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What are feminized seeds and why do you need them?

the meaning of feminized seeds

Feminized seeds are a game-changing innovation in cannabis, giving home cultivators the best chance at growing bountiful weed plants. In this article, we’ll define what “feminized seed” means and how to grow feminized seeds.

The game-changing benefits of feminized seeds

Cannabis is a dioecious plant, which means that there are separate male and female plants. Female plants are the only cannabis plants capable of growing those aromatic, trichome-rich buds you know and love while male plants exist to pollinate the females.

What is a feminized seed? A seed with female genetics from a batch of seeds with female genetics.

what are feminized seeds
Feminized cannabis seeds almost always grow into female plants Female plants are the ones that produce the buds that stoners want because they contain the most THC that makes you feel high

If you want to grow at home, you need female seeds. But with regular seeds, there is only a 50% chance that your plant will be female and it’s very hard to know how to identify female cannabis seeds. In fact, these plants are nearly identical all the way into the flowering stage, when female plants grow buds and male plants develop pollen sacks. But thanks to seed feminization, you can order your favorite strains of cannabis and get seeds 99% guaranteed to be female and grow buds.

What are feminized seeds?

Feminized seeds have been genetically engineered to produce only female plants – 99% guaranteed. Regular seeds contain both X and Y chromosomes, while feminized seeds only contain the X chromosome. These cannabis plants guarantee sticky, seedless, and smokable nugs.

Feminized seeds are not only guaranteed to produce flowers, they’re carefully cultivated to have higher, potent, aromatic yields. They’re also bred to be more resistant to pests and diseases, and they’re more cost-effective because you never waste money on a male plant.

In short, the feminized seed meaning is a simple way to grow great cannabis plants with no chance of pollination.

why do you use feminized seeds survey
When asked why they used feminized seeds respondents of our online survey highlighted their yield potential while consistency in traits and avoidance of male plants are nearly equally important factors

The science behind how cannabis seeds are feminized

Seed feminization is an agricultural technique that was brought into cannabis in the mid-1980s. There are a few different methods of creating feminized seeds.

How do you feminize seeds?

These techniques vary in their specific requirements, but all of them require “stressing” a female cannabis plant until it becomes hermaphroditic and produces pollen sacks. This process calls parthenogenesis and it means that females can produce seeds without male plants. These pollen sacks contain female genetics and are used to pollinate another cannabis plant. An experienced cultivator can make feminized seeds, but for most people, it’s easier to buy feminized seeds.

the process of seeds feminization
During the process of seeds feminization

When feminizing seeds was new to the cannabis industry, some growers worried that the resulting genetics of seed feminization would be unstable and would create hermaphroditic plants, or “hermies.” It wasn’t unusual to have hermie plants from feminized seeds in the 1980s and 1990s, but cultivation techniques have come a long way since then, and hermies from feminized seeds are rare. The guarantee of having female plants is one of the reasons feminized seeds have become so popular with home growers. The Seed Fair offers a 99% guarantee for female plants from feminized seeds.

how seeds feminized
Seeds started to appear in buds

Regular vs feminized seeds: the key difference

When you buy regular cannabis seeds, you may get a mix of male and female seeds. Unfortunately, there’s a 50% chance your plant will be male, and it’s very challenging to tell the difference until after you’ve spent weeks carefully caring for this plant. Worst of all, male plants will pollinate female plants if left together, resulting in fewer nugs, more seeds, and lower amounts of THC – a disappointing end to a growing endeavor. With feminized vs regular seeds, you know you’re getting all female plants – no worry about a wayward male plant getting into the mix.

male and female weed plants comparasion
The difference between a male plant from a regular seeds and a female plant from a feminized seed

One small downside of feminized seeds is that they cannot be used to breed new weed seed genetics since they only produce female plants and are genetically identical. But for most home growers, breeding new cannabis genetics isn’t the goal – getting a big harvest is.

Autoflowering vs feminized seeds

Feminized and autoflower seeds are two common terms in the growing world, and if you want to grow weed, you need to understand them both.

Feminized seeds are seeds that have been specifically cultivated to be female through one of a few techniques. These seeds can be any strain and any type of cannabis plant, indica, or sativa, but are typically photoperiod plants, which means they will enter the flowering phase of their life based on light cycles.

Autoflower seeds are the opposite of photoperiod seeds: they automatically flower after a certain amount of time, regardless of the light cycles in their environment. Autoflower cannabis seeds are made by crossing the cannabis ruderalis plant with cannabis sativa and cannabis indica genetics to create your favorite strains in an easy-to-grow seed. All autoflower seeds are feminized, but not all feminized seeds are autoflowers.

Some tips for growing feminized seeds

  1. Store your seeds in a dark, cool place. The ideal temperature range for ungerminated seeds is around 40 F, so consider storing your seeds in the door of your fridge.
  2. If you’re new to growing, stick to growing one strain of feminized seeds at a time. Different strains can grow to different heights and require different nutrients and light cycles. Sticking with one strain at a time ensures that you can give each grow the care and attention it deserves.
  3. Decide between hydroponic and soil growing. One of the biggest decisions a grower needs to make when growing feminized seeds indoors is whether you’ll plant in soil or in a hydroponic medium. Soil growing is easier, cheaper, and more accessible to a new grower while hydroponic growing reduces the risk of diseases and can increase yield significantly.
  4. Keep the air flowing. During its seedling and vegetative stage, the cannabis plant prefers a relatively humid environment. But when left to sit, humid conditions can cause problems like mold and fungi. Even a small fan in your grow space can help keep the air moving (and will make your plants stronger.)
  5. Use the right nutrients. Feminized seeds need the same nutrients during the grow cycle as traditional seeds. This includes the big three macronutrients: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, as well as micronutrients. Feed sparingly or risk overloading your fledgling plant.
  6. Check the pH. The soil your plant is growing in and the water you give it must be within the proper pH range to encourage growth. This range is slightly basic, between 6 – 6.5. Test the pH of the soil and the water regularly to ensure your plant is in balance.
  7. Plant training. Feminized seeds are bred to have higher yields, but you can make your harvest more bountiful still with the proper stress training. Consider topping, pruning, or ScrOGing your plants to increase the weight of your harvest.
what are feminized seeds definition
With proper care you can help your cannabis plants grow big and dense buds Its like giving them everything they need to reach their full potential

How to choose the right feminized seeds

Feminized seeds are great for growers of all experience levels. Practiced growers appreciate the certainty that comes with feminized seeds and know there is no chance of cross-pollination. For new growers, using feminized seeds means all you have to focus on is the growing environment.

When shopping for feminized seeds, consider the following factors:

  • Strain genetics. Not all cannabis strains are created equal – some are more hearty and resistant while others require a careful touch during cultivation. The strain’s genetics can also affect how stable the plant is during its lifecycle, which includes its stress tolerance, resilience against diseases, and typical yield size. If you’re new to cultivation, look for feminized seeds marked as beginner-friendly.
  • Reliable seed breeder. Where your seeds come from makes a big difference in how well they grow. You can find weed seeds across the internet, but some breeders use shoddy genetics, mislabel seeds, and overestimate yield sizes (or even sneak a male plant into your feminized seeds!) This can leave your plants at risk of diseases, contracting pests, or not making it through their lifecycle. Shopping with a reliable seed breeder like the Seed Fair reduces the risk of plant ailments and challenging grows. The best seed breeders offer you a germination guarantee so you can grow with confidence.
  • Read the reviews. What experiences have other people had ordering from a certain seed breeder? Reviews from past customers can help you put a brand’s claims to the test: is their packaging actually discreet? Is their customer support helpful? Is there a pattern of diseases in their genetics, or do they have dozens of happy cultivators?
  • Price. When feminized seeds were new to the market, they were more expensive than traditional weed seeds. But thanks to cultivation advances, feminized seeds are more affordable, and close to the same price as traditional seeds. At the Seed Fair, our feminized seeds are the same price as our traditional seeds.

Our top feminized seeds for growing

The Seed Fair’s best feminized seeds for cannabis growers of all experience levels.

OG Kush is an OG and a stoner favorite for a reason – with resin-rich trichomes, rich scents of pine and citrus, and a THC percentage averaging around 25%, this strain packs a punch. High Times has named this strain the “Best Strain of All Time” and the Seed Fair has the best genetics. OG Kush grows well for new cultivators and you can expect around 500 grams of harvest per plant with flowering in as little as 9 weeks.

OG Kush
OG Kush feminized seeds

If you’re looking for feminized seeds that deliver a balanced high, look no further than these 1:1 GSC feminized seeds. This strain is a moderate grow and approachable for a new cultivator. It tends to be on the smaller side, topping out around 24 inches tall and flowering after just 6 – 8 weeks. The yield is around 16 oz per square meter of plant indoors, which means you can refill your supply quickly. The CBD balances the intoxicating effects of the THC, delivering a balanced high with euphoria and the munchies.

GSC feminized
Girl Scout Cookies feminized seeds

This pungent, citrusy strain is a classic stoner favorite and one of our Top 5 Cannabis Seeds to Grow. The buds are highly resinous, covered in glistening trichomes packed with THC – usually around 20 – 23%. Most people find this strain to be uplifting, energetic, and euphoric, making it popular with medical and recreational cannabis growers alike. Typical yield for this strain is between 500 – 700 grams. Sour Diesel is considered “intermediate” to grow at home, but most growers report no issues cultivating lush, aromatic buds.

Sour diesel feminized
Sour Diesel feminized seeds

This powerful, earthy strain is not for beginner smokers – it’s potent, dank, and sedating. Described as a “straightforward grow”, Critical Skunk typically yields around 650 grams per plant with aromatic nugs smelling of rich earth with woody notes and an average THC potency around 20%. Many people find this strain to be cerebral, getting the creative juices flowing while helping you sink into a state of relaxation.

critical skunk feminized
Critical Skunk feminized seeds

Final Thoughts

Feminized seeds are guaranteed to produce female plants, giving you a higher yield per grow with resilient, aromatic plants carefully cultivated to grow the best buds. With feminized seeds, you save time, money, and effort because you don’t have to worry about sorting your plant, cross-pollination, or having a male plant mess up your grow room.

To find the best feminized seeds with stable seed genetics, do your research. Find a reputable seed breeder who sells high-quality feminized seeds and shares testimonials from previous customers.

FAQ section

Are regular seeds better than feminized in terms of potency?

No. With regular seeds, there is a 50% chance that your weed plant will be male plants, which do not produce THC. Feminized seeds are guaranteed to be female plants, which produce potent, THC-rich buds under ideal growing conditions.

What is the downside to feminized seeds?

Feminized seeds lack genetic diversity, which can open the door to potential problems like genetic weakness or hermies. Feminized seeds are genetically identical to the mother plant and only produce female plants, so they cannot be used for breeding purposes to create new strain genetics. This is a problem for larger growers more than it is for smaller or home growers.

Are feminized seeds producing 100% female plants?

Feminized seeds are 99% guaranteed to produce female plants. There is no way to entirely remove the risk of producing male plants, and no seed bank in the world can promise 100% certainty.


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