To begin with, select a plant that has the characteristics you want to preserved. Feminizing clones is the usual practice as the growth, flowering, and resin characteristics from the mother are already known. There is no need for any vegetation time once a clone is well-rooted.
Simply pot the clone into a small pot, give it a day or two to recover, and begin a 12-12 light cycle right away. A pollen-producing plant only needs to be small as cannabis produces copious amounts of pollen. Hint: Make two clones once a plant has been selected, one to be feminized and one to be left for pollination. This way, a separate breeding space is created and accidental seeding of other plants, or an accidental sneeze pollinating a whole grow cupboard, is avoided. Plants can be induced to grow male sex organs as late as four weeks into flowering. Though spraying one week prior to the light changeover is recommended for clones. If a plant grown from seed is being used, wait until the plant has sexed before spraying so you can be sure it is female. Spray the plants to be feminized with colloidal silver every day, and three times a day if you can manage. Do this for two weeks, then leave the plants to grow as normal.
Some growers report getting results after spraying for only 5–10 days. When sexing begins, male pollen sacs will develop instead of female calyxes and pistils. Male plants mature much faster than females, and viable pollen can be expected within 3–4 weeks once the plant has been sexed. Some growers will spray until the plant shows sexual growth, just to be sure the method has worked. Make sure these plants are well-isolated from any flowering females. A burst pod can release millions of pollen spores, and it only takes one spore per hair to create a seed. Once the plants have been sprayed with colloidal silver and the pollen is collected, they are write-offs—86 them and don’t smoke them. The colloidal silver is a systemic treatment absorbed into the plant through the foliage and not a topical application. Without human intervention, it would be rare to find an unpollinated female in the wild—unless it was sterile. When sinsemilla plants are left to go beyond their desirable maturation stage by a number of weeks, the plant, through whatever amazing processes evolution has bestowed, knows it has not been pollinated. As a last ditch effort at propagation, it will produce male pollen sacs in an effort to self-pollinate. This is not the result of genetic or stress-induced hermaphroditism. With all the genetic information from the female and no Y chromosome, using rodelized pollen creates female-only seeds, although as with colloidal silver, an occasional male may appear. There are a number of harvesting methods employed to catch pollen. Cover the top of the pot with plastic or card to catch pollen as it falls, or modify a plastic drink cup to shroud the plant and catch falling pollen. Fix a clear plastic bag, perforated at the top for air exchange, around the whole plant. An experienced eye will remove each flower pod prior to it bursting completely open to be sure of catching every spore. Depending on how many seeds you want to make, there are a couple of methods that can be used. Using a watercolour or other fine, soft brush or even a cotton bud, dip into your pollen collection and gently apply to the chosen flower. Although thousands of viable spores will be on the end of the brush, enough to pollinate a whole plant, the trichomes on the surface of the pistils will greedily glue everything you offer them. So dip into your pollen stash a few times as you dust. For lots of seeds, put pollen in a bag and put over a whole branch or a whole plant, shake well, and leave for twenty four hours. It is possible to pollinate different branches with different pollens and have a breeder plant that has 1, 2, or 15 different crosses on it. It is also possible to self-pollinate the plant from which the male parts were created. This won’t produce as many seeds as pollinating a separate plant because less female flowers are produced and many are nonviable because of the feminization process.
Treat feminized seeds as you would any other seed from germination to veg, and veg through flower. Observation is where it’s at now, you want the best plants for your garden. Ideally, setting up a separate vegetation/flower space where a number of plants can be grown lets your standard grow space continue with uninterrupted production. This can have two effects that can’t be assessed until the seeds are grown. Homozygosity will increase the dominant or recessive traits of the parent in the progeny, so features you don’t want and do want can be amplified. Just as with standard male to female crossings (which is a heterozygous process), a number of plants will need to be grown and the best selected for mother plants and future breeding. With enough room, hundreds if not thousands of new plants can be grown in order to select the best of the best phenotypes. With a bit of aforethought, it is possible to set up an efficient feminization breeding programme—and have female seeds from your favourite phenos on hand all the time. You never know, you might discover the next big thing!
The easiest and relatively inexpensive way—considering how much money is potentially saved by not growing resource and time-consuming males—is to buy a colloidal silver generator, which is the no-fuss plug and play option. Or, make your own, which is quite straightforward and doesn’t require any special skill.