Developing a high-producing yield of potent cannabis brimming with trichomes, resin, and cannabinoids sounds easier than it actually is. Growing a robust garden of weed plants requires female flowers — the sex responsible for the wonderful resin, trichome, and cannabinoids that we know and love.
To produce these wonderful yields, prioritizing the acquisition of female seeds is important. Marijuana, unfortunately, is essentially wired to produce a 50/50 chance of either male or female seeds being produced. To maximize your garden’s ability to produce feminized seeds, you can use the feminizing technique of weed cultivation.
Why Do We Want To Feminize Cannabis Seeds?
The term ‘feminized seeds’ may sound strange at first, but the process is a necessary one. When both male and female plants are young, they look similar. The main difference between male and female plants is that female plants are capable of making buds while male plants can only develop (non-potent) pollen sacs. As a result of their redundancy, most growers try to limit the development of male plants. This means that a gardener could end up throwing away nearly half their yield!
Reasons To Feminize Weed Seeds
- Avoid male plants which can decrease bud potency
- Save time (and money) on seeds
- Get female plants every single time
- Improved yield production
You can acquire feminized seeds from seed banks throughout California, and they are available in nearly every strain imaginable. While male plants have their place, mostly in breeding programs, they aren’t necessary for most growers. As a result, feminizing seeds can make for a more efficient growing experience.
Let’s figure out how to increase the likelihood of producing female seeds.
How Do I Feminize Cannabis Seeds?
Feminizing seeds requires an extensive process and a stable growing environment. As stress is responsible for the increased production of male marijuana plants, it can be easy to lose track as well as your progress.
Here are a few key ways you can develop a feminizing plan for your seeds.
Produce a Stable Environment
As we alluded to above, a stable environment is of the utmost necessity for cultivating weed. To maintain a stable growing environment, growers must focus on decreasing the likelihood of stress by controlling every aspect of the growing experience. What does this mean in a more practical sense?
Stable environments require:
- Carefully controlled temperatures
- Regulated humidity levels
- Night/day lighting cycle
- Limit light pollution
- Tight control over nutrient feeding program
While the requirements of a stable growing environment are necessary even outside the realm of marijuana, they are of particular note for marijuana. Slight fluctuations in things like PH or nutrient profile can cause stress to the plant, leading to the production of more males.
Reduce Light Schedule for Seedlings
While some growers opt to give their seedlings nearly 24 hours of light in their early stages to boost the vegetation cycle, it isn’t always the best idea — particularly if you are interested in feminizing your weed seeds. Younger plants should be exposed to an 18 / 6 photoperiod to increase the likelihood of feminized seeds. The further along the lighting schedule gets away from a traditional 16 hours, the more likely a male plant is to be produced.
Most growers advocate for seedlings to experience daylight hours for roughly 14 hours per day. While this technique can slow production time during vegetation, it dramatically increases your chances of acquiring female seeds. When you are paying top dollar for great seeds, it might be worth the trade-off to ensure their viability.
As an aside, try to avoid 24-hour light schedules at all times. A 24/7 light schedule can lead to improper root development, root rot, and poor overall health.
Try Shifting to Cool Blue Lighting
Light that exists in the blue spectrum can promote female development of cannabis seeds during the vegetative stages of growth. Ideal lighting for this stage of growth can include LED and fluorescent lights, so long as they feature blue or white spectrum bulbs. Avoid purple and red-tinted fluorescent and HPS bulbs as they are better for the flowering cycle.
Metal halide lights are also an option for introducing blue light to marijuana plants during the vegetative stage. Blue spectrum light still provides plenty of heat, even with fluorescents and metal halides, so be aware of heightened temperatures during the process.
Boost Moisture and Humidity Levels
To increase the production of feminized seeds during vegetative development, consider utilizing higher humidity and moisture levels from germination. Keeping moisture and humidity levels elevated and stable will lead to ideal moisture throughout your growing medium.
Controlling for moisture and humidity will change depending on the life cycle of the plant. Let’s take a closer look at when/how much you should make your humidity and lighting adjustments:
- Young Plants – A humidity level ranging between 70% and 80% RH is ideal. Utilize a cheap humidity dome throughout the infant stage of the plant to keep the medium from drying out. Rockwool and peat moss are two favorable mediums for this point in the process.
- Pubescent Plants – At this point in time, utilize a hygrometer to keep your humidity level at 70% RH. A humidifier might be ideal if you have a larger growing space. One of the key outcomes of overwatering and overdrawing is stress, and that can lead to the development of male plants. Keeping your humidity levels correct will prevent stress at this stage.
- Flowering Plants – Humidity levels should be reduced to around 40% during the flowering phase. Don’t drop your humidity all at once and instead gradually decrease over a period of time. At this point in the growth process, growers should understand the sex of their plants.
While there is no certainty in the process of feminizing regular cannabis, these are the steps that we can take to help sway the odds in our favor. Working with a reputable seed bank can also be a fantastic way to ensure access to high-quality seeds at all times.