Skip to main content

How To Feminize Seeds via Hormone Balance Alteration

By Last updated on May 9, 2024Last updated on May 9, 2024No Comments

If you’ve been following professional cannabis growers, you must have noticed they feminized their seeds. But what does feminization mean?

Simply put, feminized seeds only produce female plants, making them ideal for marijuana growers who want a certain male-to-female ratio in their crop.

Here’s what you may be thinking: why produce female seeds? Because female plants have the cannabinoid-rich buds that we associate with marijuana.

So, wouldn’t it be great to have all your seeds grow into flower-producing plants? Keep reading to learn how you can do this.

How to Feminize Seeds Through Chemical Hormone Balance Alteration?

The best way to feminize cannabis seeds is to change their hormone balance by spraying chemicals on them. The five common chemicals you can spray are:

  • Benzothiadiazole
  • Gibberellic acid
  • Silver thiosulphate
  • Silver nitrate
  • Colloidal silver

Of these chemicals, colloidal silver is the easiest to make at home or source from a store. It’s also non-caustic and non-toxic. Meanwhile, other chemicals may be dangerous and challenging to access.

Colloidal Silver for Seed Feminization

Colloidal silver is a solution of distilled water and microscopic silver particles. Since the solution is ‘colloidal,’ the particles do not settle to the bottom. They can also not be removed through regular filtering.

Colloidal silver is readily available at gardening and medicinal stores since it’s used for fungal control in plants and as an antiseptic in humans. When buying colloidal silver, make sure it has a concentration of more than 15 ppm. Anything less than that will produce male plants.

Here’s how to use colloidal silver to feminize seeds:

  • Select the plant whose characteristics you plan to preserve. Most growers feminize clones since they already know the resin characteristics and flowering pattern of the mother plant.
  • After selecting the clone, pot it into a small container and let it recover for a day or two.
  • Start a 12-12 light cycle, which means keeping it in the dark for 12 hours and in light for 12.
  • As the plant reaches four weeks into flowering, you can start inducing it to grow sex organs. However, you can begin in the third week for clones. If you’re using a seed-grown plant, let it sex first before you spray colloidal silver to ensure it’s a female.
  • Spray the plant with colloidal silver three times daily. Make sure you’re soaking the plant well.
  • Spray for two weeks and then stop. Let the plant continue its normal growth.

Most growers say they start seeing results in just five to 10 days of spraying. After the plant sexes, you will see male pollen sacs rather than female pistils and calyxes. These structures will mature quickly to produce pollen in about three to four weeks.

With this technique, you have now forced female plants to produce pollen too. The pollen will now pollinate other female plants in the area, resulting in feminized seeds.


Another way to feminize seeds is by applying gibberellins to your plants. Some gibberellin types, including GA3, 4, 5, and 7, promote the production of male flowers when you spray them on female plants before they have flowered.

GA3 is most easily available and is common in commercial applications. Make a solution of 0.01% GA3 by mixing 0.1 grams of GA3 in 1000 ml of distilled water for the best results.

Note that you have to be careful when using gibberellins. A lower dose of the hormone results in few male flowers. Meanwhile, a high dose can cause the male flowers to form at the base of the plant, making them difficult to access and collect for pollination.

The key is to spray the top of your plant for five days. Then, increase the plant’s dark period to 12 hours a day, forcing it to flower. Initially, you’ll notice that the sprayed area is stretching. In the next two weeks, you will start to see the first male flowers.

Silver Thiosulfate

Although not as popular as colloidal silver, silver thiosulfate can also feminize cannabis seeds. Spray your cannabis plants with silver thiosulfate to a point where the solution drips off the leaves.

Then, switch the light regiment to flowering rather than vegetative. The plant will be droopy for the first few days but will regain its turgidity soon. You’ll see male flowers in a few weeks.

Besides silver thiosulfate, you can also use a silver nitrate solution to feminize seeds. Spray a 0.02% to 0.03% solution of silver nitrate to your plant, and then change the lighting to 12/12 hours of dark and light.

Add 0.1 grams of silver nitrate to 500 ml of distilled water to make a 0.02% silver nitrate solution.

How to Grow Feminized Plants?

How to Grow Feminized Plants

To grow feminized seeds, treat them the same way as any other seed you want to germinate. You can set up a separate flowering and vegetation space for these seeds to prevent the male pollen from pollinating other plants.

Do note that plants that grow through feminized seeds are homozygous. So, they may have one of two effects; either the dominant or the recessive traits will increase in effect. In simple words, there’s a 50/50 chance that the plant can take desirable or undesirable traits.

Genetics, huh?

Can You Buy Feminized Seeds?

Since their demand is high, most commercial sellers sell feminized varieties of their best-selling seeds. If you don’t want to deal with chemicals or go through the complex process yourself, you can buy these seeds from a reliable seller.

Then, all you have to do is plant and watch the plants grow. You can even find auto-flowering varieties that flower automatically when exposed to a certain amount of light for a given period.


Many growers feminize cannabis seeds to manipulate the plant’s genetics according to their requirements and desired characteristics. The best way to do this is by altering the plant’s hormonal balance, which you can do with colloidal silver, silver nitrate, or gibberellins.

Regardless of the method, make sure you follow all the instructions for each method, as feminizing seeds is a complex and delicate process. Alternatively, you can buy feminized seeds to save time and money.

The Sanctuary Editorial Team

Our writers use a combination of research and personal experiences to eloquently tackle these topics. The research process utilizes multiple levels of information. We reference informal channels for details relating to casual topics such as describing slang or how to create a bong out of fruit. We also examine scientific publishings for up-to-date research. The accuracy of our articles is crucially important to us and they are written with the idea of inclusiveness for readers of all walks of life.