female cannabis plants: one normal and one hermaphroditic (a variety that produces male flowers under stress). The biggest problem with such a technique is that the pollen donor plants would become intersexual, passing that trait onto the resulting feminized seeds. These days, it’s much easier to create feminized seeds, and we’ll start by learning the differences between female and male cannabis plants.
Choose Female Plants for the Best Chance at Success
Naturally pollinated cannabis plants typically produce female and male seeds at an equivalent rate. This means there’s a 50% chance of getting a female plant, which makes for a very inefficient growing method. Unless you’re breeding, male marijuana plants are useless. Most people work around that issue by planting double the seeds, but it’s still important to identify male plants as quickly as possible.
If you’re planning to cultivate cannabis, you probably already know that the plants have two different life stages: flowering and vegetative. The latter stage is best thought of as the plant’s infancy, where it becomes stronger and bigger with no real gender concerns. It may take up to six weeks to gain an understanding of a plant’s gender, because it’s about the time when the plant shows the earliest signs of flowering. There’s a big difference between the flowers produced by female and male plants, and you’ll quickly learn to spot that difference.
- Male plants form balls that resemble pollen-filled grapes. You should be able to see these within two weeks of the beginning of the flowering sage. If male plants aren’t detected in time, the pollen sacs will break open and the remainder of the crop will be pollinated.
- Female plants are a bit harder to detect; you’ll have to wait a bit longer after the flowering stage begins. The first sign of a female plant is the growth of thin white hairs where buds will later form.
There’s a small possibility of hermaphroditic plants, which have male and female organs. You’ll have to cull these plants before they pollinate your crop.
Why It’s Best to Grow Cannabis From Feminized Seeds
The main reason for the use of feminized marijuana seeds is that it takes all the trial and error out of cultivation. When regular seeds are germinated, about half of them will produce male plants that will only be discarded later. However, with feminized seeds, your garden will be highly productive.
It’s important to be aware of the laws in your state. Even in areas where cannabis cultivation is legal, there are limits on how many plants you can have. For example, California allows adults 21 and over to grow up to six plants per household. With the use of regular seeds, half (or more) of those plants will be male.
A male cannabis plant doesn’t just take up valuable growing space; it costs time and resources. With feminized seeds, though, you’ll enjoy a success rate that approaches 100%. It’s not a cure-all solution, though, and we’ll discuss the pros and cons of seed feminization in the sections below.
The Pros of Cannabis Seed Feminization
- Each plant will produce buds.
- A near 100% success rate means you won’t have to worry about wasting valuable growing space for plants that will be culled sooner or later.
- You don’t have to watch your crop during the pre-flowering stage to determine each plant’s gender.
- Because there will be no male plant pollen sacs, there’s a 0% risk of pollination.
Cons of Seed Feminization
- If you’re planning to produce seeds for storage, it’s not a good choice because it prevents male seeds from developing.
- You’ll need some male seeds for breeding purposes if you’re planning to develop a new cannabis strain.
Not all sellers are created equal, and some seed retailers may send you seeds created via low-quality processes. To reduce the chances of ending up with hermaphroditic plants and other issues, buy your seeds from a reputable seller like i49.
The Cannabis Seed Feminization Process
As mentioned above, it’s easy to buy feminized marijuana seeds from reputable sellers. However, if you can’t go through a seller, or if you’re up for the challenge, you can attempt DIY seed feminization. There’s a great deal of luck involved in this process, and your first efforts may not bring much success. Read on to learn about some of the most common seed feminization methods.
- Rodelization is one of the most accessible options, but it’s also the most ineffective. It’s a natural feminization solution, but you’re forced to rely on the plant’s actions. Here, you’ll keep a female plant in its flowering state long after the optimal harvest This causes stress in the plant, which forces the production of pollen sacs. Once the sacs appear, the pollen can be harvested. This method is far from reliable, as plants all react differently when stressed. Rodelization is most effective when you’ve found a cannabis strain that continually develops pollen sacs under stress. Remember that you’re selecting for naturally hermaphroditic plants, so there’s a greater chance of ending up with seeds possessing similar qualities.
- Colloidal silver causes female plants to create pollen sacs, and it’s more reliable than the rodelization method. You can buy colloidal silver or you can make your own with alligator clips, a soldering iron, a connector, a nine-volt battery, pure silver, and distilled water. It’s difficult to find pure silver for this process, so it’s much easier to buy a prepared solution from a reliable seller. Whether you’re buying or creating the solution, you’ll mist it onto female plants Continue the process until pollen sacs start to form.
It can take up to 14 days, so patience is crucial. The pollen sacs will start to open once they’re ready to harvest, and you’ll have to spray the bud areas every day until they’re ready. Once the pollen sacs start to open, gather the pollen and use it on a female cannabis plant that’s been in its flowering stage for a minimum of two weeks.
About six weeks after you’ve pollinated your plants, their calyxes will become swollen. This indicates that it’s safe to gather the seeds once they start to emerge. Great job! You’ve created feminized cannabis seeds.
Other Feminization Methods
Cloning female cannabis plants is a highly successful, cost-effective option. Though you’re not technically feminizing seeds, you are getting female buds and plants. Cloning is an effective method, but it only lets you duplicate one strain over and over again. That’s great if you really like the strain, but it leaves no room for experimentation.
Try a Feminized Strain in Your Personal Cannabis Garden
As home cannabis cultivation is legal in several states (check your state statutes for additional information), you’ll gain access to a staggering level of advice and equipment. You may only be able to grow a few plants for your own use, so it’s important to use your time, resources, and space as efficiently as possible.
As a DIY cannabis grower, you can easily create feminized seeds with a colloidal silver solution as mentioned above. All that’s required is a bit of patience, for which you’ll be rewarded with a lush garden of female cannabis plants. If you’re willing to devote your efforts to a single strain, plant cloning is another successful method.
Count on the Seed Experts at i49
Though it’s easy to create your own feminized cannabis seeds, the process isn’t right for every cultivator or collector. If you lack the resources, knowledge, time, or inclination to feminize your own seeds, it’s easy to buy them from an online seed distributor. We use only the highest-quality equipment to create feminized seeds with an almost 100% success rate, and we’ve built a full line of feminized seeds featuring the world’s most popular cannabis strains. If you’re not using feminized marijuana seeds in your personal garden, you’re basically creating a crop that’s half-full of unusable plants, and that’s a substantial waste of resources, time, space, and money. Call on the experts at i49; we’ll do what it takes to get you growing in no time at all!
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