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How Can I Feminize My Cannabis Seeds?

Last updated: 5 December 2023

How To Feminize Seeds

You may have heard of feminized seeds before, either online or from another grower. This progressive type of seed has become possible thanks to feminization – a fairly new technique for cannabis growers that rose to prominence during the 1990s. Usually, feminized seeds are those that have undergone a chemical process to make them always germinate into female plants. If you’re curious about how to feminize marijuana seeds yourself and are interested in learning more about the process, be sure to check out the following guide.

Why Should I Feminize My Seeds?

Feminized seeds will always sprout into female plants. That’s important, because female plants are the only type of cannabis that will grow buds and create THC. Male plants, in contrast, will pollinate any female plants in their immediate vicinity. Once that happens, the female plant will stop producing THC. As a result, male plants have the potential to ruin an entire garden. Don’t let that happen. Instead, make sure all of your plants are female before they germinate!

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How Does Feminization Work?

sexing cannabis seeds

The key to feminization lies in a compound called ethylene. It’s a hormone that has several roles in a plant’s life. Notably, ethylene levels determine the sex of a plant. By either reducing the level of ethylene in plant tissues or inhibiting the action of ethylene, you can trick a female plant into turning hermaphrodite and developing pollen – typically a male-only trait. Then, you can use that female pollen to breed with another female plant. The seeds produced by this kind of pairing will be feminized. 

colloidal silver feminization

How To Make Feminized Seeds With Colloidal Silver

Using colloidal silver is one of the simplest and most reliable ways of making feminized cannabis seeds. It’s also readily available online and at local pharmacies.

Equipment You’ll Need

Making feminized seeds with colloidal silver requires some specialized gear. Necessary equipment includes a power adapter (9-12 volts), electrical wire, distilled water, 99% pure silver, alligator clips, a PPM meter, and some gloves and goggles for safety. You can find pure silver in spools of silver wire or some coins.

The Process

feminized seed spray

Using colloidal silver for feminizing cannabis plants is essentially a four-step process. After you make the solution, you’ll spray it on a plant, use that plant’s pollen to breed feminized seeds, then collect them.

Make A Colloidal Silver Solution

Set your power adapter to 9-12 volts. Strip both ends of the electrical wire with pliers, scissors or another sharp tool. Affix the alligator clips to one end of each wire (soldering works well for this). Next, connect the wires to the power adapter. Then, attach a piece of silver into the jaw of the alligator clip – but don’t let them touch each other. Fill a glass jar with some of the water and put one clip on opposite sides of the glass. Plug in your adapter and wait 20 minutes. Now, check the PPM of your solution. You want your solution to have a ratio of between 15 and 30 PPM.

Spray Your Plants

Three days prior to switching to a 12/12 light schedule, start spraying your plant with the colloidal silver mixture at least once per day (but preferably three times per day) until you see it begin to develop male pollen sacs. Don’t be shy – make sure you get them nice and wet. You should begin to see changes forming in your plants between five and ten days after you begin spraying. Once you begin to see male pollen sacs, they should fully develop in three or four weeks.

colloidal silver for cannabis

Pollinate The Plants

Next, you’ll need to collect the pollen once it fully develops. Cover the top of your pot with something to collect the pollen. Then, using a watercolor brush or piece of cotton, gently brush the pollen spores over a female plant. Do this to a female plant that’s about two or three weeks into the flower cycle. You can pollinate a single branch of a plant, or even an entire female plant for maximum seeds.

Collect Feminized Seeds

making feminized seeds With Colloidal Silver

Wait about six weeks to harvest your feminized seeds. You’ll notice the calyxes beneath the buds will be swollen. Seeds will start bursting out of them. Now you can collect your feminized seeds. Once you do so, you don’t need to wait before planting them – they’ll be ready to go immediately!

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How To Feminize Seeds With Gibberellic Acid

If you’re interested in how to make feminized seeds without using colloidal silver, gibberellic acid offers an alternative. This is a plant hormone you can use for sexing cannabis seeds in a similar process to colloidal silver.

Equipment You’ll Need

marijuana seeds feminization

To create a feminized seed spray with gibberellic acid, you’ll need even less equipment than you do with colloidal silver. First, you’ll need gibberellic acid. You can find this relatively cheaply online for about $15. You’ll also need a PPM meter, a glass container and water. Of course, never forget about safety – gloves and goggles are still essential.

The Process

To make feminized seeds using gibberellic acid, you’ll need to make a solution, spray it on your plants, pollinate another plant and collect the seeds.

How To Make A Gibberellic Acid Solution

Add the gibberellic acid into water and mix it thoroughly until your solution reaches about 100 PPM. Use your PPM meter to keep an eye on the concentration of your solution. If you add too much acid, you can dilute it with water. Once your solution is ready, pour it into a spray bottle to prepare for the next step.

Start Spraying Your Plants

how to feminize weed seeds

Once your gibberellic acid solution is ready, spray it over one branch of a female cannabis plant. You’ll need to do this daily for a week or more right after you flip your plant from veg into flower. One side-effect of using this technique is that your plant may experience noticeable stretching. If this happens, don’t be surprised. Keep spraying your plant until you see it start to form pollen sacs.

Pollinate The Plants

Once your plant starts to develop male sexual organs, collect the pollen using the same techniques as when applying colloidal silver. Then, using a paintbrush or similar tool, cover the branch of another plant with the pollen. Again, you’ll want to pollenate a female plant that’s two or three weeks into its flower cycle.

Collect Feminized Seeds

How To Feminize Cannabis Seeds

Once your pollinated plant begins to develop seeds from its calyx, you can collect them. These seeds will be feminized and ready to plant. If you’re interested in learning about how to feminize weed seeds, this is one of the safest, easiest and most effective ways of doing so.

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How To Feminize Cannabis Seeds Using Rodelization

Colloidal silver and gibberellic acid are both scientific ways to get feminized seeds. However, if you’re wondering how to sex marijuana seeds without chemicals, rodelization is a natural, albeit unreliable way to do it.

Equipment You’ll Need

This is the most natural way to make feminized seeds. As a result, you basically just need the plants themselves.

The Process: How To Produce Feminized Seeds Using Rodelization

feminize weed seeds

Once a female plant gets too old without being pollinated, as a result of experiencing stress, it will try to do so itself as a last-ditch attempt to protect its genetic line. By inducing stress on a female flowering plant, you can therefore make it develop its own male pollen sacs.

Make Plants Flower

Once your plant is mature enough to flower, switch it from vegetation to flowering by changing your number of light hours from 18 to 12. Then, your plant will start producing buds. Let your plant flower for another seven or eight weeks, making sure to take good care of it the entire time. You don’t want to stress it out too early – if you do, it will just herm instead of growing pollen sacs.

Induce Stress

After your plant’s normal flower cycle is over, let it continue to mature for another few weeks – that’s when it gets stressful for cannabis. There’s no guarantee that rodelization will work, but if it does, you’ll start to see male flowers developing on your plants. These will look like little bulbs – different from the fluffy buds of healthy female cannabis plants. Once these begin to develop, keep waiting and taking care of the plant.

how to get feminized seeds

Collect Feminized Seeds

If you’re lucky, after a few more weeks, your plant will pollenate itself. As a result, the seeds that the plant develops will be feminized. This method usually results in fewer seeds than other feminization techniques.

Remember – Safety First!

While it might sound like a fun science experiment to feminize weed seeds, remember how dangerous working with chemicals can be. Whenever you’re working with chemicals like colloidal silver and gibberellic acid, safety is your number one priority. Make sure you use gloves and goggles whenever you’re handling these chemicals. In addition, never smoke a plant if you’ve sprayed it with either of these compounds. It might be tempting, but you absolutely don’t want to inhale the chemicals!

Ready, Set, Feminize

Together we learned how feminized seeds are made, and, as you can see, there’s no need to be intimidated about how to make female seeds yourself. Now that you finally know how to get feminized seeds from marijuana plants, you can try these techniques out in your own garden. Follow our simple instructions, and you’ll be able to germinate 100% female plants from every seed of your own!

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