Feminized auto-flowering seeds bring you the best of both worlds. The quick harvest time of auto-flowering marijuana plants and the certainty of a bountiful harvest brought about by an all-female crop that produces the most sought-after buds that are harvested for their THC and CBD. But could you really do this at home? And if it’s possible, how? That’s quite simple really but we have to learn some new things before we get on our way.
Table of Contents
WHAT IS PLANT BREEDING?
Plant breeding is the science of changing the traits of plants in order to produce desired characteristics of traits. When it comes to plants, particularly marijuana plants, breeders or growers want a combination they need to produce a variety that will satisfy their needs or demands. Typically, there are seven traits that marijuana breeders desire:
- Improved quality, such as potency or flavor such as high THC or CBD and also the ability to give the experience of being high or stoned. The flavor is the richness or fullness of the way marijuana is described by different users such as sweetness and others.
2. Increased yield of the crop. A marijuana harvest is measured in grams per square meter of crop.
3. Increased tolerance of environmental stresses such as salinity, extreme temperature, and drought
4. Resistance to viruses, fungi, and bacteria.
5. Increased tolerance to insect pests.
6. Increased tolerance of herbicides.
7. Longer storage period for the harvested crop.
Plant breeding began since time immemorial when man started planting crops to fill his needs for food, medicine or other cultural purposes such as beautification, perfume, and others. This work is further enhanced by Gregor Mendel, whose experiments in breeding plants not only gave us further understanding of botany or the science of plants but of the whole science of genetics as well.
Gregor Mendel’s experiments on hybridization led to his laws of inheritance which will be of great importance in order for us to understand how to breed your own auto-flowering feminized seeds.
HYBRIDIZATION AND HEREDITY
Hybridization is the cross-breeding of different species in order to produce a hybrid or an offspring that has the traits of both parents. Hybridization if further specialized by selecting only the desired traits and none of the undesired traits.
Heredity is the ability of the plant to pass on genes to its offsprings. Your breeding begins by understanding these two.
BREEDING AUTOFLOWERING PLANTS
Breeding auto-flowering plant could mean that you wish to have a plant that has the auto-flowering ability of the ruderalis variety and the potency or high yield or others. To begin, let us discuss the sexuality of marijuana plants in general.
Cannabis plants are dioecious, which means that a particular plant could only be male or female. Other plants such as tomatoes are monoecious which means that each tomato plant has a male and female organs on a single plant and they self-pollinate.
Cannabis or marijuana propagate by cross-pollination between different plants where a male marijuana plant produces pollen that pollinates the female plant. This is quite simple, to begin with, but this simple fact could mean that every pollination that happens between marijuana plants may result in a different offspring other than what you had before.
The only way that you could breed the same cross-breed or hybrid between marijuana plants is to keep breeding between the two plant types, one male and one female that you bred before. This means that you should have a stock of seeds that you could use to grow the varieties you wish to breed.
This basic fact about the way marijuana plants breed makes it hard for us to breed a uniform strain. If you have ten seeds, for example, you may have still get plants with subtle differences between the seeds. That is why it is important to breed from the two strains you wish to cross-breed in order for you to achieve what growers call a stable genetic line.
For example, you wish to breed a male ruderalis named, RUDERALIS 1A with a female SATIVA 2B, you have to keep this combination of crossbreeding in order to have a stable genetic line. If their offspring is a 1A2B, cross-breeding it with another plant, Indica 3C for example, will give you a different result.
FEMINIZATION OF AUTOFLOWERING PLANTS
Once you have your choice of which male and female plant you want to breed, you could feminize one of them in order for you to produce feminized seeds. You could achieve feminization of seeds by looking for a female plant from the variety that you needed to be male. This female plant, from the RUDERALIS 1A, for example, could be made into a male by feminization.
Feminization is the process of producing feminized seeds by pollinating a female plant with pollen from a marijuana plant that was formerly female but was converted into a male. In feminization, the marijuana plant is subjected to stress by being dried or being sprayed with chemicals.
When the plants are stressed, they produce ethylene and there are some chemicals that inhibit the plants’ production of ethylene, the growth hormone for plants. This inhibition induces gender change in marijuana plants from female to male.
This female plant that shall turn into a male through feminization will produce pollen but will contain only female genes because it used to be female. The pollen produced by this plant will pollinate female plants that will result in 100 percent female seeds.
Feminization could be done using the colloidal silver method, silver thiosulfate method or rodelization method. The colloidal silver and silver thiosulfate methods incorporate the use of chemicals that are to be sprayed on the plant in order to induce gender change.
Both methods follow the same scientific process of inducing gender change in a female plant into a male in order for it to produce pollen with female genes that will result in completely feminized seeds. The only main differences between the two are the solution used, how they are prepared and others listed below:
- Silver thiosulfate is sensitive to light, so the solution and the plants sprayed must be in the dark during and after spraying for a few hours.
- Plants sprayed with silver thiosulfate requires drying after being sprayed on and before being returned to the batch while the colloidal silver method is used on plants while they are flowering and does not require drying.
- Silver thiosulfate is sprayed once every five days while colloidal silver is sprayed once or twice daily.
Colloidal silver has some serious effects on the health and the part sprayed with it should not be consumed. Colloidal silver can cause serious side effects. The most common is argyria, a bluish-gray discoloration of the skin, which is usually permanent. Colloidal silver can also cause poor absorption of some drugs, such as certain antibiotics and thyroxine as used to treat thyroid deficiency. Silver thiosulfate is, on the other hand, is only an irritant.
Despite these differences, both have been proven by growers to help ensure a hefty harvest by having feminized marijuana seeds. The ultimate factor when deciding whether to use either of the two is the availability of materials and the ease of how the chemicals could be prepared and used.
Rodelization method, on the other hand, is a completely natural method of stressing the plant by drying it and other methods. This stress will trigger a biological response that will make the female plant grow pollen sacs in order to continue their breed. Because of this, there is a higher probability that the seed produced is female. This literal ‘panic mode’ makes the plant enter self-pollination mode.
The flowers are hanged to dry and are being carefully being taken off the drying lines to remove male bananas. Once the male bananas or pollen sacs emerge, you can harvest it naturally and choose which bud and cola that you wish to glaze with this pollen. These male bananas could also be kept in a sealed bag and may remain potent for two months when kept in a fridge.