There are numerous advantages for growers who start their garden using feminized seeds. By removing the guesswork of germinating regular seeds, feminized seeds streamline the growing process, saving space and time.
That efficiency is key for medical cannabis patients and hobby growers. Since most cannabis regulations limit plant counts, growers cultivating a small crop of cannabis for personal use want to ensure they’re getting the most out of their grow.
Why Grow From Feminized Cannabis Seeds?
Cultivators depend on feminized seeds for efficient growing cycles. (Courtesy of Mr. Sticky Farm)
This change occurs when the photoperiod, or amount of light and dark that the plant receives, changes to 12 hours of light and 12 hours of dark. In outdoor gardens this change can happen naturally with the seasons or, in more controlled environments like indoor gardens, by human intervention using light timers.
Anyone who’s ever savored a joint owes their enjoyment to the fruits of the cannabis plant, but moreover, to the female of the species. That’s because only female cannabis plants produce the cannabinoid-rich flowers that deliver the flavors and effects consumers look for.
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.
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.
MAKING FEMINIZED SEEDS
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.
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.
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.
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.
Applying colloidal silver to a female plant is the preferred method of feminizing cannabis plants. These chemicals cause the plant to develop pollen sacs without compromising the lineages’ genes.
Why Should You Feminize Your Seeds?
A common fear about feminized cannabis seeds is that they will produce hermaphrodites. If you purchase your seeds from a reputable seller, this fear is misplaced. Early feminizers would purposefully use female plants that were genetically likely to become intersexual. Of course, this meant that those genes were passed down to the seeds. Today, chemicals are applied to the plant without compromising the genetics of the seeds.
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.
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.