Stressed Out Ladies; Feminized Cannabis Seeds and Stress
Everything we know and love about cannabis in the recreational and medicinal markets is based on female plants. The big buds, massive trichome production, and resinous qualities are largely restricted to the ladies of the species. Feminized seeds have been a godsend to cannabis growers in many instances, but not in every case. Let’s discuss feminized cannabis seeds and how they might end in disaster.
What are feminized seeds?
Feminized seeds are those that have been created to vastly favor the outcome of a female plant. With modern, reputable feminized seeds, most plants plants will be female and bud-bearing. The price-tag on these genetic wonders can be over double the cost of regular seeds, but is it worth the investment?
Why do we need feminized cannabis seeds?
Like humans, cannabis naturally produces seeds that have a roughly 1:1 chance of developing into a male or female plant. Not only do male plants not yield the characteristic buds of THC-rich cannabis, they also produce pollen which will fertilize your nearby female plants. The males must be separated from the female plants immediately, something that’s only possible well into vegetative growth.
For every 10 regular seeds planted, you can only really expect 5 female plants to make it to the end. This means double the work, and double the plants, until the males can be removed.
That’s why many cultivators are happy to have access to feminized cannabis seeds.
How to Grow Feminized Cannabis Seeds
Feminized cannabis seeds remove a few steps from the normal cultivation of cannabis. You still need to be vigilant for the first 30-60 days; there remains a roughly 1% chance that a male grows from a feminized seed. Checking daily for pollen sacs at the bases of the larger fan leaves will ensure you can identify and remove the male as early as possible.
Other than the rare chance of a male, feminized plants have only one other weakness when compared to regular seeds: they don’t deal well with stress.
Stress: The problem with feminized cannabis seeds
There are a few ways to make a feminized cannabis seed; the application of hormones or chemicals, or a clever hijacking of the plant’s stress response.
Under certain conditions, female plants can be pushed to develop male sex traits and produce pollen. Genetically, the traditionally male-only pollen is purely female and can be used to fertilize another female plant. The result is seeds that are entirely female, or “feminized.”
The unfortunate side-effect of this process is that feminized plants may be more susceptible to stress. When stressed, cannabis plants are more likely to:
● Become infected with a pathogen
● Be targeted by pests
● Reduce trichome production
● Produce seeds
Preventing stressed cannabis plants
The best way to prevent stressed cannabis plants is to keep their needs met and conditions consistent. Any significant or fast changes in lighting, temperature, feeding, or humidity may be met with a stress response. Consistent, daily care is integral to preventing disaster with your feminized cannabis seeds.