You can choose to treat a single bud site or all the bud sites on the plant. Any untreated bud sites will develop into female buds as usual. If you want to smoke these buds, it’s incredibly important to avoid letting them come into contact with colloidal silver as that’s not safe to smoke. (Don’t worry, feminized seeds don’t contain any silver).
I highly recommend letting the whole plant be your test subject so you don’t have to worry about that 🙂 Note: If you’re feminizing an auto-flowering plant, start spraying daily when the plant is about 20 days old from seed. This is when most auto-flowering cannabis strains start making flowers. When pollen sacs are starting to crack and look like they’re about to open up (or if you can see one has already opened) then your pollen is ready for harvest! When pollen sacs are cracking and opening up, you’re ready to harvest your pollen! One way to harvest your pollen is to gently and carefully remove all the pollen sacs. Let them dry for a week, and then put them in a resealable bag. If you shake the bag the pollen should easily spill out. How to Store Feminized Pollen: Moisture is your main enemy when storing pollen.
It can help to double the mass of the pollen collected by adding regular cooking flour. This absorbs moisture during storage and as an added bonus, it will make application easier when you get to pollinating. If you triple-bag the pollen-flour mixture and stick it in the freezer (with a good nametag so you know where the pollen came from), your pollen can be stored for a year or longer. When your chosen mother is 2-3 weeks into the flowering stage, take a paintbrush and ‘paint’ your feminized pollen on the developing bud sites you want to pollinate. Bud sites (for both male and female plants) are located wherever you can see leaves meet a stem. Only the buds that come in contact with pollen will grow seeds. You can choose to pollinate all of your buds or just a few on the plant. Make sure that you’re touching all the female pistils/hairs with your pollen. Here’s a little video showing you exactly what this looks like! It usually takes about 6 weeks for your feminized seeds to fully develop. Some plants are literally dying right as the seeds become ready, so to get the most viable seeds, you need to try to keep it alive until the seeds actually start dropping. The seeds can be used right away, or stored in a cool, dry place for a few years. This is what it looks like when the seed is exposed. Picture Journal of Making Feminized Pollen with Colloidal Silver. This grower initiated the feminization process on a seedling that was only a few weeks old. As a result, the plant wasn’t able to get big enough to produce many pollen sacs. You will get even better results if you start with a plant that is at least 5 weeks old 🙂 October 18 – Plant right before the switch to 12/12. October 27 – After being drenched with colloidal silver daily for a little over a week. November 15 – Pollen sacs appear to be almost fully formed and are swelling in size, but haven’t opened up yet. Don’t stop spraying colloidal silver or you may end up with empty sacs! How can I identify plant gender before the plant actually starts flowering? (Besides using feminized seeds) There are a few ways to identify plant gender before the plant actually starts flowering, and each is helpful in different situations. Start with a clone – A clone is an exact copy of another plant. If the “mother” of the clone is a female plant, it means the clone is also female Look at preflowers (identify plants when they’re 3-6 weeks from seed) – If you know where to look, cannabis plants will actually reveal their gender in the vegetative stage when they’re just 3-6 weeks from seeds. Male plants usually show their gender by 3-4 weeks and female plants usually show their gender around week 4-6 from seed. Learn how to determine the gender in the veg stage by looking at preflowers.
Test the leaves of your seedling – It’s possible to send in a leaf from a young cannabis plant to a specialized testing company, and they will be able to determine the gender as soon as 3 weeks from seed! Although I haven’t used any of these companies and can’t recommend any in particular, here’s a link to one example just so you can see what I’m talking about. From talking to other growers who use this method, it appears to be very accurate. Take a clone and force it to start flowering – if you take a clone from a vegetative plant, you can force that clone to start flowering and reveal its gender. You’ll know the gender of the “parent” plant by the gender expressed by the clone. In my opinion it’s better just to look at the pre-flowers since they’ll usually tell you sooner than if you use this method (in this case you have to wait for the seedling to get old enough to clone, then wait for the clone to make roots, then wait for the clone to start flowering – which usually takes weeks longer than the much easier pre-flower method).
Look at the seed itself – Some growers swear by this method (if someone knows the author of this popular but anonymous picture that has been circulated on the internet since at least 2008, please let us know!). The idea is to look at the seed’s characteristics because to some extent, some seeds look “more female” than others. According to people who use this method, it’s better than random guessing but unfortunately in the best-case scenario, even the growers I’ve talked to who have experience using this method say it only has up to 70% accuracy . That means about 1/3 of “female” seeds end up being male.