Ways have been devised to naturally feminize marijuana seeds but growers have developed two artificial means which are both harmless and effective. We shall be looking two of the most effective feminizing sprays used, what are they, and how are they used.
The silver thiosulfate method and the silver colloidal method are two methods that inhibit the release of ethylene in the marijuana plant. The marijuana plant is subjected to stress by being dried and being sprayed with these chemicals. These chemicals inhibit the plants’ production of ethylene, the growth hormone for plants, which they release whenever they are injured or subjected to stress. Ethylene is also responsible for the ripening of plants’ fruits, the opening of flowers, shedding of leaves and others. This inhibition induces a gender change due to the plants’ hormonal reaction to stress.
These chemicals are sprayed onto a selected marijuana plant from a batch of female plants that you wish to pollinate with the resulting pollen from this process. The best marijuana plant of the batch shall be selected so that its genetic traits are passed on to the next generation of plants.
These chemicals are to be sprayed on to the nodes or the junction between the main plant stem and the branches where the male bananas or pollen sac shall appear upon the completion of the gender change process. Because previously female plants that have turned into male have zero male chromosomes, the pollen produced is 100 percent female.
Once these pollen sacs appear, the sprayed plant may be returned and placed in the midst of the batch of female plants where they came from in order for the now-male plant to pollinate the plants. Pollen may also be harvested for selective pollination and may be kept in storage for future use.
Silver Thiosulfate Method
Sodium thiosulfate or STS is the equal mix of sodium thiosulfate solution and silver nitrate solution. This mix will result in the formation of silver thiosulfate as a by-product.
Preparing the STS Solution
The STS solution is made by combining two water solutions, one containing silver nitrate and the other containing sodium thiosulfate. To make a 0.02% sodium thiosulfate solution, add 0.1 gram of silver nitrate in 0.5 liters of distilled water.
Silver thiosulfate solution could be made by adding 2.5 Grams of Sodium Thiosulfate Anhydrous or 3.9 grams of Sodium Thiosulfate Pentahydrate to 0.5 liters of distilled water.
Separately, these two chemicals could last up to 6 months but once mixed, the solution will only last for a month. You must keep this solution in a dark container or a dark colored bottle as it is sensitive to light. Silver thiosulfate could be purchased as salt in granular form that could be dissolved in water.
It is important that the solution is diluted into the distilled water properly, otherwise, it will burn the plants. If plants show any sign of burning, further dilution must be done. Keep the solution off your skin and always wear protective gear such as gloves, masks, and goggles. Although not known for toxicity, Silver Thiosulfate is an irritant.
Preparing the Plants
Before spraying, you must prepare a whole batch of good marijuana plants. They must be all female from a single strain and are nearly mature. You’re just going to take one of them so choose carefully which plant you’re going to spray STS on.
Apply the Silver Thiosulfate solution by spraying it on the marijuana plant once every five days for thirty days after turning off the lights that are running in a 12-hour flowering cycle. Saturate the nodes with the solution using spray. The second spraying may even be made by a more diluted STS solution. Dilute the solution further if you observe any burning in the plant.
Do not spray the roots. Silver Thiosulfate is very sensitive to light so be careful of light leaks after spraying the plants. You may opt to spray the plant in total isolation as light leaks are known to cause plants to have hermaphrodite traits or having male and female traits that would pass on to the next generation of marijuana plants.
Upon spraying, you may observe some drooping in the leaves and changing of color into brown but the plant will soon regain turgidity after about five days and this plant has finished its transition phase into becoming male. The plant will be totally revived within a month. Trimming the topmost of the plant will help in its recovery in order for its energy to be dedicated in the conversion process instead of growing.
After spraying it with silver thiosulfate, you should hang it and let it dry. After drying, return it alongside its fellow plants from the same batch and type. Returning this plant and placing it on the middle of its batch of other female plants will allow the now-male plant to pollinate the female plants which were not sprayed with the silver thiosulfate when it begins to pollinate. You may also do some shaking in order to agitate more pollen into the female plants.
Pollen Collection and Storage
You may even manually collect the pollen by using smooth-surfaced materials such as mirrors, credit cards and others especially for the pods that do not burst open by themselves. Harvested pollen could still be used in the future by storing it in a flour mixture. Growers add toasted flour which is about 100 times the volume of your pollen and mix it together. Toasted flour is flour that is heated and cooled down. Raw pollen is so light that air will scatter it easily which lowers your chances of controlled pollination so having it mixed with flour will make your job easier in picking it up and distributing it as you wish.
It is important to turn off the fan before the pollen begins dropping so that it would not scatter and cause problems to people with allergies or cause uncontrolled pollination.
Since this plant used to be female and only turned into a male artificially using the silver thiosulfate method, the pollen from this plant is female pollen which is also known as stable feminized pollen. The pollinated plants are going to create feminized seeds after a couple of weeks.
The Colloidal Silver Method
The colloidal silver method also incorporates spraying the marijuana plant with a chemical solution. For this method, you will need a very small amount of colloidal silver or simply pure silver in distilled water. This solution is also available for purchase online.
Preparing Home-made Colloidal Silver Solution
Some growers claim that home-made non-commercial colloidal silver is far more potent than commercially available ones. In order to make your own home-made solution, you need a 9-volt battery, a connector, 2 alligator clips, silver coin or jewelry and a tub of distilled water. Connect 2 alligator clips to a 9-volt battery through a connector in its each of its red and black wires. Connect the alligator clips to a silver coin or jewelry and let the silver touch the distilled water but not the alligator clips. This will cause the silver ions to float on the distilled water. It is advised to leave this for seven hours, no more no less, or there will be much less ion or too much particle buildup in your water.
Once ready, apply this mixture by spray onto the female plant while they are flowering. Spray them every day, once or twice, which will take less than two weeks or 10-18 days in a row, depending on the different varieties of plants and their growing conditions.
The silver ion inhibits the ethylene production needed by the plant to produce female flowers just like the silver thiosulfate method and they will form pollen sacs instead after their gender change.
After all these, you may proceed to naturally fertilize your plant as mentioned earlier in the STS method. Once male sacs developed, it will take some time for it to open and produce yellowish pollen which will take 2-3 weeks. You may also collect this pollen manually using smooth-surfaced materials for pollinating only the desired plants or for storage.
It is important to note however to not consume or smoke any part of the plant that was sprayed with the colloidal silver solution.
Silver thiosulfate vs colloidal silver method
Both methods follow the same scientific process of inducing gender change in a female plant into a male in order for it to produce pollen with female genes that will result in completely feminized seeds. The only main differences between the two are the solution used, how they are prepared and other listed below:
Silver thiosulfate is sensitive to light so the solution and the plants sprayed must be in the dark during and after spraying for a few hours.
Silver thiosulfate requires drying after being sprayed and before being returned to the batch while the colloidal silver method is used on plants while they are flowering and does not require drying.
Silver thiosulfate is sprayed once every five days while colloidal silver is sprayed once or twice daily.
Colloidal silver has some serious effects on the health and the part sprayed with it should not be consumed. Colloidal silver can cause serious side effects. The most common is argyria, a bluish-gray discoloration of the skin, which is usually permanent. Colloidal silver can also cause poor absorption of some drugs, such as certain antibiotics and thyroxine as used to treat thyroid deficiency. Silver thiosulfate is, on the other hand, is only an irritant.
Despite these differences, both have been proven by growers to help ensure a hefty harvest by having feminized marijuana seeds. The ultimate factor when deciding whether to use either of the two is the availability of materials and the ease of how the chemicals could be prepared and used.