How To Make Feminized Cannabis Seeds Like The Pros
Growing from feminized cannabis seeds is a space and resource-efficient way of getting all girls, all the time. Find out how to create your own feminized cannabis with Royal Queen Seeds.
MAKING FEMINIZED SEEDS
Growing cannabis is all about resinous flowers, trichomes, and rich cannabinoid profiles. These splendid characteristics can only be found on the female flowers. Having gardens full of robust, un-pollinated sinsemilla females means jars full of mind and body-friendly, crusty nuggets.
The only bummer, unless you grow from clones, is that cannabis is wired to produce about 50% male seeds and 50% females. It is just the nature of the beast.
Wouldn’t it be sweet if it was possible to grow all females from seed, every plant, every time?
Well, that is where the feminizing technique comes into play: two methods of manipulating the cannabis plant to produce only females from seed, every-time. To be truthful, it isn’t every single time. But 99% of the time is a pretty good number, and could be considered entirely male risk-free.
The general practice behind feminization is that female plants are forced to produce pollen, which is in turn used to pollinate other female plants. The outcome? Resulting seeds will be feminized, with no risk of further pollination.
Feminized seeds are super efficient for indoor and outdoor gardeners. Area, time, and resources aren’t being given to plants that will be thrown away two weeks after the 12-12 flip. Similarly, outdoors where a large plant can consume a lot of time and resources in upkeep prior to the autumn show of flowers, feminized plants are also a good way to reduce guerrilla crop pollinating. There’s nothing worse than bush-bashing out to a well-hidden crop only to find a rogue male or two have impregnated every female plant.
INHIBIT THAT ETHYLENE
“Applications that reduce the ethylene level in tissues or antagonise the action of ethylene causes the formation of male flowers instead of female ones” — Paraphrase, Byers et al., 1972.
There are a number of solutions that can be sprayed on female plants to create male pollen sacs: benzothiadiazole, gibberellic acid, silver thiosulphate, silver nitrate, and colloidal silver.
Colloidal silver is by far the easiest to source or make. It is non-toxic, non-caustic, and can be bought from a pharmacy or easily online. The other solutions can be dangerous, difficult to get a hold of, and expensive—except gibberellic acid, which can be found in nurseries, but is not as effective as colloidal silver. But if you want to watch some freaky plant growth just for the fun of it, give gibberellic acid a try. It is a growth stimulant and makes plants stretch and stretch.
TECHNIQUE 1: COLLOIDAL SILVER
Colloidal silver is a distilled water-based solution in which microscopic particles of silver are suspended. The nature of colloids means the particles will never settle out and can’t be removed by normal filtering. Colloidal silver is available commercially, or you can make your own if you want to totally geek out (see how-to section at the end). It has numerous uses as an alternative medicine. For example, it is used to soothe burns, as an antiseptic and digestion stimulant in people, and as a fungal control in horticulture.
Be sure the strength is at least 15ppm, preferably 30ppm. Less than 15ppm produces male sacs with little viable pollen.
To begin with, select a plant that has the characteristics you want to preserved. Feminizing clones is the usual practice as the growth, flowering, and resin characteristics from the mother are already known. There is no need for any vegetation time once a clone is well-rooted. Simply pot the clone into a small pot, give it a day or two to recover, and begin a 12-12 light cycle right away. A pollen-producing plant only needs to be small as cannabis produces copious amounts of pollen.
Hint: Make two clones once a plant has been selected, one to be feminized and one to be left for pollination. This way, a separate breeding space is created and accidental seeding of other plants, or an accidental sneeze pollinating a whole grow cupboard, is avoided.
Plants can be induced to grow male sex organs as late as four weeks into flowering. Though 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 so you can be sure it is female.
Spray the plants to be feminized with colloidal silver every day, and three times a day if you can manage. Soak them well. Do this for two weeks, then leave the plants to grow as normal. Some growers report getting results after spraying for only 5–10 days.
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 expected within 3–4 weeks once the plant has been sexed. Some growers will spray until the plant shows sexual growth, just to be sure the method has worked. Make sure 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 a seed.
DON’T SMOKE IT
Once the plants have been sprayed with colloidal silver and the pollen is collected, they are write-offs—86 them and don’t smoke them. Giving them a thorough rinse will not work. The colloidal silver is a systemic treatment absorbed into the plant through the foliage and not a topical application. Be safe and bin them.
TECHNIQUE 2: RODELIZATION
Sinsemilla is an unnatural state for cannabis. Without human intervention, it would be rare to find an unpollinated female in the wild—unless it was sterile. When sinsemilla plants are left to go beyond their desirable maturation stage by a number of weeks, the plant, through whatever amazing processes evolution has bestowed, knows it has not been pollinated. As a last ditch effort at propagation, it will produce male pollen sacs in an effort to self-pollinate.
This is not the result of genetic or stress-induced hermaphroditism. They are genuine XX chromosome male bananas. With all the genetic information from the female and no Y chromosome, using rodelized pollen creates female-only seeds, although as with colloidal silver, an occasional male may appear.
HARVESTING POLLEN AND POLLINATION
There are a number of harvesting methods employed to catch pollen.
- Cover the top of the pot with plastic or card to catch pollen as it falls, or modify a plastic drink cup to shroud the plant and catch falling pollen.
- Fix a clear plastic bag, perforated at the top for air exchange, around the whole plant.
- An experienced eye will remove each flower pod prior to it bursting completely open to be sure of catching every spore.
- Pollinating a female is the easy bit. Depending on how many seeds you want to make, there are a couple of methods that can be used.
- Using a watercolour or other fine, soft brush or even a cotton bud, dip into your pollen collection and gently apply to the chosen flower. Although thousands of viable spores will be on the end of the brush, enough to pollinate a whole plant, the trichomes on the surface of the pistils will greedily glue everything you offer them. So dip into your pollen stash a few times as you dust.
- For lots of seeds, put pollen in a bag and put over a whole branch or a whole plant, shake well, and leave for twenty four hours.
- It is possible to pollinate different branches with different pollens and have a breeder plant that has 1, 2, or 15 different crosses on it.
- It is also possible to self-pollinate the plant from which the male parts were created. This won’t produce as many seeds as pollinating a separate plant because less female flowers are produced and many are nonviable because of the feminization process.
GROWING FEMINIZED PLANTS
Treat feminized seeds as you would any other seed from germination to veg, and veg through flower. Observation is where it’s at now, you want the best plants for your garden. Ideally, setting up a separate vegetation/flower space where a number of plants can be grown lets your standard grow space continue with uninterrupted production.
Plants bred using feminization are homozygous. This can have two effects that can’t be assessed until the seeds are grown. Homozygosity will increase the dominant or recessive traits of the parent in the progeny, so features you don’t want and do want can be amplified. Genetics is a weird, weird thing.
Just as with standard male to female crossings (which is a heterozygous process), a number of plants will need to be grown and the best selected for mother plants and future breeding. With enough room, hundreds if not thousands of new plants can be grown in order to select the best of the best phenotypes.
With a bit of aforethought, it is possible to set up an efficient feminization breeding programme—and have female seeds from your favourite phenos on hand all the time. You never know, you might discover the next big thing!
MAKING YOUR OWN COLLOIDAL SILVER
The easiest and relatively inexpensive way—considering how much money is potentially saved by not growing resource and time-consuming males—is to buy a colloidal silver generator, which is the no-fuss plug and play option. Or, make your own, which is quite straightforward and doesn’t require any special skill.
Colloidal silver is formed by passing a current from a pure silver electrode through distilled water. This simple electrolysis is all there is to it. Although distilled water does not conduct electricity very well due to its lack of mineral content, enough is passed through to create micro silver particles and silver ionisation. Sounds technical, but it really isn’t.
Feminized cannabis seeds only produce female plants, which has a number of advantages. Find out how to do it with Royal Queen Seeds.
How to make your own feminized seeds using Colloidal Silver or Rodelization
There are two main methods to create your own feminized cannabis seeds:
- colloidal silver method or
- rodelization (sometimes spelled “rhodelization” or “rodilization”)
Both the colloidal silver method and the rodelization method are described in detail below if you scroll down. Rodelization is a more “natural” way to get seeds, while colloidal silver gives you more control of the feminization process. Each of the methods has its pros and cons.
For whatever reason, when colloidal silver solution is sprayed regularly on female cannabis plants during the early flowering stage, she will grow male “balls” (which are full of female pollen) instead of growing buds.
This allows the grower to collect pollen from a female cannabis plant. You can use this all-female pollen to pollinate another female plant. With two female plants as parents, ALL the seeds will end up being female.
That is why colloidal silver allows can be used to create female x female cannabis crosses and produce your own feminized seeds.
Rodelization takes advantage of the fact that a female plant will try to pollinate herself as a last resort when she doesn’t get pollinated and is nearing the end of her life cycle. That is why sometimes older or stressed female plants grow a few male “balls” as a last-ditch attempt to self-pollinate. When successful, she will grow a few seeds.
These self-pollinated seeds will have gotten both sets of genes from the same female plant, so both parents will be female, and all resulting seeds with be female.
Why do you want feminized seeds?
When growing regular cannabis and trying to produce seeds, the resulting seedlings end up being about 50% male and 50% female.
This can be a big disadvantage for the cannabis grower because male marijuana plants do not produce very much THC or other psychoactive cannabinoids.
Therefore, when growing cannabis indoors, most growers will throw away all male cannabis plants as soon as they’re discovered. However, it’s easier to not have to worry about males since identifying and removing male cannabis plants can be a bit of a pain. Plus, male plants also take up precious space in the grow room until their gender becomes apparent when they are forced to start flowering.
Another problem with male cannabis plants is that they can accidentally pollinate your female cannabis plants which will cause them to concentrate on making seeds instead of making sinsemilla.
Sinsemilla is the term for cannabis flowers/buds that don’t contain any seeds. Dried sinsemilla is what most growers are trying to produce when growing cannabis.
So what can you do? If you create feminized cannabis seeds, then all the resulting plants will be female and you never have to worry about male cannabis plants again.
While there are a few different ways to create your own feminized cannabis seeds, for some people making your own feminized seeds may be impractical. If you are looking for a discrete, dependable seed bank, I personally recommend Seedsman who has a huge selection of feminized seeds.
How it Works
The main method used to create feminized seeds is to take a known female cannabis plant and force her to grow male pollen sacs and produce pollen.
You can then take this all-female pollen and use it to fertilize other females. Because all the genetic material comes from females, you will end up with seeds that are at 99% female.
So far for me, it’s worked 100% of the time. Any male plants that do result when growing feminized seeds are probably genetic females that are growing with male characteristics.
There are several processes by which female plants will grow male characteristics. Some female cannabis plants will start growing male organs if they are left in flowering for too long, as a last-ditch attempt to pollinate themselves since they were not pollinated by any male plants.
Some female plants will also show male characteristics as a result of heat and light stress. But for the grower, the most convenient way to get a female cannabis plant to make pollen is to treat her with a solution known as colloidal silver.
Below I will first explain how to make feminized Cannabis Seeds using colloidal silver, then I’ll briefly explain the all-natural rodelization method, which is an all-natural though less reliable way to get feminized seeds.
Use Colloidal Silver Spray to Make Feminized Cannabis Seeds Like the Seed Banks Do
- You’re able to produce feminized seeds using any two female cannabis plants (even clone-only strains!)
- You can produce seeds consistently
- You can control how many seeds produced
- Easy to make hundreds of feminized seeds if needed
- You will need to find a source of colloidal silver which will be used to spray the cannabis plants as they start flowering. Your main options are: buying colloidal silver directly, buying a colloidal silver generator, or making your own simple colloidal silver generator yourself (instructions below)
- It is not safe to directly use/consume any cannabis which has come into contact with colloidal silver, though any seeds produced by a treated plant’s pollen are 100% safe.Note: Some space-starved pot farmers will use the colloidal silver to spray just the bottom branch of a cannabis plant so they can still smoke/use the rest of the cannabis buds. You can definitely do this, just be extremely careful not to get any colloidal silver spray on any part of the cannabis that you will be consuming. See this page (https://nccih.nih.gov/health/silver#hed2) for more information on risks involved with using colloidal silver.
When a female cannabis plant is treated with a solution of tiny silver particles suspended in distilled water, the plant will start to exhibit male characteristics.
This solution of silver in water is called colloidal silver and can be purchased from a pharmacy/online or easily made at home . Or you can make it with a colloidal silver generator.
Some people drink colloidal silver for its health benefits and others use it occasionally on plants to help control bacteria, insects, and fungus growth on the leaves.
To take advantage of this, you thoroughly mist a female cannabis plant with colloidal silver every day right when she enters the flowering stage, she will start growing male “balls” full of pollen. Keep misting the plants daily until you see the beginning of male pollen sacs forming, usually around 10-14 days.
The concentration of silver ions in the water actually act as an ethylene inhibitor/antagonist on the plant, which forces the plant to create male pollen sacs instead of female buds.
After the balls start forming
You need to let the sacs swell like a big empty balloon.
You will be able to tell when they are about to open because the leaf section protecting the pollen starts to crack.
At this point, simply take the pollen sacs off and place them in a cool dry place for a week and let them start to dry.
The pollen will come out if you shake them about a little, or you can also cut open the sacs to get to the pollen inside.
Use this pollen to pollinate female plants and you will get all-female seeds that are a mix of both their mothers.
This method is great because it will force almost any female cannabis plant to show male characteristics.
Unlike the rodelization method described below, you are not selecting for plants that show hermaphrodite traits. The genes of the plant are completely unaffected. This method will also produce a lot of pollen consistently compared to the rodelization method.
The one downside to this method is that it is not safe to use any cannabis that has come into direct contact with colloidal silver.
You should, therefore, destroy the plant after the pollen has been collected.
You will also want to ensure that you clean off any remaining traces of silver off your equipment in case you accidentally contaminate another cannabis plant with silver.
Here are the main things to keep in mind when using colloidal silver spray method:
- Make sure you spray the cannabis with a strong enough colloidal silver solution (at least 30 PPM of silver)
- Spray the cannabis thoroughly to almost drench all the parts you want to turn into pollen sacs
- Spray the cannabis regularly, at least once a day for 10-14 days, starting when you change the lights to 12-12
- Spray the cannabis with colloidal silver every day until you see signs of male pollen sacs forming. Some hardy strains may need over 2-3 weeks spraying before they ‘turn’.
Where to Get Colloidal Silver
Colloidal Silver is created by submerging two pieces of pure silver in distilled water, and then running an electric current between the two pieces of silver. The electric current will cause silver ions to be deposited in the water which creates a colloidal silver solution.
Buy Colloidal Silver: You can actually buy colloidal silver which has already been prepared and is ready for use. If you’re purchasing colloidal silver, try to find a solution that has at least 30 PPM (parts per million) of silver. However, buying Colloidal Silver that is already prepared can get expensive.
Buy A Generator Kit: A better option is to buy a relatively cheap colloidal silver generator to easily make your own colloidal silver. This Colloidal Generator kit comes with everything you need including silver. All you need to do is provide the water and a container.
Make Your Own: You can make your own colloidal silver generator at home. The diagram below should illustrate what you need to do.
- 9-volt battery
- 9v Battery Connector (less than $2 at a hardware or electronics store)
- Pure .9999 or 999 Silver (yes it must be pure)
- Distilled water (yes it must be distilled)
- Alligator clips (Optional: but will make things much easier)
- Soldering Iron (Optional: only needed if you want to use alligator clips)
The diagram above will show you how to easily make your own colloidal silver to make your own feminized cannabis seeds
When you first connect everything, you may be surprised because it will seem like nothing is happening. You will know if it worked by the next day because the whole process will leave a silvery residue on your silver. You may need to use sandpaper or something else rough to clean your silver each time after creating a batch of colloidal silver.
If you don’t have a soldering iron and would still like to solder alligator clips onto your battery connector, then I recommend going to a hardware store and asking someone if they will help solder it for you.
Remember to keep your resulting colloidal silver solution away from any light or it will deteriorate and turn a dark gray color. If this happens, then you can no longer use the solution for creating feminized seeds.
Avoid most problems when making colloidal silver by:
- using pure (distilled) water
- using pure (999/.9999) silver
- giving electrolysis enough time to work so you don’t get a weak solution (at least overnight)
- making sure the solution has as little contact with light as possible until you use it
How to Make Feminized Cannabis Seeds Using Rodelization
- May not produce many feminized seeds
The Rodelization method is all-natural and is the simplest method to create feminized seeds, but it is also unreliable and may not produce much pollen. Basically, the premise is that some female marijuana plants will start growing male pollen sacs/sex organs if they’ve been left in flowering too long (past the peak point of harvest). This is a last-ditch attempt by the marijuana plant to pollinate itself so that it at least produces a few seeds. You can collect these male pods and use the pollen inside them to pollinate other female plants. You pollinate female plants by evenly covering their buds with the pollen after they’ve been in flowering for 2-3 weeks. Females that are pollinated in this way will start growing all-female marijuana seeds. If you’re very careful, you can pollinate only some of the buds on a plant which will produce seeds, and leave other buds alone so they can still be used for consumption.
This issue with this method is that some strains of plants never seem to grow male characteristics naturally. Additionally, with this method, you’re selecting for plants that have a natural genetic tendency to show male characteristics. This can possibly produce offspring that are more likely to show male characteristics themselves which may or may not be what you’re going for. Lastly, even when you do get male pollen sacs from a marijuana plant in this way, there tends to be a lot less pollen than from a typical male plant.
The one great thing about this method is it’s completely all-natural so you can implement this strategy with an organic grow.
If you want to buy feminized cannabis seeds, I recommend The Nirvana Seed Bank
There are two main methods to create your own feminized cannabis seeds: the colloidal silver spray method or using rodelization.