Want to learn how to make your own feminized marijuana seeds?
So far in your growing process you have probably only worried about the ways to keep your plants happy and healthy – to both survive and thrive. Chances are, this has taken up most of your time. It has probably used up more of your time than you ever expected. How could you even think about doing something extra for your next time around?
The truth is, having one season’s worth of a great harvest is a good thing – but you could make it great by setting your sights on the future. You have so far achieved some very difficult stuff during your grow season. Maybe you had to overcome unforeseen obstacles. Do you want to make things easier next time around?
If your plants are currently maturing, start taking a closer look at them. Are there growths forming at the spot where stalk and leaf connect? Are some of your plants growing tall and skinny while others are remaining bushy and short? These changes come from your plants reaching their sexually mature stage. As soon as this starts happening, you should be able to accurately decide which plants you will want to reproduce so you have a stash of pot for the entire year.
In this article, we will cover the basics of looking to future generations of growing seasons. The secret of success is your plants’ seeds, as well as the sexes of those seeds.
How to sex plants
The first step in making these crucial decisions is to determine which plants are male and which are female. You should start being able to do this once the season starts to change. As soon as the length of daylight falls below eighteen hours per day, you will begin to see responses in the male plants. They will start to grow bud-like growths, which are actually greenish white flowers in the shape of an egg. You won’t be able to mistake its gender once you shake these flowers since they will give off a cloud of pollen.
About two weeks later you will start to see distinct changes in the females as well. They will start to grow buds, which begin as a little cactus-like white growth at the ends of branches. These buds will grow and grow until about a month has passed, at which point they will be significantly larger, sticky with resin, and odorous. Depending on the strain you are growing, this odor could smell similar to a skunk, or it could have a sweet, pleasant smell.
Surprisingly, you can get a pretty good idea of which plants are male before they start reacting to the changes in daylight. In general, the male plants will be the tallest of your crop. This is a simple evolutionary trait that was naturally selected over generations – by being taller and maturing faster, males are more likely to successfully drop their pollen onto the female plants as they are budding. Taller males will also have their pollen travel longer distances in the wind.
These male plants also die sooner than females. Luckily for you, you can cut off their flowers and smoke or eat them.
What is pollination
To seed or not to seed? That is the eternal question of many marijuana growers – especially new ones. When left to their own devices, male marijuana plants will fertilize the females, causing a new generation of seeds to be “born.” While this may appear harmless to the uneducated grower, it can significantly decrease your resulting harvest. When female plants are fertilized, they will slow down their production of resin, which has a high amount of THC. An unfertilized flower contains the most THC you can find on any marijuana plant. Additionally, unfertilized females can remain in the flowering phase for a long time – between six and ten weeks – meaning a higher amount of these THC-rich buds.
All this means that you will need to decide how many (if any) female plants you would like to be fertilized, and how many you want only for your harvest. Protecting your females from fertilization isn’t as easy as it sounds, but it is crucial to you getting a successful harvest in the end. The most effective way to do this is simply by uprooting your males and taking them away from your at-risk females.
Ideally, you already took the high male-female ratio into account when you initially planted. Marijuana plants generally are 70% male, so removing all your male plants will reduce the number of plants significantly. Remember that the end result will be higher, so don’t fear this process. That being said, you better be completely sure a plant is male before removing it from your crop. There could be nothing worse than to uproot a plant you thought was male, only to discover you just killed a huge female plant that could have significantly contributed to your end yield.
How to make seeds
This process is best for indoor growers, and it involves fertilizing your plants. To begin with, you must identify which plants are male and which are female (see above). You will, of course, need at least one male to fertilize your females, but usually one is enough. Choose the one male plant that you think has the best qualities, then remove all of the rest.
The next step is to isolate this male plant so that you can control its lighting separately from the females. While the females still have continuous light, your male plant should have 12 hours of light and 12 hours of complete darkness. This lighting change will spur the male into flowering and therefore producing pollen. You should take this pollen and save it since you’re going to need it later. Use a piece of paper to get the pollen from the flowers, and then drop the pollen into an envelope. Stick the envelope in a freezer to keep it fresh.
Meanwhile, keep your female plants in their vegetation phase for as long as possible.
Once it is time for the flowering phase to begin, it’s time to use the pollen that has been stored in the freezer. Decide carefully which females you will want to pollinate. It could be because she exhibits specific qualities you like, or maybe she comes from the same strain as the male plant and it happened to be a great strain, so you want to keep the strain completely pure. Place the pollen in one cola of the female plant(s). Don’t pollinate flowers on that same plant, and don’t get the pollen in the flowers of the other plants, either.
The process of pollinating your plants must be done carefully. Separate the female plant to avoid contaminating the other plants around it. First, put the frozen pollen into a little bowl, and get a small watercolor paintbrush. Use this brush to glaze the pollen on the top of your female plant’s cola. After four days or so, put the pollinated female plant under 12 hours of sunlight and 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness. This is the point when you no longer have to worry about cross-pollination since the pollen will be firmly stuck to the cola.
Keep a close eye on your pollinated female to make sure you harvest her seeds at a suitable time. Mature marijuana seeds will not be green, but rather will be some sort of brown color. Once the seeds are mature enough, simply use your fingers to take them out. Label the container with the seeds and then freeze them all. As long as they remain frozen, they won’t lose their ability to germinate next season.
In the end, you will both have a nice, high-quality strain of seeds for your next growing period, and the rest of your unpollinated plants will produce wonderful weed.
How to Make Feminized Marijuana Seeds
At this point, you are probably thinking that the 70% male and 30% female average is pretty unfortunate. Most growers would agree with you. Unfortunately, you don’t have much control over your future plants’ genders when you use regular fertilization techniques. This is why many take measures to make it more likely that they will get only (or mostly) female plants. One way to sway the odds in your favor is to feminize your marijuana seeds.
In general, you cannot tell the difference between male and female seeds. You also cannot change a seed’s gender. The idea behind feminizing your plants is to maximize the amount of females in your crop since female plants generally have a higher THC content than males, and, therefore, get priority. Seed feminization utilizes a number of pollination methods to tip the scale in your favor. If you have some extra cash and aren’t feeling up to the challenge, you can also buy already feminized seeds from marijuana seed companies. That being said, buying feminized marijuana seeds online can often be hit or miss. Make sure the company you are buying from is reputable.
There are three types of feminization: silver thiosulfate, colloidal silver and rodelization. Each one, when properly carried out, should end up successfully giving you mostly female plant.
Silver Thiosulfate method
The new innovation if using STS (Silver Thiosulfate Solution) has somehow become commonplace – and it’s a great one because it is highly effective. It has allowed feminized seeds to be found everywhere, meaning that the average grower can buy feminized marijuana seeds. Better yet, we can all rest assured that they are probably properly feminized, rather than the hit-or-miss feminized seeds market of days past.
So what is silver thiosulfate? It’s a half-and-half combination of sodium thiosulfate and silver nitrate. It simply causes a hormonal reaction of stress in the plant that triggers a change in gender.
So how do you actually create feminized marijuana seeds yourself? It involves a little bit more than drenching your plants in silver thiosulfate, unfortunately…
First you should decide which plants you’re going to use. They should all be female and from one strain, and nearly mature. Then just take one of them, separate it from the bunch, spray it with STS, let it dry, and finally replace it alongside its sister plants.
That plant will start looked very stressed out. It will turn brown and might worry you with how close to death it appears. Just five days later, however, it will begin its revival. In one month’s time, this plant will have finished its transition into being male. At this point, you can simply shake the new male plant right over those same females, thus pollinating the female plants. Because the new male plant used to be female, the pollen it provides is actually female pollen. That means that, after just a couple of weeks, these pollinated female plants will create feminized seeds.
Although the process seems extremely simple, especially compared to other methods you may have heard of, this doesn’t mean you will have success on your first try. Luckily for you, breeders you might want to buy feminized seeds from always make sure each batch of seeds, along with the entire process, is successful. They will, therefore, give you seeds that you can depend on. In fact, these days the highest end feminized seeds have a feminization rate of 99% or more, so this method is clearly a huge help to the marijuana industry.
Colloidal Silver method
For this method, you will need a very small amount of colloidal silver (pure silver) and distilled water. Put the former into the latter, then, using a spray bottle, apply the resulting mixture onto your female plants while they are flowering. The plants will begin to form pollen sacs (which are normally seen on males). The pollen contains genetic material that is actually totally female – making it highly probable that the marijuana seeds the plant produces will be female.
That was the simple way of describing the process. Actually doing it is much more complex and involves many more details. In addition to the pure silver and distilled water, you need a 9-volt battery and connector, alligator clips, and soldering iron. Sound like too much trouble? Just buy colloidal silver online.
Assuming you have no problem with spending the time and money finding these “ingredients,” the next step in the process is to connect the battery and its connector. Solder the alligator clips onto the red and black wires to form the best electrical current. Then connect these to the silver (probably coins) that you have. Put the silver coins into the distilled water, without allowing the alligator clips or wires to touch the water. Because the water is distilled, this will cause the silver ions to simply float around in the water instead of connecting with other ions.
Leave this for seven hours or longer – the longer, the better, since it will increase the colloidal silver concentration. That being said, leaving it for too long will cause the particles to eventually become too large.
At this point, you can spray your plants and cause the feminization process to come about. Spray them every day after they have reached their flowering stage, up until they have begun to form male pollen sacs. It should take less than two weeks although the timing can vary. Once you see the sacs, follow the instructions above to normally fertilize your plant.
Take note: NEVER consume or smoke the parts of the plant that you sprayed with the colloidal silver solution (wiki). If you’re not 100% sure about which parts were sprayed, simply discard the entire plant to be safe. The pollen, on the other hand, will be totally safe.
This process involves the natural response of the females when they are under stress. When feeling stress or are reaching the end of their lives after not having been fertilized; females will actually start to grow pollen sacs without any male fertilization. This is a simple evolutionary response; it allows plants that were never fertilized to continue their “bloodline.” Because the resulting seeds come from exclusively female genetics, the likelihood of them being female seeds is much higher than usual.
Rodelization purposefully encourages this process to come about, exponentially increasing the odds of the seeds being female. Although it can be tricky, it is generally a simpler task than using the colloidal silver method. Because it’s a totally natural process; you will need to depend on your plant to act accordingly – and that can be risky.
The aim of the rodelization technique is to keep your female plants in their flowering phase for much longer than normal – far longer than when you would normally harvest. When left this late, the plants should have the natural response to “panic” and jump into self-pollination mode. As soon as the pollen sacs begin emerging, you can harvest the pollen normally, as was described above. Decide which buds and colas you would like to glaze with this pollen.
The main disadvantage of this method is its lack of reliability. Because of this risk (and the fact that leaving your plants in the flowering stage long past the ideal harvesting time will not help the harvest itself), you need to think long and hard about whether or not this is the method for you. Many growers choose this method because it is completely natural, and perhaps they are already organic growers. Some strains will work better than others for this method as well.
How to make clones
Both of the above methods can be risky, so many growers will simply clone their female plants. It doesn’t feminize the seeds, per say, but it does guarantee you to have a reliable source of female plants. This is only a good option if you are completely happy with the female plant and want to copy it exactly. If you want a combination of two plants or strains, the seed feminization techniques make more sense.