How to Make Feminized Seeds at Home

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11.10.2010
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sirius B
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How do you force a female plant to make pollen?
Growers can force a female plant to make pollen sacs, and the "feminized" pollen produced can be used to fertilize another female plant

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There are two main ways to make feminized pollen:

  1. Induce feminized pollen chemically (Recommended) - This is the "professional way" to feminize seeds, and is how most reputable seed banks and breeders create feminized seeds to sell to the public. Substances such as colloidal silver and gibberellic acid are used because they cause a female plant to produce male pollen sacs if bud sites are drenched daily for the first 3-4 weeks after the switch to 12/12. This article will give you step-by-step instructions on how to feminize cannabis seeds using this method.
  2. Rhodelization (Not Recommended!) - In the wild, some female cannabis plants will naturally start making male pollen sacs or "bananas" which can self-pollinate the plant. This happens if the plant is stressed, or if the plant is not harvested in time and buds start to die of old age. The plant is basically doing everything it can to save the next generation. This method is "natural" and these seeds will all end up being mostly female, but the problem is you're selecting for plants that naturally hermie (grow both male and female sex organs) without any chemical induction. This means the resulting seeds are much more likely to turn hermie in natural conditions too. That's a problem if you don't want seedy buds every time you harvest. For that reason, it's highly recommended you don't feminize seeds this way, and it's a good idea to toss any and all seeds that are the result of natural herming.
  3. Overview: How to Make Feminized Seeds

    1.) Buy or Make Colloidal Silver - The article below will teach you how to make colloidal silver at home, as well as show you where to buy it if you don't want to make it (it's actually pretty cheap!). It's basically a solution of silver suspended in water and is available online and in health stores as a dietary supplement.

    What about gibberellic acid? I've seen with my own eyes that the colloidal silver method works for making feminized seeds, but I don't personally know anyone who has tried making feminized seeds with gibberellic acid. From what I understand it can be used exactly the same way as colloidal silver to induce female plants to produce pollen, but I'm not sure exactly how to prepare a gibberellic acid solution that works consistently.

    2.) Spray the bud sites of your known female plant daily during first 3-4 weeks of the flowering stage (until pollen sacs form and start splitting open) - After switching to a 12/12 light schedule, choose bud sites on your known female plant, and spray/drench them daily with colloidal silver (or gibberellic acid). As the treated flowers develop, they will form into male pollen sacs. Untreated bud sites on the plant will form into female buds as usual; however these buds are unsafe to smoke unless you've been very careful to make sure they didn't come into contact with colloidal silver or gibberellic acid during the feminization process.

    3.) Harvest "Feminized" Pollen - When pollen sacs are ready to be harvested they swell like a balloon and start to open up. Make sure not to harvest early and also make sure to keep spraying the bud sites daily until this point or you might end up with empty pollen sacs! When the pollen sacs are ready, the leaf section protecting the pollen will start to crack. At this point it's time to collect the feminized pollen. One of the easiest ways to do this is to collect the pollen sacs directly and let them dry for a week. At that point they can be placed in a bag and shaken to easily collect all the pollen.

    4.) Pollinate Another Female Plant - At this point, take the feminized pollen you've collected and use it to pollinate a female plant that has been flowering for about 2-3 weeks (full detailed instructions with a video on how to do this below). Although it's possible to pollinate the same plant as the original, it's not recommended in part because the timing doesn't match up (attempting to pollinate buds too late in the flowering stage leads to reduced seed production). It's best to pollinate a different female plant that you started budding a few weeks after the original. This increases the number of seeds produced as well as gives the new female plant enough time to develop them to maturity. It also increases genetic diversity compared to self-pollination.

    5.) Wait ~6 Weeks to Harvest Seeds - After about 6 weeks from pollination, the calyxes on the buds of your female plant will be swollen and fat. You know it's time to harvest your seeds when they start bursting out. At this point, it's time to congratulate yourself because you've got feminized seeds!

  4. Step-By Step Instructions (with pics!)

    1.) Buy or Make Colloidal Silver (or Gibberellic Acid)

    Where to get Colloidal Silver (your options):
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      Buy Ready-To-Use
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      : Colloidal silver is sometimes used as a dietary supplement, so it's relatively easy to find (never take it without talking to a doctor first though!). If you're purchasing colloidal silver, try to find a solution that has at least 30 PPM (parts per million) of silver or higher.

    2. Buy A
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      : If you plan on feminizing a lot of seeds, you may want to invest in a generator kit so you can easily make your own endless supply of colloidal silver.

    3. Make Your Own: You can make your own colloidal silver generator at home. The following diagram illustrates what you need to do.
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    Note: You can purchase
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    online (a giberellic acid solution can be used the same way as colloidal silver for feminizing seeds). However, I do not have experience with the gibberellic acid method and don't know the best way to prepare the solution.



    2.) Spray the bud sites of your known female plant daily during first 3-4 weeks of the flowering stage (until pollen sacs form and start splitting open)

    When you're ready, change to a 12/12 light schedule in order to initiate flower formation. For photoperiod plants, wait until your plant is 5-6 weeks old before initiating the flowering stage. Some young plants seem to have trouble (and take much longer) to go through the feminization process, and their pollen may not be as fertile, so start with a more mature plant.

    As soon as you change the light schedule (and maybe even a day or two before) start spraying your plants thoroughly with colloidal silver at every bud site you want to form into pollen sacs.

    Spray bud sites thoroughly, drenching them with colloidal silver every single day

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    The above pic shows you where pollen sacs form on the plant (same places female buds form)

    Important! Keep spraying daily until pollen sacs open up. Don't stop spraying early, even if pollen sacs appear to be already formed, otherwise they may not produce much pollen!

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    A
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    is really helpful for spraying bud sites evenly and thoroughly

    You can choose to treat a single bud site or all the bud sites on the plant. Any untreated bud sites will develop into female buds as usual. If you want to smoke these buds, it's incredibly important to avoid letting them come into contact with colloidal silver as that's not safe to smoke. (Don't worry, feminized seeds don't contain any silver). I highly recommend letting the whole plant be your test subject so you don't have to worry about that :)

    Note: If you're feminizing an
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    , start spraying daily when the plant is about 20 days old from seed. This is when most auto-flowering cannabis strains start making flowers.



    3.) Harvest Your Feminized Pollen

    When pollen sacs are starting to crack and look like they're about to open up (or if you can see one has already opened) then your pollen is ready for harvest!

    When pollen sacs are cracking and opening up, you're ready to harvest your pollen!

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    Pollen spilling onto a nearby leaf

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    One way to harvest your pollen is to gently and carefully remove all the pollen sacs. Let them dry for a week, and then put them in a resealable bag. If you shake the bag the pollen should easily spill out. You may need to cut a few open yourself.

    How to Store Feminized Pollen: Moisture is your main enemy when storing pollen. It can help to double the mass of the pollen collected by adding regular cooking flour. This absorbs moisture during storage and as an added bonus, it will make application easier when you get to pollinating. If you triple-bag the pollen-flour mixture and stick it in the freezer (with a good nametag so you know where the pollen came from), your pollen can be stored for a year or longer.



    4.) Pollinate Another Female Plant

    When your chosen mother is 2-3 weeks into the flowering stage, take a paintbrush and 'paint' your feminized pollen on the developing bud sites you want to pollinate. Bud sites (for both male and female plants) are located wherever you can see leaves meet a stem.

    Only the buds that come in contact with pollen will grow seeds. You can choose to pollinate all of your buds or just a few on the plant.

    Make sure that you're touching all the female pistils/hairs with your pollen. Here's a little video showing you exactly what this looks like!






    5.) Wait ~6 Weeks to Harvest Seeds

    It usually takes about 6 weeks for your feminized seeds to fully develop. Some plants are literally dying right as the seeds become ready, so to get the most viable seeds, you need to try to keep it alive until the seeds actually start dropping. The seeds can be used right away, or stored in a cool, dry place for a few years. Don't forget to label them with the date!

    This seed is about to burst out of its calyx!

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    This is what it looks like when the seed is exposed

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    Now it's time to
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    !

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