Learning how to make feminized seeds deserves a spot on any sustainability-focused cultivator’s to-do list.
Fem seeds let you bypass the potential pollination struggle and cultivate only seedless buds every time. This variety (and its accessibility) is a gift that keeps giving, but some growers are after a higher level of self-reliance.
Feminizing marijuana might take some trial and error, but anybody can master it with enough dedication. Once you do, fem seeds of any strain you wish become available at any time.
Join us and discover how to feminize seeds at home.
How are feminized seeds made?
Before discussing how to make feminized seeds, here’s a short biology lesson to make sure everybody’s on the same page.
All marijuana seeds are ‘regular’ at first, developing into male and female plants at an approximately equal rate. Females produce buds, which serve as a holding space for new seeds upon pollination. Male crops create the pollen necessary for this process.
Males fertilize females in natural environments, causing more seeds to develop. That’s excellent for the persistence of the species, but it can be a pain for smoking purposes.
How are feminized seeds made, then?
To make feminized seeds, you need to cross-fertilize one female plant with another. That way, no male chromosomes enter the picture, letting all offspring remain bud-bearing females.
Since female marijuana doesn’t produce pollen on its own, we introduce additional elements that enable fertilization. Here’s where another concept emerges—ethylene.
Ethylene is a cannabis hormone responsible for aging. Among other functions, it induces flowering, regulating how the plant expresses its sex. Females with low ethylene levels grow male flowers, making feminized cannabis seeds possible.
This process sounds like a whole lot of chemistry, manipulation, and trouble, and you might be reluctant to give it a shot. Let’s explore the reasons you’d want to pursue it.
Why should you make feminized cannabis seeds?
Fem seed varieties are all the rage on the marijuana market. Why bother with feminization when this variant is available for purchase? We’ll discuss how to make your own feminized seeds, but first, let’s see why you should do it.
Availability stands as the primary reason. While most cultivars come in feminized versions, not all do. You can only get regular marijuana seeds of certain strains, making sticky bud cultivation a hassle.
After feminizing marijuana, it produces hundreds (sometimes even thousands) of seeds.
What’s more, you could practice strain crossing without having to deal with new hybrid males. Knowing how to make feminized marijuana seeds lets you taste the results of your original idea in their full glory.
Growers on a budget reap extra benefits. Feminized seeds are usually more expensive than their regular counterparts, making this process an investment.
Of course, you could produce more regular seeds, but that means that about 50% of each garden goes to waste every time. Even worse—males could pollinate females, leaving you with more seeds but no buds to smoke.
Female seeds are a different story. They develop into fem crops 99% of the time, eliminating this headache-including concern. Making feminized seeds now brings the following benefits to every future cultivation journey:
- No risk of pollination in your garden.
- Seedless colas with a high smoke value.
- Higher cannabinoid and terpene contents.
How to make feminized seeds at home?
As we mentioned earlier, studying how to feminize marijuana seeds incorporates various interchangeable methods.
Below, we share three ways to cause this structural shift in a female crop. Choose according to your skill level, desire for accuracy, and comfort with using chemical agents.
How to make feminized seeds using the rodelization method?
How to produce feminized seeds without using chemicals? Roderalization is an all-natural method of forcing female crops to develop male pollen sacs.
Staying seedless is an unnatural state for female cannabis plants. Like most things in nature, its main goal is to produce offspring and help the species survive. Evolution found a handy way to make this happen.
As the end of its life cycle approaches, a marijuana plant in nature develops male organs, self-pollinating to produce more seeds. Think of it as a last-ditch effort to propagate its genome.
Of course, any grower for smoking purposes would collect the colas before this happens. If you’re after new seeds, though, nature can do half the work for you.
Here’s how to make feminized seeds with rodelization:
- Care for your plant as normal until the end of flowering.
- When the harvest period arrives, don’t touch your plant.
- Let the crops sit under the same flowering conditions for two to three weeks.
- You’ll notice stamens and anthers (pollen-producing organs).
Feminizing marijuana this way is easy and cheap, requiring only time and patience. It’s ideal for first-time seed producers who aren’t comfortable with using chemicals.
Note that this technique can be a hit-or-miss, though. Even if there’s pollen, there’ll be much less to go around than with other methods.
Note: Although rodelization doesn’t produce hermaphrodites (crops with male and female chromosomes), their offspring have hermie tendencies.
How to make feminized seeds with colloidal silver?
While rodelization is great for first-timers, many growers seek efficiency and higher success rates. For that reason, they use colloidal silver to make feminized seeds.
Colloidal silver is a distilled solution of water and microscopic silver particles that inhibit ethylene production. You can get it commercially or make your own.
If you purchase from a store, get a solution with at least 15ppm silver. A product around 30ppm is ideal.
In the spirit of keeping everything sustainable and self-sufficient, we’ll provide an alternative to shopping. Here’s how to make colloidal silver at home:
- Gather supplies. You need a 9-volt adapter, two electrical wires, two clips, distilled water, two silver pieces, and a ppm meter.
- Strip the wires. This method of making a solution for feminizing marijuana requires unbridled electricity.
- Connect a clip to the end of each wire.
- Fix the wires to each end of the adapter.
- Place a piece of silver in each clip jaw.
- Fill a jar 3/4 full of distilled water and suspend clips on opposing sides of the container.
- Turn on the adapter and let it work.
The solution for making feminized seeds turns pale gold after around 20 minutes. The meter should read at least 15ppm silver, too. After that, all you need to do is let the liquid sit and cool.
Once you have your product, here’s how to make feminized seeds with colloidal silver:
- Pick a female crop that’s early into flowering. The earlier you start, the better the outcome.
- Soak the plants generously using a spray bottle. Focus the silver showers on future bud sites.
- Keep spraying daily for two weeks. Try doing it at the same time each day.
- Leave the marijuana plants to grow as normal.
You should start seeing pollen sacs within a month, but it’s a good idea to move these crops from any smoking-purpose plants right away. Otherwise, you’re running the risk of a random pollen burst fertilizing an entire garden.
Making feminized seeds with colloidal silver is straightforward and almost 100% guaranteed to work. The crop you used is a write-off, though. Colloidal silver travels through the plant, causing flower toxicity.
How to make feminized seeds with STS?
Making feminized seeds with silver thiosulfate (STS) is a recent technique, but its efficiency is helping it gain traction. It’s the only option that brings the 99% feminized figure of other techniques to a certain 100%.
STS is a solution of distilled water, sodium thiosulphate, and silver nitrate. It halts ethylene production, forcing male flowers to blossom. As with colloidal silver, the plants are no longer viable for consumption once you spray them.
Much like silver, the elements for STS are accessible in most pharmacies and online shops. You can make this liquid yourself or get a bottle on Amazon and go to town with it.
If you decide on the first option, you need to prepare two solutions and only mix them when it’s time for feminizing marijuana. Always use protective equipment and choose glass or plastic containers to avoid contamination.
Here’s the recipe:
- Pour half a liter of distilled water into a measuring cup. Measure 0.5 g of silver nitrate before adding it.
- Stir until the crystals dissolve. Pour solution A into a brown glass bottle.
- Repeat step number one with 2.5 g of sodium thiosulfate.
- Stir and pour into another bottle. You now have solution B.
- Combine 50 ml of solution B, 50 ml of solution A, and 800 ml of distilled water in a spray bottle.
- Add ten drops of washing detergent and lightly shake the mix.
The liquid should stick to leaves, not immediately slide down. If it does, you need more detergent in the blend.
Once the chemistry exercise is all done, here’s how to make feminized seeds with STS:
- Start spraying five days before the flowering stage. Focus on the leaf areas and be generous with the soaking.
- Continue spraying once every five days, covering the roots with paper to avoid damage.
- Continue for four weeks. Spray at night to help the crops soak in the solution.
- Leave the plant to develop as normal after the four-week mark.
You should see pollen after another month. If you notice any yellowing or burnt tips, add more water to your STS liquid.
This technique for making feminized seeds requires more caution, but it’s as effective as it gets. Once you master the application, STS massively reduces trial-and-error, making it even easier to move on to the next stage.
How to handle pollen for making feminized seeds?
The main section of making feminized seeds is over. Your female crops are now forming pollen sacs, and you’re soon to collect the precious substance and finish the cycle.
Let’s talk about the steps that follow feminization.
How to collect pollen
Collecting pollen is the next level of teaching yourself how to make feminized cannabis seeds. This one is all about timing.
As a rule of thumb, wait until the sacs swell but act ASAP once they do. Otherwise, they can burst and pollinate nearby female plants, ridding you of your precious source.
When the time is right, cap the top of your plant with a plastic bag. Fix the cover around the crop and remove the male flowers one by one. Be careful when grabbing them to avoid pollen explosions.
Leave the sacs to dry for a few days and filter them using a micron sheet. Place a sheet of parchment beneath and shake the pods, letting the golden powder fall and collect on the flat paper surface.
You can use this pollen to make feminized seeds right away or store it for future use.
How to store pollen
If you plan on making feminized seeds later, the pollen remains fresh for a week in the fridge and up to a year in the freezer. The key idea here is to avoid moisture.
Storage with cooking flour is the way to go for avoiding humidity issues. Combine the two powders, sticking to a 3:1 flour to pollen ratio. Wrap some paper around the mixture and place it inside an airtight, opaque container.
Tip: Reduce the amount of oxygen in the jar to further prevent degradation. You could also add paper, cotton, or rice to the container.
Wrap reusable bags around your container. Leave it in the cold spot of choice, staying vigilant about temperature fluctuations.
How to pollinate the plants
How to make female seeds? Pollinate female plants with female pollen. The process can begin as early as two weeks into flowering. The method depends on the number of seeds you’re looking to produce.
If you’re going for smaller-scale production, use a soft-bristled paintbrush to dust the pollen onto buds and branches. The spores stick to the trichomes, making fertilization easy to localize.
If you aim to make feminized seeds from an entire crop, there’s a quicker way to do it. Place the pollen in a bag and cover the crop with it, shaking to help it spread. Let the bag sit there for another day.
You’ll have to wait for another four to six weeks before the plant produces seeds. Keep providing optimal conditions during that time.
Grow female marijuana from your own stash
Bravo—you now know how to make feminized seeds, and you have tangible results as proof of your skill.
Take your time to master these methods before you make feminized cannabis seeds at home. Do everything right, and you’ll never again find yourself settling for regular varieties of hard-to-find strains.
About the author: Parker Curtis
Parker Curtis has around a decade of cannabis-growing experience, specialising in soil-less and hydro grows. He’s mastering outdoor, greenhouse, and indoor grows.