The ideal way to produce feminized seed through hormonal alteration of the plant. By adding or inhibiting plant hormones you can cause the plant to produce male flowers. Because you did not select a plant that produces male flowers under stress there is no genetic predisposition to hermaphroditism in the seed vs plants bred between a male and female parent. There are actually a few ways to do this, the easiest I will list here.
This can be used as is, or you can cut a small intake in the bottom to improve airflow. Pollen won’t be able to escape the intake as long as the fan is moving but you might put filter paper over the intake to protect against fan failures. You can also use grommets to seal holes and run tubing into the chamber in order to water hydroponically from a reservoir outside the chamber. Otherwise you will need to remove the whole chamber to a safe location in order to water the plant or maintain a reservoir kept inside the chamber.
Simply construct a generator using a 9-12 v power supply (DC output, if it says AC then its no good) that can deliver at least 250ma (most wall wart type power supplies work, batteries are not recommended since their output varies over time). The supply will have a positive and negative lead, attach silver to each lead (contrary to Internet rumors, you aren’t drinking this so cheap 925(92.5%) Stirling silver is more than pure enough. You can expose the leads by clipping off the round plug at the end and splitting the wires, one will be positive and the other negative just like any old battery. Submerge both leads about 2-3 inches apart in a glass of distilled water (roughly 8 oz). Let this run for 8-24 hrs (until the liquid reads 12-15 ppm) and when you return the liquid will be a purple or silver hue and there may be some precipitate on the bottom.
Making Feminized Seed Edit
There are numerous myths surrounding feminized seeds. Feminizing seeds are a bit more work than simply crossing two plants naturally. However it will save you a lot of time in the end. If you make fem seeds properly then there is no increased chance of hermaphrodites and all seeds will be female. This means no wasted time and effort growing males and it means that all your viable seeds produce useful plants. Since roughly half of normal seeds are male this effectively doubles the number of seeds you have.
Other times you will have no choice but to produce feminized seed because it will be a female plants genetics that you want to preserve and you won’t have any males. Perhaps you received these genetics via clone or didn’t keep males.
Silver Thiosulfate is a substance that has similar principle, application and results of CS, but is more difficult to make. STS is more difficult to acquire, but it can still be obtained directly from a chemical supply company. STS is not an expensive or controlled substance.
A male plant or a plant with male flowers will pollinate your entire crop rendering it seedy. You probably don’t want THAT many seeds so how can you avoid it? Moving the male to another room might work but if that other room shares an air path via ducting or air conditioning then pollen may still find its way. One technique is to construct a male isolation chamber.
When ultimately deciding where you want to purchase your seeds it is important to look for a few things. Well established trusted seed companies will generally offer a warranty for their seeds. With the high cost that is often associated with feminized seeds it is important to view your purchase as an investment, and when able it is best to go with the highest quality possible to ensure the best results. You will usually get the best deal when purchasing in bulk. There are other things to consider, like the offered variety of strains, the THC and CBD content available, and of course the cost. Sometimes it is best to go local, so the shipping doesn’t kill you. Other times, you will find the most variety over the border in which case it might be worth a little extra.
What to look for when buying feminized seeds?
Trusted feminized seed vendors
What’s the deal with feminized seeds? Why are they so expensive and what exactly does feminized mean? Feminized cannabis seeds are genetically modified seeds and will produce only female plants. There is quite a bit of science behind how feminized seeds are made. Making feminized seeds isn’t something the average person does. It is a long process that is time-consuming. If your buddy says he’s created some in his basement and has them up for sale for half the price of your local seed bank, I’m not entirely sure I’d risk buying any. The process of making feminized seeds is generally done in a lab in a strictly controlled environment but can be recreated by a careful and patient grower.
How are feminized seeds made?
Usually, a cannabis seed offers a 50/50 chance of producing either a male or female. This is something biologically programmed into the DNA of the plant to ensure the highest odds of reproducing and of course, overall survival. Much like with humans, the gender is determined by the X and Y chromosomes. A plant with one of each chromosome will 99% of the time produces a male. A cannabis plant with two X chromosomes with hasa 99% chance of being female. To create feminized seeds, a treatment of colloidal silver is sprayed on the plants during the flowering stage. This process is used to transform female plants into hermaphrodites (a plant that is both male and female). It forces them to grow seed sacs full of female pollen instead of bud. Those sacs can then be collected and used to pollinate other female plants. Since this process makes two females the mothers, the plant will produce seeds that will only carry X chromosomes. This ensures a 99% success rate of female only plants. While in nature this process does on occasion happen it is incredibly rare, and when it does those plants will also almost always produce more seed that will create hermaphrodites, than seed that is strictly female.
Finding trusted seed vendors can be more difficult than it sounds. Even the sketchiest companies will plaster “trusted” across their site like a badge of honor, but that doesn’t necessarily make their statement true. To help, we have compiled a list of the highest rated top three seed vendors that ship to Canada and carry a wide range of feminized seeds that are sure to impress.
The other reason to avoid feminizing plants the natural way is that it increases the likelihood of producing weak strains. When a female plant has been so compromised that it resorts to a sex change in order to survive, it is an indication that the plant’s genes are not strong enough to withstand the threats posed to it by its environment.
When it comes to cannabis plants, females are the only sex that can produce buds. Feminized cannabis seeds grow plants that are exclusively female and can almost guarantee that every plant that sprouts from their shells will flower. Normally, a male cannabis plant will pollinate a female plant, and that is how seeds are produced. The resulting harvest of regular cannabis seeds will contain about half male and half female seeds. For the flower producer , this is a costly inefficiency. Roughly half of an entire grow can be tossed at harvest time if the seeds are not feminized.
iStock / TRADOL LIMYINGCHAROEN
Why Should You Feminize Your Seeds?
There are two ways to feminize seeds: naturally or by applying chemical substances that force a female plant to pollinate.
As mentioned before, old school feminizers used intersex-prone females to produce feminized seeds. Although there are better methods today, some growers continue to use this one. If you’re purchasing feminized cannabis seeds, be cautious about who you get them from. Find out how the breeder feminizes their seeds to avoid purchasing seeds that are likely to grow hermaphrodites. Even if they don’t become intersexual, there is a risk that a significant portion of the seeds will be male. You can avoid this risk altogether by feminizing the seeds yourself. We’ll explain how to do that below.
Imagine putting in the work to nurture a small 6 plant garden to find that only 3 of the plants you’ve cultivated produce buds because they’re male. If this sounds like a disappointing waste of time to you, you should feminize your seeds. Unless you are hanging on to male plants in order to develop a robust breeding program, male cannabis plants waste space and resources. Using feminized cannabis seeds removes the risk of unwanted pollination causing seedy buds or the possibility of growing flowerless male plants.
In nature, a severely distressed female cannabis plant will naturally become a hermaphrodite and produce pollen sacs in order to self-pollinate. This is a survival mechanism built into all female plants, but it is only triggered when the future of the plant’s lineage is compromised. Consequently, many of the resulting seeds will be naturally selected to be intersexual, and that can make for a disastrous breeding situation. A hermaphrodite can pollinate with female plants that are meant to be harvested, causing the buds to stop developing and to produce seeds.