Feminized seeds are cannabis seeds genetically modified to give rise to only female plants. These seeds have drastically changed the operations of marijuana growers. Feminized seeds have helped growers to increase the ratio of female to male plants, boosting the yield. Developing female marijuana plants is a process that took time, read on to find out more.
1. The History of Feminized Cannabis Seeds
The development of feminized marijuana seeds started with the Dutch Passion experiment done in 1999. In this experiment, 15 strains of feminized seeds were cultivated, and the researchers started with 30 seeds of each variety. The aims of the experiment were:
• Determining the ratio of male, hermaphroditic, and female plants.
• Comparing the traits of cannabis plants grown from feminized seeds with those cultivated from regular seeds.
The results of the experiment were impressive. For instance, nine out of the fifteen varieties tested produced 100% female plants. The remaining six produced approximately 80 to 90% female plants.
About 70% of the 15 varieties grown from female marijuana seeds produced homogeneous (uniform) plants compared to regular seeds. Feminized cannabis seeds are cultivated in the same manner as regular seeds. They can be grown indoors, outside and in greenhouses. The seeds can be planted in hydroponic systems or soil. These seeds produce marijuana plants with the improved potency of up to 80% in all varieties.
2. The Science Behind Feminized Seeds
The formula used to produce feminized cannabis seeds has been a well-guarded secret for a long time. However, the method used is straightforward whereby female plants are modified to produce pollen considered “female pollen”. The pollen is then used to fertilize female plants that produce seeds. These seeds are considered “feminized” because they only germinate into female plants. Several studies have examined the literature on the issue. The findings of these studies have shown that environmental factors play a significant role in determining the sex of marijuana plants. These factors include:
• Nitrogen concentration: A higher nitrogen concentration gives rise to more female plants.
• Potassium concentration: A higher concentration produces more male plants.
• Humidity: A higher humidity makes the seeds to germinate into more female plants.
• Temperature: A low temperature favors the production of more female plants.
• Light: An increase in the blue light produces more female plants.
• Hours of light: Seeds that are exposed to fewer hours of light are likely to germinate into female plants.
Marijuana plants should be subjected to the above conditions during the three stages of leaf development in order to produce more female plants. After 2 to 3 weeks, the standard conditions should be introduced.
3. The Benefits Of Feminized Cannabis Seeds
• Guaranteed high yields: Feminized marijuana seeds have high yields and require less work to harvest high volumes.
• Cost effective: Feminized cannabis seeds produce 100% female plants with rare exceptions. This means that the work put in caring for the plants will not go to waste because there will be no male plants to uproot.
• Reducing wastage: For commercial growers, planting seeds, then uprooting 50% because they are male is both expensive and time consuming. Feminized marijuana seeds save growers from this problem.
• Avoiding the damage caused by over pruning: In some cases, when a female marijuana plant is pruned, it turns into a male plant. Using feminized seeds eliminate this problem or reduces it significantly.
• Clone freely with control: It is easy to clone female marijuana plants because there is a very high chance that the resulting plant will be female.
• Improved genes: Most feminized seeds are genetically modified for the desired traits such as the level of cannabinoids, aromas and flavors that consumers in the industry prefer.
• Uniform plants: Feminized cannabis seeds produce plants that are uniform compared to regular seeds.
4. Disadvantages Of Feminized Marijuana Seeds
-Feminized cannabis seeds do not produce male plants. This means that they are not suitable for growers interested in producing seeds.
-Some seed companies use hermaphrodite plants when producing feminized seeds. In most cases, crossbreding between female marijuana plants and hermaphrodite ones produce female plants. However, some offspring will be hermaphrodite plants.
Feminized marijuana seeds are genetically modified to produce only female plants. The science behind the development of feminized seeds is not that complicated. All that is needed is balancing environmental factors such as humidity, temperature, light, and potassium concentration among others. Feminized seeds have several benefits for growers that include high yield, reduced wastage, cost effectiveness, improved genes, and uniformity among others. The only disadvantages of feminized marijuana seeds are that they are not suitable for seed producers, and can grow into hermaphrodite plants if breeding is done poorly.