In both the animal and plant kingdom, hermaphroditic organisms elicit a lot of interest. Luckily, this is an area that has been widely studied, thus availing us with a wealth of knowledge. The existence of both male and female features in plants and animals, also known as hermaphroditism, is mainly a natural occurrence. Although considered rare among humans and other animals, this is rather common in plants. In some cases, plants depend entirely on hermaphroditism in order to grow, thrive and spread within a given environment. It is paramount that you identify and remove hermaphrodite plants from your cannabis crop to avoid pollination that could cause your whole crop of female plants to start forming seeds, significantly lowering the quality of your harvest. In the discussion that follows, we explore these phenomena in detail to understand its overall effect on the cannabis plant.
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 grains and buds. More often than not, hermaphroditic tendency is highly undesirable in the cultivation of cannabis because of the risk of unwanted pollination.
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What Causes Hermaphrodite Plants In Cannabis?
There are two 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 offspring don’t necessarily become hermaphrodites, they have a higher chance of this at the slightest provocation by stressful conditions.
The other cause is environmental influences. As a response to unfriendly or stressful conditions of growth, a cannabis plant will become a hermaphroditic 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.” Such plants are referred to as “nanners” – a name derived from the banana-like shape they develop. They are easily identifiable because they crop together among buds and grow like a bunch of bananas.
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. In addition, failing to harvest your crop on time increases the chances of producing hermaphrodites.
What Are The Chances Of Getting A Hermaphrodite 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. Moreover, in a situation where you have no alternative methods of pollinating your crop, you can produce a hermaphrodite plant from your females and use it for pollination. Nonetheless, you must exercise great control and caution in this exercise.
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 even before they are mature enough for flower production. 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.
How Can A Hermaphrodite Cannabis Plant Be Used?
A hermaphrodite cannabis plant is still useful in a number of ways.
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.
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.
Although it doesn’t have as much effect 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 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 remove them without destroying the entire plantation. This is done using a sterilized pair of tweezers.
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. Early identification and closely following the growth of your crop is therefore 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.