Many 420 enthusiasts are beginning to explore their love for the plant in an entirely new way, home growing. Not all cannabis seeds are the same and novice growers often realize this quickly after attempting to grow seeds found in their stash. Cannabis plants are complex and it takes a bit of basic plant knowledge in order to get a great final product and high yield, but it all starts with choosing the right seeds. Everything 420 has a great selection of high-quality, yet affordable cannabis seeds including feminized seeds and autoflower seeds that are great for beginner growers and seasoned cultivators alike.
What are feminized cannabis seeds?
In nature, cannabis seeds have a 50% chance of becoming a male plant or a female plant. But as the name signifies, feminized seeds will always grow into female plants. This is done by completely eliminating the male chromosome so plants will always be female. Why are female cannabis plants important? Because only female plants produce the sought-after potent flowers that are dried and then smoked. Male plants instead put their energy into making pollen. Females are also much more potent since they produce a higher concentration of cannabinoids than their male counterparts. This is why nearly all cultivators only want female plants, though males are still crucial for more advanced practices such as breeding programs, or anyone who wants to produce their own seeds. It’s impossible to know if a plant will be male or female until right before it begins to flower, or not. Those that use regular seeds or seeds found at the bottom of a baggie will end up with at least a few male plants that will take up valuable resources, time, and money to grow, but will ultimately need to be discarded. If a cultivator has a hidden male plant within the field of ladies, the male can pollinate the females, dramatically lowering the quality, potency, and yield.
How do feminized cannabis seeds work?
Feminized seeds, also referred to as a female weed seed, was an invention created by cultivators in Europe in 1998 and are still one of the most popular types of cannabis seed amongst European growers. These seeds grow exactly the same as regular cannabis seeds and can be categorized as feminized autoflower seeds or feminized photoperiod seeds. Everything 420 carries photoperiod feminized seeds, which means that the plant will require a change in light in order to begin flowering, just like regular cannabis seeds. All cannabis plants go through four stages of its life cycle: germination, seedling, vegetative, and flowering. When growing outdoors, the plant will move from the vegetative stage and begin to flower when the days naturally shorten and the nights become longer. If growing indoors with artificial lights, growers will need to pay close attention to the light and change the settings for each stage of growth. Beginners can follow the 18/6 rule during the vegetative stage, which means the plants should get 18 hours of bright light and 6 hours of darkness each day. When ready to move from the vegetative stage to the flowering stage, growers will change the setting to 12/12, so the plant experiences 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness, forcing it to begin producing sticky buds. The number of weeks for each stage of the life cycle depends on the strain and preferences of the cultivator. Feminized autoflower seeds will automatically begin to flower based on time, not on the light it receives.
What to choose? Compare our cannabis seed strains!
When deciding what type of cannabis seed strain to choose, there are a lot of factors to consider such as if it will be grown outdoors or indoors, how much experience the cultivator has since some strains are more finicky than others, size of the plant, and preferences for flavor and effects. Novice growers should stick with the easy to grow Bruce Banner 2.0 sativa dominant hybrid strain, while seasoned growers may want to try their luck at White Fire OG, an indica dominant hybrid. All three of these strains are suited for both indoor and outdoor grow setups.
Bruce Banner 2.0
Sativa dominant hybrid
Spicy, tangy, sour
8 to 10 weeks
Medium to large
Sativa dominant hybrid
Earthy, citrus, sweet and sour
White Fire OG
Indica dominant hybrid
Pungent, earthy, citrus, herbal
9 to 10 weeks
Feminized cannabis seeds vs. Regular cannabis seeds
The main difference between feminized cannabis seeds vs regular cannabis seeds is that all feminized seeds will grow into female plants, while regular seeds have a 50/50 chance of becoming a male or female. Female cannabis seeds are prefered for people just starting their home growing journey since there’s no need to sex plants which can be challenging for first time growers. It’s also certain that all the plants will produce buds and there’s no chance of accidental pollination occurring. The yield is exactly the same as regular seeds, however out of a pack of 10 regular seeds, at least a few will be males and will need to be discarded, ultimately lowering the yield possible per pack. Experienced cultivators often prefer regular seeds when they are trying to breed plants, cross genetics, clone plants, or are trying to get a plant to produce seeds for future use. Just like feminized seeds, regular seeds can be found in normal photoperiod or autoflowering. Both feminized seeds and regular seeds go through the same life cycle and require exactly the same care. There are however, a few differences to keep in mind when choosing between these two types of seeds:
Regular seeds are typically cheaper than feminized seeds since it takes seed banks a few extra steps to create a plant that produces only female weed seeds.
Feminized cannabis seeds have been genetically modified to produce only one sex, thus they are less genetically stable than regular seeds that were created naturally. This means that each generation of female weed seeds become less and less genetically stable. This is not the case for regular cannabis seeds.
Due to its purer genetics, plants grown from regular seeds are better for cloning, while a plant from a feminized seed has higher risks and a greater chance of failure.
Plants grown from regular seeds need to be sexed as soon as possible and cultivators must discard male plants, adding an additional step in the growing process.
Feminized cannabis seeds vs auto-flowering cannabis seeds
Most cannabis seeds are photoperiod, which means the plant will flower when there is a change (natural or artificial) in light. Instead of flowering based on the hours of light it receives, plants grown from autoflower seeds begin to flower once it becomes a certain age, no matter if the light remains the same or not. Many growers prefer autoflower strains since they will not need to monitor their plants as closely or change the lighting schedule. Flowering is typically triggered around 6 to 8 weeks after seeds are planted, but this depends on the specific strain. Because of this, the plants are ready to harvest quicker than regular or feminized seeds. Feminized cannabis seeds can be autoflowering or photoperiod. Novice cultivators that want to start out with the simplest growing experience possible, which is most similar to growing other plants, should try feminized autoflowering seeds so there’s no need to sex plants or change the light setup. Some things to consider about feminized cannabis seeds vs auto-flowering cannabis seeds include the following:
Autoflowering seeds are best suited for indoor grows, while feminized seeds favor outdoor setups, however it produces well both indoors and outdoors.
Plants grown from feminized cannabis seeds are usually taller and larger in general than autoflowering strains. This is one reason cultivators lean towards outdoor grows or use Screen of Green or Sea of Green growing methods when planting feminized seeds, which keeps the yield high in small spaces.
Autoflowering cannabis seeds are more resistant to pests, disease, fungi, and fluctuations in temperature than regular or feminized seeds.
Autoflowers often have a quicker lifecycle, meaning the plants will be ready for harvest sooner than plants grown from feminized seeds.
Some say that feminized cannabis seeds are more potent than autoflowers, however this depends on a variety of factors.
What is a hermaphrodite weed plant and how to avoid it?
While feminized cannabis seeds are almost always female, there is a slight risk of getting a male plant, and even a smaller chance of growing a hermaphrodite weed plant. Hermaphrodites can occur in autoflowering and regular seeds as well. Plants can only be sexed during the flowering stage. Hermaphrodites can be recognized easily since the plant will begin to produce female buds on the top, but also male pollen sacs lower on the same branch. Early on, pollen sacs look like tiny green balls, but during flowering they turn yellow and have a banana or canoe like shape. The plant can look like a healthy female and may only have pollen sacs growing on a single branch, however the entire hermaphrodite plant needs to be discarded. If this occurs, the hermaphrodite plants (along with any males) need to be removed as soon as they are spotted or there is a risk that they will pollinate the females. Certain strains carry hermaphroditic traits in their genes and are more likely to produce hermaphrodite plants than others, luckily seed banks will stop selling these strains if the issue keeps coming up.
With photoperiod seeds, the proper light schedule for each stage of the growing cycle is crucial and a lighting issue is the number one reason plants become hermaphrodites. The most common mistakes are light leaks (allowing light during the period when the plant should be in complete darkness) and not maintaining a strict light schedule where the lights turn on and off at the same time each day. Light leaks can happen outdoors due to streetlights, garden lights, and even motion sensor lights and happen indoors when there are cracks or openings in the grow space where light can get in. Other types of stress such as pruning, staking, pests, a change in the environment, inadequate nutrients, and sporadic watering during the delicate flowering stage can also create hermaphrodites in cannabis plants.
How to feminize cannabis seeds?
While most cultivators purchase feminized cannabis seeds from reputable seed banks, it is also possible to feminize seeds at home, but this requires some expertise with plant genetics, time, and patience. It’s the most common to feminize cloned plants, though this isn’t always the case. Best saved for experienced breeders, there are many ways to manipulate a cannabis plant into producing seeds that are roughly 99% female with a very low risk of males in the mix, but two methods are typically used. These two ways to create female cannabis seeds both consist of reducing the amount of ethylene found in the plant’s tissue. Lowering the ethylene levels in female plants force them to create male pollen sacs, and after pollination with another female, feminized seeds. This can be done in a variety of ways, but two methods are the safest and easiest for home growers: colloidal silver and rodelization.
Colloidal silver method
Using colloidal silver is by far the simplest and safest way for home growers to feminize cannabis seeds. Colloidal silver is made by creating fine particles of pure silver and mixing it with water or some other type of liquid. Until 1999, it was used commonly as a health supplement and sold over the counter, but is no longer thought to be safe for consumption. Despite the ban, colloidal silver is still easy to acquire online or even at a local pharmacy and is safe to use (just don’t eat or smoke it). It’s also possible to make at home. The strength needs to be at least 30ppm otherwise the pollen won’t be as viable. Never try to smoke or use parts of any plant that has been treated with colloidal silver or pollinated with a plant treated with colloidal silver. Just toss it. To use the colloidal silver method:
Pick a female cannabis plant that produces desired traits and effects. The plant chosen should not be more than 4 weeks into the flowering phase. Create two clones from the selected plant. One will be treated with colloidal silver to become feminized, while the second will remain as is for pollination.
After two recovery days in a new pot, change the light schedule to 12 hours light and 12 hours darkness.
Isolate the female clone that will be treated so it doesn’t pollinate other plants. Spray the clone with the 30ppm colloidal silver solution between one to three times per day for two weeks. Be sure to soak the plant completely in the solution.
After the two weeks are up, continue to grow the plant as normal. The plant will begin to grow male pollen sacs instead of buds. Pollinate the flowers of the second female clone so that it creates seeds. Since a female plant pollinated another female plant, the result will be female cannabis seeds!
When unpollinated female plants produce flowers that are left untouched for a few weeks, the plant will start growing its own pollen sacs in a final attempt to pollinate itself. Cultivators must capture the pollen produced by the female plant and use that pollen to pollinate another female plant. Once pollinated, it will produce only female cannabis seeds.
Why are feminized seeds more expensive?
Unlike regular seeds that can be found in nature when a female plant is pollinated by male pollen spores, feminized seeds require human intervention. They are more expensive than regular seeds since breeders must use specific methods such as rodelization or limiting ethylene levels in female plants in order to pollinate a female plant with another female plant. This means a female needs to be forced to produce pollen and is the only way to create feminized cannabis seeds. These extra steps require more time, equipment, resources (soil, water, nutrients, electricity, etc.), and a certain level of expertise to accomplish. Also, the original plants used to create the female cannabis seeds must be discarded. While feminized seeds are a little more expensive to purchase than regular seeds, it is almost certain that the plants will be female and grow potent, sticky, smokable buds. Cheaper regular seeds will always have at least a few male plants that will take up time and resources until they’re recognized as males and ultimately tossed out. Each pack of female cannabis seeds will have a higher yield since none of the plants needs to be discarded. Over time, feminized seeds are cheaper than regular seeds with male plants that don’t produce smokable flowers.
How to grow feminized cannabis seeds?
A female weed seed will grow exactly like any other cannabis seed. It needs no special grow setup, nutrients, or extra steps and is sure to have a high yield. Feminized cannabis seeds are either photoperiod or autoflowering. Depending on the type of female weed seed that is purchased, certain grow methods need to be followed. Like any other photoperiod seed, growing photoperiod feminized seeds still requires switching the light schedule from 18/6 to 12/12 when ready to move to the flowering phase of the growth cycle. The plant will not flower on its own without a change in light. Autoflower feminized seeds grow exactly the same as regular autoflower seeds. At a certain number of weeks (check the package or seed bank website) the autoflower feminized cannabis seeds will begin to flower on their own. There is no need to change the light schedule. Growers who already have experience cultivating cannabis will easily be able to grow both types of feminized seeds since the process is the same. There’s just no need to worry about hidden male plants, hunting them down, or removing them.
How to identify female cannabis seeds?
There is no way to identify female cannabis seeds with the naked eye. At this stage, both male and female seeds look the same. Commercial operations have the means to genetically test seeds and check the chromosomes (XX is female and XY is male), however this is unnecessary for smaller operations and home growers. There is no difference between male and female plants until the early stages of the flowering phase, which will be at least a few weeks. Check the area where two branches meet. Female plants will begin to produce stringy, wispy hairs called pistillates there. If a small bulb with a lengthwise split is seen, this is the beginning of a male pollen sac. If cultivators wait too long to identify the sex of the plant, the pollen sacs can open up and burst, shooting spores across the room and pollinating any female plants. It takes just one spore to pollinate a flower, so it’s essential to identify which are female cannabis plants and immediately remove any males from the grow space. Once the flowers are pollinated, the plants start to put energy into producing seeds instead of flowers and the yield per plant will be much, much lower.
How do you germinate female cannabis seeds?
All types of cannabis seeds including feminized seeds germinate just like other plant seeds. Germinating seeds indoors has a higher probability of success since they are fragile during this stage and fluctuations in temperature, insects and other pests can wreak havoc outdoors. There are a number of ways to germinate female cannabis seeds such as planting the seeds directly in soil and using rockwool, however the easiest method that doesn’t require many materials is the paper towel or cotton ball technique. To germinate the seeds, use a few paper towels or one cotton ball per seed and place it inside a tupperware with a lid. Two plates also work, but the interior needs to stay warm, dark, and humid throughout germination. Spread out the seeds on the paper towel and spray it with warm or room temperature water until saturated, but not soggy. Place the container in a warm and dark place like a kitchen cupboard and continue to check the paper towel every few hours to be sure it’s still wet. The seeds will not sprout if the paper towel or cotton balls ever dry out completely. As soon as the seed splits and the tap root grows as long as the seed itself, plant it in a very small container filled with a growing medium like soil or peat.
How to water feminized seeds?
How much water to give plants can be difficult to judge, doesn’t remain the same throughout the plant’s life cycle, and doesn’t stick to an exact measurement, making things even more confusing for new growers. Improper watering is actually one of the most common reasons why cannabis plants die and new home growers fail. After the feminized cannabis seeds have germinated indoors and are planted in small containers, they will be very delicate. Watering the seedlings too much in this early stage can stunt their growth or even drown them. Only water the seedlings every 4 to 7 days, but be sure the growing medium isn’t completely dried out. Cannabis plants need different amounts of water depending on the stage in the life cycle that they’re in. While seedlings don’t need to be watered too much, plants that are flowering or in the vegetative stage require much more water. Mature plants should be misted with water thoroughly every 2 to 3 days, but this depends on environmental conditions like the temperature, growing medium, strength of the grow lights, size of the container, health of the plant, and more. Droopy plants or leaves that turn yellow or brown signify under watering.
What is the best soil for growing feminized seeds?
Cannabis plants will grow in almost any type of soil, but the best is soil and pots that are well draining. Different strains may grow better in certain types of soil over others, but always be sure that whatever pot is used has lots of holes to let excess water out so root rot doesn’t develop. Cannabis cultivators use a wide range of growing mediums such as rockwool, perlite, coco coir, normal soil, or even soilless hydroponic setups. However for beginners, the simplest and cheapest growing medium is just plain soil. Cannabis plants flourish in light, loose soil that has excellent drainage and decent water retention. The pH needs to be between 5.8–6.3 with a pH of 6 being the best choice. All potting mixes include essential nutrients that should last for at least a few weeks. If money isn’t an issue, choose a loamy soil that is a mix of sandy, silty, and clay soils. Experts say that the best tasting flower is grown by mixing soil with a high-quality compost, which is easy to do at home. Remember that soil does produce a lower yield compared to plants grown in coco coir or hydroponically, but the quality of the flower is exactly the same.
What is the best lighting system for growing feminized seeds?
A key element to every indoor grow setup is the lights. This is particularly important for photoperiod feminized cannabis seeds that will need a certain number of hours of light and darkness at the same time each day. Cultivators use many different types of grow lights, all with their own set of advantages and drawbacks. Some of the most popular cannabis lighting systems include T5 fluorescent lights, high intensity discharge lights called HIDs, high pressure sodium (HPS) bulbs, metal halide lights, induction bulbs, and light emitting diode (LED) lights. Today, LEDs are by far the most common choice for home growers despite being pricier than other options. This is because an LED setup uses less electricity, is very easy to install, doesn’t emit too much heat, and has a very long life with some growers using the same LED setup for a decade! When installing a lighting system, be sure to have a way to lift the lights up once the plants get too tall since the bulbs should remain a good distance away from the top of the plants. To make life easier, always choose a grow light system that has a built-in timer or can be controlled and monitored via smartphone.
What are the best nutrients for growing feminized seeds?
Most novice cultivators spend lots of time researching the right nutrients to use, but it doesn’t have to be a complicated or expensive process. Just like the amount of water required, the nutrients needed to produce tasty buds also differs depending on the phase of the life cycle the plant is in. Both plants grown in a growing medium such as soil and those grown in a hydroponic setup will need nutrients to remain healthy and provide a potent harvest of flowers. All plants and animals need hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon to survive, which are provided to cannabis plants through fresh air and when watering. Cannabis needs many other different nutrients to grow to reach its full potential, but the most essential are Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K). These three elements are always listed as a ratio on the outside of the nutrient or soil bag as N-P-K. During the vegetative phase, cannabis plants should have a higher ratio of N and K somewhere around 3-1-3. Once the flowering stage begins, the ratio of nitrogen should be lowered. Too much nitrogen at this phase will cause the buds to develop much slower than normal or they will be stunted altogether.
What’s the best temperature for growing feminized seeds?
During the germination process, it’s important to keep the seed environment humid and warm at all times. If temperatures or moisture fluctuates too much, the feminized seeds may never sprout. Once the seeds have grown and have been transplanted, it’s best to keep the temperature at around 75°C (25°C). The grow room should never drop below 70°F (20°C) or exceed 85°F (30°C) during the daytime. When the lights are off at night, the temperature should lower by roughly 8-9°F, but not more. This can be a big issue for outdoor grow operations, so it’s essential to choose strains specific to the environment where the cultivation will happen. Experienced growers adjust the temperature and humidity levels during each stage of the growing cycle, but this isn’t necessary for beginners. Another trick seasoned growers use to have a higher yield, better appearance, and a difference in flavor is lowering the humidity and daytime temperatures during the final 1 to 2 weeks before harvest. One thing to keep in mind is that the higher the temperature is, the higher the relative humidity will be inside the grow room. During the flowering period, this can cause issues since the humidity should never reach 60% and instead sit just around 40-50% for the entirety of this stage with temperatures never exceeding 79°F (26 °C).
What are the tips and tricks to growing from a feminized weed seed?
A feminized weed seed will have no problem growing in average grow setups and conditions, however to maximize the plant’s potential and achieve a high yield and flavorful, potent buds is another story. There are tons of tips and tricks out there to help novice growers. Some of the most helpful tricks are:
Choosing the right grow space and strain that will fit in the space. Some plants can grow to be massive, while others are short and stout. Pick the right female weed seed strain to match the grow space and setup. There are ways such as the Screen of Green and Sea of Green methods that help to maximize space, however these techniques shouldn’t be attempted on a grower’s first try.
Designing a grow setup that you understand well and can use with ease. Especially when first starting out, there’s no need for an expensive, high tech, or complicated grow system. As cultivators gain knowledge of nutrients, lighting, and the cannabis life cycle through experience, they can move to more complex grow setups that offer higher yields and tastier flower.
Picking the right type of seeds from a reputable seed bank makes a big difference. There are three kinds of cannabis seeds: regular, autoflowering, and feminized seeds. Beginners should stick to feminized seeds so they don’t need to sex the plants or autoflowering seeds so there is no need to change the lighting schedule. As growers become more comfortable, they can experiment with regular seeds, cloning, breeding, and creating their own feminized seeds at home.
What are the differences between indica and sativa feminized cannabis seeds?
There is not much of a difference between indica and sativa feminized seeds. The plants however are very different in appearance. Typically, indica plants don’t grow as tall as sativas. Instead they are short and stout and look more like a dense bush. Indica leaves have broad fingers and are often a darker green color and produce thick, dense buds. Indica plants also have higher yields at harvest and have a shorter flowering stage, qualities of which growers gravitate towards. The short stature makes them great for smaller grow spaces and indicas are known to be easier to grow overall. Sativa plants can grow very tall and look lanky and less full than their counterparts. The buds are less dense and grow thinner and longer on the plant. A sativa’s leaves are also narrower and longer. This of course is a generalization as most feminized cannabis seeds are hybrids of some sort and often showcase a mixture of traits from the different strains of its parents.
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