To avoid this issue, try to maintain a stable environment in your grow room. Use a thermo-hygrometer to monitor temperature and humidity, keep your light schedule strict, and ensure your plants get all the nutrients they require.
Hermaphrodite cannabis plants come in two different forms: true hermaphrodites and “bananas”.
“Banana” hermaphrodites get their name from their physical characteristics. Instead of producing separate organs, they develop a bare pollen-producing stamen within the female flower. This naked appendage drops pollen directly onto buds to ensure self-reproduction. These stamens share a similar shape and colour to a certain tropical fruit, hence their name.
HOW TO AVOID HERMAPHRODITE PLANTS IN YOUR GROW ROOM
During the early flowering stage, take a stroll around your grow room or garden with a magnifying glass or jeweller’s loupe. Inspect a few nodes on each plant to see how far along into the flowering process they are. At this stage, you won’t see any obvious flowers or pollen sacs. Instead, you’re looking for young pre-flowers. Although these tiny structures look similar, they have distinct features that allow growers to tell them apart.
Despite their differences, all female plants share one thing in common: they produce flowers. These flowers, colloquially known as buds, possess small glandular structures called trichomes that produce cannabinoids such as THC and CBD.
Female cannabis plants are the main focus of casual growers looking to harvest a personal stash. But, depending on their genetics, female plants can look drastically different from one another. Some remain small, producing dense canopies and significant lateral growth. Others grow in excess of 3m, produce massive harvests, and look more like trees than regular garden plants.
Even if you have all of these bases covered, plants can still pollinate themselves due to poor genetics. Plants with a bad genetic history and too much genetic variation are prone to becoming hermaphrodites. For this reason, it’s important to shop with reputable companies that offer high-quality seeds with stable genetics.
So even if you use feminized seeds, it is advised to keep a close eye and determine the sex of the plant as soon as you can. As there’s always a small chance at finding a male plant in your garden which could screw up your harvest, or for the plant to turn from female to hermaphrodite and develop both sexes on one cannabis plant; as we’ll explain later on.
Male Cannabis Plants are recognized by the formation of pollen sacs on the plant’s nodes. This happens around the same time as female reproductive organs should be forming. Although female plants tend to develop their reproductive organs a bit faster. Luckily, these male pollen sacs can be distinguished pretty easily. As they look like small balls hanging from the side of the plant; instead of the upward facing hairs from the female plant.
Feminized Cannabis Seeds
You don’t have to be an expert on the plant to at some point have encountered the term ‘feminized’ in relation to cannabis seeds. As the name suggests, this means cannabis plants can be either female or male and in some cases have both sexes. This is what you need to know to spot Male, Female and Hermaphrodite cannabis plants in your garden:
The cannabis plants most consumers know and love are often female. As these are the plants that produce the smokeable flowers – the dried buds – but which can also be grown at home. These weed flowers, buds, or ‘colas’ are covered in trichomes / resin which holds the plant’s active components, like cannabinoids and terpenes. Male cannabis plants however are less popular with consumers, as their only task in life is to release pollen into the air.
Hermaphrodite cannabis plants develop both female and male reproductive organs
Yesterday I entered my bloom-phase grow room and was met with a dreaded sight. Dotted before me like rebellious agitators were several hermaphrodite flowers popping up on my cannabis plants, which had been grown from a feminized seed of the same strain.
Plant stress also occurs when growers use inferior bloom boosters that have the wrong amounts, types and ratios of phosphorus and potassium.
Common Causes Of Hermies
I immediately killed the first hermie I saw, and moved the other plants of that strain into a different place in the garden where air movement was far less likely to reach them. I don’t want air movement across potential pollen plants because it will spread the pollen to every plant in the grow room. Even a few hermaphrodite flowers can ruin your seedless buds, especially on the hermie plant itself and plants next to it.
What I want to emphasize is, unless I’m breeding for seeds, I don’t want male pollen anywhere around my female plants. That’s why if I’m growing marijuana from non-feminized seeds in a non-breeding grow op, I kill the males as soon as they show their sex. It’s also why I kill all hermie females. I don’t want to take the risk of having any pollen in my grow room.
If they look hermie free throughout peak bloom phase, you can back off the monitoring a little, perhaps being vigilant every other day. When late bloom comes, start daily monitoring again. By that time, if you see hermaphrodite structures, you don’t have to kill the plant, because you’re going to be harvesting in a few days anyway, and the pollen won’t have a chance to seed the buds.