Feminized seeds are nothing new in the 420 landscape, but some cultivators still find themselves dealing with pollinated colas! It’s time to cut the struggle once and for all and get you familiar with the easier way to cultivate cannabis.
What are feminized seeds? As the name suggests, this variety has no male genetic material within the seed shell. As a grower, you can reap immense benefits from this simple modification.
Join us as we explore everything you need to know about this marijuana seed variety. We’ll introduce the concept step by step and share our favorite strains to try once you go feminized.
What are feminized seeds?
Feminized seeds are a result of genetic engineering done on regular marijuana seeds. Breeders ensure that each seed develops into a female cannabis plant by eliminating the male genome from the equation.
This advancement made cannabis growing more straightforward and economical. It brought two main advantages for regular and commercial growers:
- They no longer have to look for signs of male plants in early flowering. There’s no risk of pollination.
- When cultivating for smoking purposes, they’d have to discard male plants that sprouted from regular seeds. That’s not the case with feminized marijuana seeds.
Nothing much changes besides gender.
Marijuana is a photoperiod plant, which means that its lifecycles progress with the number of light hours in a day. Feminized seeds are photoperiod, too, unless another round of breeding changes this feature.
With the basics down, let’s explain the feminized seeds vs. regular vs. autoflowering distinction.
Regular seeds vs. feminized
Before even touching upon the non-photoperiod cannabis variety, we need to get one thing out of the way. While researching strains, you’ll run into regular seeds vs. feminized debate. What’s up with that?
Regular marijuana seeds are the variety found in nature, and they contain male and female genetic potential. Once they germinate, you get an approximately 50-50 split of male and female cannabis crops.
It’s a different story with feminized cannabis seeds. They sprout into new female plants 99% of the time (barring a strange genetic blunder).
Why would you choose one over another, then? As a rule of thumb:
- Cultivators go for regular varieties to produce new seeds
- Growers choose feminized seeds for smokable buds
Note: Pollinated marijuana plants also produce buds but with much lower cannabinoid contents. The seeds also make the smoke harsh and headache-inducing.
Feminized seeds vs. autoflowering
Autoflowering seeds are a relatively new phenomenon in the marijuana industry. To understand the difference between autoflowering and feminized seeds, you need to learn about ruderalis.
Ruderalis is a cannabis family, much like indica and sativa. Ruderalis crops aren’t potent, but they’re small, fast-flowering, and non-photoperiod. They develop vegetatively and then flower independently of light/dark hours a day.
Breeders noted this potential advantage and started crossing popular strains with ruderalis to produce auto plants. You can now find most cannabis superstars in autoflowering varieties, too. They grow short and become harvest-ready in 8–16 weeks.
Note: You can get regular autoflowering seeds, but commercially available options usually result from feminized plants. Most auto strains are female-only by default.
Use the following tips while considering autoflowering vs. feminized seeds for your next purchase:
- Get autos if you need to collect a harvest in about three months. Yields are smaller, but everything happens in half the time.
- Get feminized seeds if you have enough time for full photoperiod development. This variant brings larger, more aromatic yields.
How are feminized seeds made?
We keep talking about genetic modifications, but in reality, the process behind this seed variety isn’t that complex. How are feminized seeds made, then?
Feminized seeds happen when a female plant pollinates another female plant. But female plants don’t make pollen; we hear you say. They usually don’t, which is why breeders need to stress them first.
They use chemicals—colloidal silver, most often—to induce this procedure. When it enters flowering, a stressed plant becomes a hermaphrodite, producing pollen and male flowers.
Growers then collect that pollen and fertilize other crops. What they get is a female marijuana plant carrying only female genetic potential.
Now that you know how seeds are feminized, you’re ready to start taking advantage of this creative process. Let’s discuss practical matters when it comes to growing feminized seeds.
How to germinate feminized cannabis seeds?
Once they’re out of the lab, feminized cannabis seeds act like any other seed you’ve encountered. The same gardening practices apply, including the need for germination.
Germination is a straightforward at-home process. You use heat and moisture to trigger the hormones beneath the seed shell and boost your success rate.
You can sprout your feminized seeds in many different ways. Here are two that are guaranteed to work.
The paper towel method
This method of germinating feminized seeds is the most effective we found. The only downside is that you could wait for up to five days to see results.
Here’s how to do it:
- Take two paper towels, a plate, bottled water, and your feminized cannabis seeds.
- Moisten one paper towel and lay it on the plate. Make sure there are no pools at the bottom.
- Carefully lay your seeds on the plate one by one. Leave around an inch of space between each.
- Cover with another moist piece of paper. Leave the plate somewhere warm and dry.
- Check your marijuana seeds daily and remove all that sprouted taproots.
- Cover and moisten the rest.
You should see tiny white roots protruding from all feminized seeds by day five.
The soaking method
If you’re sitting on a batch of old feminized marijuana seeds, the paper towel method isn’t enough to activate them all. Not all hope is lost, though.
Soaking softens the shell enough to allow the taproot to emerge. Here’s how to do it:
- Fill a glass with lukewarm water. Use a transparent container to make your life easier.
- Drop your feminized seeds in the glass. Leave it somewhere dark and warm.
- Check your seeds after 12, 24, and 36 hours. Every time, remove all that floated to the bottom.
- Plant the removed seeds in damp soil. They’ll finish germinating there.
- Remove everything after 36 hours and let moist earth do the rest.
Old seeds are tricky, but soaking does the trick almost every time!
How to grow feminized seeds?
Expensive or cheap, feminized seeds have strain-related growing requirements. The prefix ‘feminized’ only means that you won’t have to deal with male plants in your garden.
For that reason, we can only offer a general overview of standard gardening practices.
In indoor setups, you control all conditions that turn feminized seeds into bud-bearing female plants. Think about the following questions to define your grow room specifics:
- Which growing medium is ideal? How much should you fertilize it?
- What temperature and humidity levels suit each growth stage?
- What water and nutrient requirements does your strain have?
- What potential issues could you face? Should you worry about pests, mold, or disease?
- How much trimming is necessary? What about training techniques?
- What light schedules suit your strain best? Does it thrive under strong lights?
Outdoor feminized seeds depend on your climate and the environment, but you can help them flourish. Answer the following:
- What is my climate like? Which strains thrive there?
- Is my soil nutrient-rich enough? Should I amend it?
- Is there a particular weather extreme to worry about? How to prevent damage before it’s too late?
- What trimming practices suit my strain?
- How much should I water and feed my plants?
Choose feminized marijuana seeds from a cultivar that thrives in your climate to set yourself up for success. Give your crops a helping hand, and they’ll award your effort with juicy buds.
Top 3 feminized seeds to buy
The world of feminized cannabis seeds is massive! You can get most modern strains in an all-female version.
The variety is excellent news, but it can be overwhelming for newbies. We’re here to help by sharing our favorite indica, sativa, and hybrid options. Start here, and explore onward with some experience under your belt.
Note: These are Homegrown Cannabis Co.’s seeds. This seed bank boasts a massive selection, and they’re very reputable in the community. We felt that suggesting them saves you a lot of trial and error.
Indica choice: Afghan Kush
Afghan Kush is one of those original indica strains that any cannabis historian must try. With direct origins in the Hindu Kush mountains, this old-school classic perseveres to this day, and for several very good reasons.
The earthy-sweet aromatic bouquet is classic indica cannabis, and so is the high. A puff stretches a smile across your face and eases you into your seat, where you’ll stay till the next morning.
It takes minimal TLC and standard gardening practices to achieve hefty yields with these feminized seeds. Trim away at the dense foliage and feed your crops generously. They’ll repay the favor with sticky abundance.
|Aroma||Earthy, sweet, incense|
|Effects||Euphoric, relaxing, sedative|
|Flowering time||7–9 weeks|
|Yield||15–17 oz./m² indoors / 15–21 oz./plant outdoors|
Sativa choice: 5 Alive
5 Alive is an aptly-named strain to get you feeling oh-so-alive. Tropical fruit scents and insane THC levels grant this one VIP status in the 420 community. You’ll feel like you’re on a faraway island after a puff, with no worry able to reach you.
The powerhouse buds bring an immediate head rush that leaves you carefree and engaged in any activity. All the while, the body stays energized and free of any discomfort.
These sativa feminized seeds are surprisingly resilient for their family, making them suitable for novices and experts alike. Sharpen your trimming scissors and provide plenty of vertical space—the crops will take care of the rest.
|Aroma||Tropical, citrus, lime|
|Effects||Happy, creative, energetic|
|Flowering time||8–10 weeks|
|Yield||10 oz./m² indoors / 10–15 oz./plant outdoors|
Hybrid choice: Exodus Cheese
Exodus Cheese combines indica and sativa properties, delighting indecisive stoners. This high-yielder deserves a spot on your radar for its recognizable sweet and cheesy aroma and balanced effect profile.
The effects send you down a gentle landslide. A headrush comes first, getting you giggly but focused enough to perform mundane and creative tasks. A profound body calm melts away tension after around an hour.
Growing Exodus Cheese from feminized seeds is a walk in the park. Crops are short, gorgeous, and vigorously productive. They thrive in controlled conditions but leaving stretch room in the great outdoors significantly increases yield potential.
|Aroma||Earthy, berry, cheese|
|Effects||Euphoric, focused, calm|
|Flowering time||8–10 weeks|
|Yield||12–15 oz./m² indoors / 28 oz./plant outdoors|
Where to buy feminized seeds
Now that you’re ready to start, it’s time to find feminized seeds for sale and put your theoretical knowledge to the test.
When it comes to feminized seeds in the USA, you can purchase them from dispensaries or online shops. The first option is straightforward if there’s a store nearby. How do you ensure safety and quality with online shopping, though?
For one, you could check out Homegrown Cannabis Co. (the site where we found those three strains) and buy feminized seeds there. We’ve already tested the service and quality of products here, and you have our guarantee that you won’t regret it.
If you decide to go solo and find another dispensary, keep the following tips in mind:
- Shop from reputable suppliers. They should show transparency about every aspect of their business.
- Look for industry experience. Qualified breeder teams are much more likely to produce consistently good genetics.
- Ask around. Your local grower community can help you while shopping and beyond.
Use these tips to narrow down your pool of options and work from there.
Feminized seeds for smokable yields
Cannabis doesn’t change much with feminization. Most of its inherent traits remain the same, but the gender shift makes a world of difference.
Achieving that smoke value is much easier with feminized seeds. There’s no more jumping through hoops and examining your flowering crops day-in, day-out. You get to enjoy top-shelf, aromatic, THC-laden colas for half the effort.
That’s reason enough to give the best feminized seeds a shot, at least in our books. What’s the wait, then? Buy seeds, get growing, and revel in the results.