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Grow Q&A: Can I Start A Motherplant From Feminized Pot Seeds

Dear Dan, Greetings. Out of a pack of six feminized Sour Tangie seeds from Reserva Privada, I was blessed to find one really nice phenotype. It’s an indica-dominant pheno that’s loaded with resin and finishes in less than 50 days. It hasn’t proven to be a great yielder, but I’m learning to dial it in and my latest harvest was the heaviest so far. I like the strain a lot and want to keep it around, at least until I find another.
As I learn more about cultivation, I’m finding that it is generally recommended that you use regular seeds when searching for a phenotype for a mother plant. What are the reasons for this?  I know that one reason is that plants from fem seeds have more likelihood of showing hermaphroditism down the line. I’d imagine this is because by taking male genes out of the equation, you’re forcing the biology of the plant to make a decision – go hermie or go extinct. But when you grow regular seeds and remove all the males and keep a female plant going for extended period through cloning, you are essentially doing the same thing so don’t the plants have just as much of a chance of going hermie? – J

Dear J,
It’s usually not recommended to choose mother plants from feminized seeds due to the problems you’ve mentioned. Because of the way they’re produced, they do have a tendency to go hermie more than plants grown from regular seeds but that’s not the only reason.

The reason people grow plants from feminized seeds is to avoid growing out any males. This convenience comes with a caveat: some of the plants can turn out to be hermaphrodites due to their genetics. Plants grown from regular seeds can also be hermies, but it’s far less likely and typically due to stress such as light leaks or major fluctuations in their environment.

Regular seeds from a reputable breeder will be F1 hybrids. These plants exhibit hybrid vigor, a tendency to grow stronger than even their parents in the first filial generation. This makes motherplants grown from regular seeds far more desirable than those from feminized seeds that are produced by “selfing” and backcrossing. They have much less of a chance of turning out to be hermaphrodites due to their strong genetics.

There’s no guarantee that your Sour Tangie mother plant from feminized seeds will produce clones that will herm out on you. If they do, get rid of the mom and start over with regular seeds. If they don’t, you got lucky and can continue to produce clones from your mom. Just remember that feminized seeds are produced for the purpose of growing out once, not for making mother plants.

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Written By

Danny Danko is a writer, photographer and the Senior Cultivation Editor of High Times magazine. He has selected High Times’ annual Top 10 Strains of the Year since 2005 and is also the creator and founder of the High Times Seed Bank Hall of Fame, author of The Official High Times Field Guide to Marijuana Strains and the forthcoming book Cannabis: A Beginner's Guide to Growing Marijuana. He hosts the podcast High Times presents "Free Weed from Danny Danko."

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