Although considered rare among humans and other animals, the existence of both male and female features, also known as hermaphroditism, is a curious phenomenon rather common in plants. In some cases, plants depend entirely on hermaphroditism in order to grow, thrive and spread within a given environment. However, when growing marijuana, it is paramount that you identify and remove hermaphrodite plants from your cannabis crop to avoid pollination that could cause your whole garden of female plants to start forming seeds, significantly lowering the quality of your harvest.
In the discussion that follows, we explore cannabis hermaphroditism in detail to understand its overall effect on the plant, ways to prevent it, stop from developing, and use hermies to your good in case hermaphrodite genes overtake. Let’s dive in!
What Exactly Is A Hermaphrodite Cannabis?
Simply put, hermaphrodite marijuana produces both male and female flowers. This means that an individual plant simultaneously has male and female characteristics such as pollen sacks and buds. More often than not, hermaphroditic tendency is highly undesirable in the cultivation of cannabis. Why? Because even a single hermaphrodite cannabis plant can pollinate the rest of the weed crop and deprive you of sinsemilla, unpollinated buds with high THC content that growers use for smoking or making cannabis products. As you’ll see later in the article, hermaphrodite cannabis plants can still be put to use. However, their potency, quality and quantity of bud will never compare to that of female cannabis.
Regular Marijuana Seeds
What Does A Hermaphrodite Cannabis Plant Look Like?
If you have some experience with pot farming, you will easily pick out the early signs of hermaphrodite plants. Just by observation, it’s easy to distinguish hermies from male or female plants:
- In their younger stages, these plants start to form pollen sacs along with female bud sites even before they are mature enough for flower production.
- Hermie weed plants also grow mixed-sex buds often referred to as “nanners” – a name derived from their banana-like shape. They are easily identifiable because they grow like a bunch of bananas.
- Seeds of hermaphrodite plants stand out because they develop outside the flower bud.
- A hermaphrodite plant also tends to be shorter than other plants because the effect of the process hampers and stunts normal growth.
What To Do When A Hermie Plant Is Found
If you spot a hermaphrodite plant in your crop, it is advisable to remove it as soon as possible, as a single hermie can pollinate an entire crop and deprive you of the potent female buds every grower wants. If you’re not looking for a crop that has a lower THC level and overall lower quality, you must not only learn to identify hermaphrodite plants but also distinguish between male and female plants. On a positive note, if your plants have already entered the flowering phase and you detected a hermie that has produced just a few male flowers, you can still save the harvest.
Can You Save A Hermie Plant?
Yes, luckily you can save a hermie plant and still harvest sinsemilla buds from it. These are the steps you need to undertake:
- At first sight of a hermaphrodite plant, immediately remove it from the garden and place it apart from the rest of your plants. You need to do it to minimize the risks of unwanted pollination.
- Closely follow the development of the hermie’s sex organs. When you detect male cannabis pollen sacks/balls/”bananas”, carefully remove them with a pair of sterilized tweezers.
- Keep checking the plant daily and remove any reappearing male organs.
If you do everything correctly and timely remove all of the male cannabis sex organs from the hermie plant, you’ll be able to have the harvest you were hoping for.
How Can A Hermaphrodite Cannabis Plant Be Used?
A hermaphrodite cannabis plant can still be useful in a number of ways.
Pollinating Cannabis And Feminizing Seeds With Hermie Weed
In a situation where you want to produce seeds and have no alternative methods of pollinating your crop, you can produce a hermaphrodite plant from your females and use it for pollination. Nonetheless, you need to remember that seeds from hermie plants will have a higher chance of growing into another hermaphrodite.
Similarly, a hermaphrodite cannabis plant is useful in feminizing seeds. This is the process of pollinating cannabis crops with hermie pollen so that eventually, all the seeds that grow out of it are feminized. All you need to do afterward is remove the seeds and dry them properly, then grow them under the right conditions.
Feminized Cannabis Seeds
Making Concentrates From Hermie Weed
The amount of THC in hermaphrodite cannabis is very low. However, you can still make concentrates from it that will be as potent as those made from female plants.
Cannabis Strains For Concentrates
Smoking Hermaphrodite Weed
Although it doesn’t have as much potency as pure female plants, hermaphrodite cannabis can still be smoked*. It may not give you the desired effect, but it does no harm to feel the difference.
What Causes Hermaphrodite Plants In Cannabis? Avoid These Factors!
If you came to read this article in order to prepare yourself for meeting a possible hermie plant in your cannabis garden, you need to know that there are several main ways through which hermaphrodite plants form.
The first is simple genetics, where the hermaphroditic features are carried along the plant’s DNA and passed down through generations. Hermaphrodite cannabis seeds that genetically acquire their traits from a hermaphrodite mother plant are referred to as “true” hermaphrodites. While these offsprings don’t necessarily become hermaphrodites, they have a higher chance of this at the slightest provocation by stressful conditions. That’s why it’s crucial to choose cannabis seeds from trusted seed banks - it brings the chance of getting a true hermaphrodite seed in a pack to the minimum.
The other cause is environmental influences. As a response to unfriendly or stressful conditions of growth, a cannabis plant will become a hermaphrodite as a coping mechanism. Conditions such as lack of water, low or too much light and lack of important nutrients may lead a plant to become a “hermie.”
In other situations, once a female plant realizes there are no male plants for pollination (fertilization), it may become hermaphroditic in an effort to procreate. Because of that, failing to harvest your crop on time increases the chances of producing hermaphrodites.
What Are The Chances Of Getting A Hermaphrodite Weed Plant?
All female cannabis plants are potential hermaphrodites. However, in ideal circumstances, chances of females becoming hermaphrodite cannabis plants during cultivation are low. The good thing is that since we already know what causes hermaphroditism, it’s easier to keep the potential of this under control.
Hermie Cannabis: The Round-Up
The desire of any cannabis grower is to produce as many female flowers as possible, as this gives users the chance to consume cannabis with a higher concentration of desired compounds such as THC and CBD. However, hermaphrodite weed can sometimes come in the way. Luckily, you can still save the harvest early identification and closely following the growth of your crop is key to getting an overall harvest you’ll be satisfied with.
Besides genetics, stress is identified as the main cause of cannabis plants turning hermaphrodite. One of the most ideal ways of avoiding hermaphroditic plants is to ensure your crop grows in a stress-free environment. This generally means providing just enough light (not too much, nor too little), water, nutrients, and keeping your plants free from pests and disease.
*All text and images on our website are for informative, entertainment or scientific purposes only. Herbies Seeds in no way condones, promotes or incites the use of illegal or controlled substances.