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How to Make Feminized Seeds
What are ‘feminized’ seeds?
Simply put, they are marijuana seeds created by breeding two female plants together. Since there are no male parents, all the offspring will be bud-producing female plants. Feminized seeds ensure that you can count on every plant to produce buds, and don’t have to worry about removing male plants (which cause lower yields and seedy buds if allowed to pollinate your valuable females). Ready to get started? Follow this guide to create your own feminized marijuana seeds.
Feminized seeds are commonly available from marijuana seed banks for nearly every popular or famous strain. Breeders know that a lot of people just want to grow plants for buds, and don’t care about breeding or making their own seeds (which is one of the main reasons growers want male plants).
How do seed banks feminize their seeds?
How can you breed two female plants together?
The idea is to force a female plant to produce pollen. The male flowers (growing on a female plant) create pollen, which can be harvested and used to pollinate another female marijuana plant. The resulting seeds will all end up being female. Checkout Seedsman, a trusted seed bank.
Can feminizing seeds cause hermaphrodite plants?
Growers can force a female plant to make pollen sacs, and the “feminized” pollen produced can be used to fertilize another female plant.
How do you force a female plant to make pollen?
There are two (semi)reliable ways to make female plants produce pollen:
- Induce feminized pollen chemically (Recommended): This would be the “professional way” to feminize seeds and is how most reputable seed banks and breeders create feminized seeds to sell to the public. Mineral supplements such as colloidal silver and gibberellic acid are used because they cause a female plant to produce male pollen sacs if bud sites are treated daily for the first 3-4 weeks after the onset of flowering. This article will give you step-by-step instructions on how to feminize cannabis seeds using the colloidal silver method to creating your own feminized marijuana seeds.
- Rhodelization (Not Recommended) In the wild, some female cannabis plants will naturally start making male pollen sacs or “bananas” which can self-pollinate the plant. This happens if the plant is stressed, or if the plant is not harvested in time and buds start to die of old age. The plant is basically doing everything it can to save the next generation. The resulting seeds have a very high chance of herming and seeding your buds. This method is unreliable and not recommended but I did want to mention it as it is technically a way to create feminized seeds, however very unreliable.
But is there a dark side to feminized cannabis seeds?
One of the biggest concerns for growers when it comes to feminized seeds is that they will produce hermies instead of 100% female plants.
‘Hermie’ is a nickname for a hermaphrodite plant. A hermaphrodite produces both female buds and male pollen. The image shows a marijuana plant that has both male pollen sacs and female pistils growing from the same node.
Even the smallest amount of pollen in your grow room can seed your buds, just like a male plant would. A hermie plant can be a lot easier to miss than a male plant since it may just be a small part of the plant that’s is producing pollen sac(s).
Males make themselves known at the beginning of the flowering stage, but a hermie plant may grow only buds except for just one or two tiny pollen sacs, or a few yellow hermie bananas.
Is it True that feminized seeds can cause hermies? Yes!
Many growers believe that feminized seeds cause hermies, and there is some truth to that. In order to create a feminized seed, one of the parent female plants had to be forced in some way to produce pollen.
That pollen is used to pollinate another female plant, and the offspring of those two plants will all be female since both of the parents were female. That’s how you get feminized cannabis seeds. But it also means every time you have a feminized seed, that seed had a plant that was forced to hermie at some point in its genetic past.
There are different ways to feminize seeds, but only some methods produce seeds that hermie.
It’s important to understand that hermies can happen in several different ways. And the different types of hermies affect what genes are being passed on to the seeds.
What Causes Hermies?
- Bad Genetics: the plant comes from a line of plants that naturally create hermies
- High-Stress : high temperatures, light leaks, inconsistent light schedules, and other types of major stress can cause a perfectly healthy plant to hermie, although some plants/strains are more susceptible to stress than others
- Over Maturing Plants: this is also known as rodelization as we touched on earlier
- Chemical Stimulation: exposing a female plant to certain substances like colloidal silver or gibberellic acid during the early parts of the flowering can force any female plant to create pollen. This is how seedbanks get female pollen to produce feminized seeds.
Seeds created from hermie pollen will turn out to be female – at least as female as the parents.
Feminized seeds are susceptible to becoming hermies themselves when exposed to the same conditions as their female ‘father’ who produced the pollen. But since any plant can be chemically induced to produce pollen, it doesn’t mean that the ability to hermie in a natural environment is passed on to the seeds.
Only some feminized seeds come from parents with bad genetics.
Marijuana Seed Banks & Seed Breeders
Commercial breeders and seedbanks use chemical stimulation to create feminized seeds. What that means is they put specific compounds on developing female plants to force them to produce pollen.
This technique works on nearly any plant, including plants that would never hermie naturally. So it can be used to take two plants with great genetics to produce female seeds. But the same process will also work incredibly well on plants that do hermie easily all on their own. That means it’s up to the breeder to test and make sure that they have a solid plant with unbeatable genetics before using this technique.
The pollen that results from chemical stimulation is then used to pollinate another plant and make feminized seeds. If the parent plants would never hermie without chemical stimulation then you have created feminized seeds that won’t ever make pollen in your grow room.
But if one of the parent plants was chosen because it does hermie easily then you’ll end up with seeds that hermie and the breeder might not have done any testing on the parents of the resulting offspring to even know.
Without testing, a breeder can’t tell whether they’ve created quality feminized seeds.
The Overview: How to Make Feminized Seeds
- Buy Colloidal Silver – The Best place to get it of course is on Amazon. Read our Colloidal Silver Review.
- Spray the bud sites of your known female plant daily during the first 3-4 weeks of the flowering stage (until pollen sacs form and start splitting open)
- Harvest ‘Feminized’ Pollen
- Pollinate Another Female Plant
- Wait ~6 Weeks to Harvest Seeds
What about gibberellic acid? I’ve heard that works too. I am confident in the colloidal silver method and it works for making feminized seeds because I use it myself. I have never used it I don’t personally know anyone who has tried making feminized seeds with gibberellic acid. From what I understand it can be used exactly the same way as colloidal silver. But I’m not sure exactly how to prepare a gibberellic acid solution so I chose to stick to sharing the information that I know about and what I know will deliver results for you to create your own feminized marijuana seeds.
Now that you’ve gotten the overview, here’s the feminization process with detailed step-by-step instructions…
Step-By-Step Guide with Pictures: Create Your Own Feminized Marijuana Seeds
Buy Colloidal Silver
Colloidal Silver is sometimes used as a dietary supplement, it’s safe and isn’t some crazy harmful chemical that you are applying to your plants. You must purchase colloidal silver that is a solution of at least 30 PPM (parts per million) of silver or higher.
Spray the bud sites (nodes) of your known female plant daily during the first 3-4 weeks of the flowering stage (until pollen sacs form and start splitting open)
When you’re ready, switch your light schedule to flowering. For photoperiod plants, wait until your plant is 5-6 weeks old before initiating the flowering stage. Some young plants seem to have trouble (and take much longer) to go through the feminization process, and their pollen may not be as fertile, so start with a more mature plant.
As soon as you change the light schedule (and maybe even a day or two before) start spraying your plants thoroughly with colloidal silver at every bud site you want to form into pollen sacs.
Spray bud sites thoroughly, drenching them with colloidal silver every single day
Important! Keep spraying daily until pollen sacs open up. Don’t stop spraying early, even if pollen sacs appear to be already formed, otherwise they may not produce much pollen!
one-hand pressure sprayer / mister is really helpful for spraying bud sites evenly and thoroughly
You can choose to treat a single bud site or all the bud sites on the plant. Any untreated bud sites will develop into female buds as usual. If you want to smoke these buds, it’s incredibly important to avoid letting them come into contact with colloidal silver as that’s not safe to smoke. (Don’t worry, feminized seeds don’t contain any silver). I highly recommend letting the whole plant be your test subject so you don’t have to worry about that
Auto-flowering strains – If you’re feminizing an auto-flowering plant, start spraying daily when the plant is about 20 days old from seed. This is when most auto-flowering cannabis strains start making flowers.
Harvest Your Feminized Pollen
When pollen sacs are starting to crack and look like they’re about to open up (or if you can see one has already opened) then your pollen is ready for harvest!
When pollen sacs are cracking and opening up, you’re ready to harvest your pollen!
One way to harvest your pollen is to gently and carefully remove all the pollen sacs. Let them dry for a week, and then put them in a resealable bag. If you shake the bag the pollen should easily spill out. You may need to cut a few open yourself.
How to Store Feminized Pollen: Moisture is your main enemy when storing pollen. It can help to double the mass of the pollen collected by adding regular cooking flour. This absorbs moisture during storage and as an added bonus, it will make application easier when you get to pollinating. If you triple-bag the pollen-flour mixture and stick it in the freezer (with a good nametag so you know where the pollen came from), your pollen can be stored for a year or longer.
Pollinate Another Female Plant
When your chosen mother is 2-3 weeks into the flowering stage, take a paintbrush and ‘paint’ your feminized pollen on the developing bud sites you want to pollinate. Bud sites (for both male and female plants) are located wherever you can see leaves meet a stem.
Only the buds that come in contact with pollen will grow seeds. You can choose to pollinate all of your buds or just a few on the plant.
Make sure that you’re touching all the female pistils/hairs with your pollen. Here’s a little video showing you exactly what this looks like!
Wait ~6 Weeks to Harvest Seeds
It usually takes about 6 weeks for your feminized seeds to fully develop. Some plants are literally dying right as the seeds become ready, so to get the most viable seeds, you need to try to keep them alive until the seeds actually start dropping. The seeds can be used right away or stored in a cool, dry place for a few years. Don’t forget to label them with the date!
Now you can germinate your feminized seeds and see if your feminized seeds produce something different than its parent(s) or if its an identical, amazing, bud producer exactly as you had planned.
And that is that, you have created your own feminized marijuana seeds just like the pros!
Before we wrap this one up, a few thoughts on basing your entire grow and future grows using your own feminized seeds.
Despite what some may believe or would like you to believe, breeding plants is not easy and requires a lot of time, knowledge and luck.
Without careful and thorough testing, it may be possible to accidentally select for cannabis plants that tend to herm (make male flowers or pollen) and cause seedy buds when you don’t want them to.
For each possible ‘mother’ plant, cannabis clones should be grown in several different environments and tested thoroughly to make sure that the mother plant does not have any tendency to make pollen naturally in normal or stressful conditions. It’s okay if plants grow pollen sacs if induced chemically, but you don’t want plants that will start growing male parts on their own. Thorough testing of plant’s hardiness is always important when breeding, but it is especially important when breeding feminized seeds together.
If you don’t already have good strains to work with, buy seeds and start with reliable genetics to then start creating your own feminized seeds. Checkout the reviews for where to buy marijuana seeds here, or checkout the seedbanks below.
Make sure your read our Colloidal Silver Review as well, a key element to create your own feminized marijuana seeds
If you are interested in breeding, you can learn a lot from our Breeding Post. It will give you a headstart on your new adventure of breeding the weed the world has ever encountered.