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The term hermie is used to indicate any cannabis plant which displays both female and male organs. Hermaphroditism is a natural process that sometimes occurs accidentally, even after inspecting and scrutinizing your weed plant thoroughly.
Such hermaphrodite plants are difficult to be identified, especially during the early stage. If you’re wondering how to identify a hermaphrodite plant, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, we thoroughly discuss the signs that help identify a hermie plant and separate it from your existing cannabis plants. But, before diving into the details, let’s first examine the causes of hermaphroditism.
What Causes a Marijuana Plant to Hermie?
Hermie cannabis plants normally result from external factors that cause the plant to react. Several factors can persuade cannabis plants to activate their defense mechanisms, resulting in Hermaphroditism. Many of these factors are listed here:
Needless to say, hermie plants tend to produce hermie offspring, and certain cannabis strains are more likely to contain hermaphroditic traits. These strains are much more likely to transform into a hermaphrodite while harvesting. It’s best to avoid these varieties all together, especially for consumption. Thai Sativa is one such notorious variety of cannabis that is well known for its hermaphroditic traits.
If stop to think about it, hermaphroditism is a smart move for the cannabis plant. A hermaphrodite plant doesn’t depend on another plant to reproduce. It can pollinate itself!
However, marijuana plants don’t hermie under normal circumstances. When they experience external pressure that threatens their life, they don’t wait for eternal pollination. Instead, they activate their defense mechanisms in an effort to protect themselves. Hermaphroditism is one such defense mechanism.
Irregular Lightning Routines
Lighting conditions is one of the most important environmental factors that affect hermaphroditism. Cannabis plants that don’t receive light every day, and in the proper consistent lighting schedule, are forced to hermie. Sudden light leaks or extended dark periods are extremely harmful to cannabis plants.
There are some additional stress factors you should be aware of and guard against:
- The abrupt rise in temperature
- Plant problems like lack of nutrition, nutrient burn, pest infestations, unsuitable pH, light burn, etc.
- Purchases from an unknown nursery
Early Signs of Male and Female Cannabis Plants
Before we jump into the signs of a hermie plant, we should briefly discuss how to determine the sex of standard male and female cannabis plants.
Early Signs of Female Cannabis Plants
Signs of a female cannabis plant can be detected early. Pre-flowers will usually develop and appear in the leaf axils at the base of the stem. The pre-flowers will show a small calyx with a pistil extruding from the center. Female plants will also have more branches and leaves than male plants. Sign of pre-flowering will appear when the female plants are approximately 6 to 8 weeks old.
Early Signs of Male Cannabis Plants
Male cannabis plants tend to have the share of a spade and the signs can be seen early in the plant’s development. These signals include the growth of tiny, round pollen sac structures emerging in the leaf axils. The pollen sacs hold the reproductive cells of the male plant and typically show themselves when the plant is about 6-8 weeks old. Males will not have a calyx like their female counterparts, but the pollen sacs will be growing directly on the stem instead. Also, male plants normally have fewer leaves and branches than female plants. Male plants are normally removed from the grow so as not to pollenate the female marijuana plants.
What Are The Early Signs Of Hermie Plants?
Now that we’ve covered the basic gendering technicies for standard male and female cannabis plants we can explore the signs for a hermie plant. Hermie plants normally show signs of hermaphroditism during the flowering period. However, these signs can be divided into three categories and appear at different stages.
Early signs of Hermaphroditism
These signs occur well before the flowering state, hence, the moniker ‘early signs.’ These early signs can be easily spotted and will help determine the sex of your weed plant.
You can find distinct hair growth on female cannabis plants right from the fourth or sixth week of germination. They are whitish and are called pistils. Female cannabis plants also grow calyxes. However, people usually confuse these parts as male components.
That’s why you should not rush to make a decision and always consider expert advice. Otherwise, you might uproot a fertile cannabis plant that would have been great for consumption. Unlike the female weed plants, the male ones grow circular bunches called pods shortly after seed germination.
Let’s go through the three categories of early hermie plant signals one by one.
Scrutinise the calyx in the early stage of cannabis growth
By now you know, the calyx is an important part of a female weed plant. Different plants grow different types of calyxes but can be identified with the naked eye if you are experienced. If you notice frosty, pointy hair growth or pistils, you will know that they are calyxes. This is the point where cannabis seeds would grow upon pollination.
A male flower will look round instead of pointed. The male plant would also not have hairs surrounding it.
Late Flower Stage
As the weed plant starts to grow older, it will become difficult to identify the male parts because the buds will surround it. It becomes even more difficult if the male pollen sacs grow inside the buds.
During the flowering stage, bananas begin to appear on male cannabis plants. These Bananas will split open, pollinating other plants and resulting in the formation of seeds, which grow inside the buds.
Detecting banana formation is important in this regard. If you are unable to detect them on time, they will pollinate all the plants in your grow and produce seeds in the buds.
If you can spot a banana in your female cannabis plant, it’s a definite sign of hermaphroditism. To find that out, look for pistils or buds on your female plant. If you notice any kind of structure shaped like a banana, you need to take immediate steps. Although, people are usually late in finding this out and damage has already been done.
How to Avoid Hermie Formation
If you are determined to prevent hermie formation, you need to take care of the factors that induce hermaphroditism in plants. Let’s go through this in a more detailed manner.
The first thing to do is visit the best marijuana seed banks and buy cannabis strains from reputed sellers. The second most important thing to do is ensure that your marijuana plant enjoys a stress-free life. Here’s how you can do that.
Avoid Irregular Lightning Routines
The light cycles must remain the same every day. Once your marijuana plant has started to develop, make sure the light and dark periods occur at the same time daily. Marijuana plants are especially sensitive to sleep.
Also, don’t change the light routine during the flowering stages. If you are growing cannabis plants indoors, make sure to use a reliable light timer for your grow room. Additionally, check that your outdoor plants aren’t exposed to street lights, flaring mobile torch lights, floodlights, etc. During your plant’s flowering period, it’s important to make sure it gets twelve hours of interrupted sleep.
Avoid Temperature Fluctuations
For the healthy growth of cannabis plants, temperature ranges of 18 to 30°C are ideal. Try to maintain this temperature range to prevent hermaphroditism.
If the temperature rises too high, there’s a considerable chance of triggering hermaphroditism. If you are watering the plants, remember that ice-cold temperature isn’t suitable for marijuana plants. You might think that cold water on a hot summer day will provide relief to your cannabis plant, but the temperature change can easily shock your plant and trigger defense mechanisms that might result in hermaphroditism.
If temperatures are warm, make sure the water is warm too. Always give your plants what they would expect under natural conditions. Growers are also advised to reduce temperatures at night as compared to the daytime. You must take good care of your cannabis plant and remember not to leave it on a cool surface for a prolonged period.
Don’t Light Burn Your Plants
Though bright light is essential for the successful growth of your cannabis plants, you should not expose your plant to extremely bright lights. It can cause light burns and trigger the plant to activate its defense mechanism.
Don’t keep lights too close to your marijuana crops either. Too much exposure to brightness might cause stress, resulting in hermaphroditism of cannabis plants. Now, different strains of marijuana can withstand different brightness levels. Talk to your seller about your specific plants and know the range of brightness that’s ideal for your plant.
Cannabis plants need to be handled very gently. They are extremely sensitive. Don’t prune or cut off the stems during their flowering stage, don’t water excessively, and avoid adding excess fertilizers or pesticides. Any of these mistakes could lead to a hermie plant.
Act Proactively to Prevent Plant Problems
Being a responsible marijuana grower, you have to be diligent and proactive. Look out for problems constantly and take quick action when problems are identified. Regular inspection of crops is extremely important. If any problem becomes a stress factor, it would be very hard to stop the plant from hermaphroditism. The problems you must look out for are:
- Lack of nutrients
- Feeding your plants excessively
- Loss of leaves due to pests
- Pest infestations
How to prevent buying cannabis with hermaphroditic traits?
Before you grow weed plants, you must know about the strains that are prone to hermaphroditic changes. Avoid buying such strains whenever possible. You can take the following steps to ensure that you buy good-quality cannabis plants that will produce top-quality yields.
Buy Seeds from a Trusted Grower or Nursery
Always visit a trustworthy seed bank that has been growing cannabis for a long time. It’s always advisable to prefer experienced and professional breeders. Our guide to finding the best cannabis seeds is a great place to start.
Finding Quality Seeds
The success of every journey depends on how you start it. Before you start to grow cannabis plants, you must select top-quality seeds for yourself! We have create a list of reputable seed banks for you to consider. Make sure you abide by the laws and regulations for cannabis production.
Now that you have learned a lot about hermaphroditic plants and how to prevent hermaphroditism, you must be wondering if you can save a hermie plant. This topic can cause major debates among cannabis breeders and there seems to be no final answer. We may explore this question in further date in a future article.
What should I do if my weed plant turns out to be a hermaphrodite?
The safest option is to uproot the plant to prevent the other cannabis plants from turning into a Hermie.
Can I smoke a hermie plant?
Yes, one can use a hermaphrodite plant for smoking purposes.
What is a hermie cannabis plant?
A hermie cannabis plant refers to a plant that develops both male and female organs. This type of cannabis plant should be removed from your crop immediately. Otherwise, they will start pollinating your other plants as well. Hermaphroditism is a natural process that occurs accidentally.
What leads to hermaphroditism in cannabis plants?
Various reasons could lead to this phenomenon. Some of the primary reasons include:
- Irregular lightning routines
- External stress
Can a hermie marijuana plant pollinate?
Yes, a hermie marijuana plant can pollinate your female marijuana plants. If you let this happen, it will produce more hermie plants among your crop. This is why you are advised to remove all the hermie plants as soon as you detect them. Otherwise, it can ruin all your plants.
Can you avoid hermie cannabis plants?
There are a few things you can do to avoid hermie plants. This can be done by avoiding temperature fluctuations, and irregular lighting routines. You must also handle your cannabis plants with care and not subject them to external stress. Also, make sure that your plants don’t get light burned. If you notice any hermie plants, you must eliminate them immediately.
Some breeders advise people to mix a hermie plant with another species of cannabis to save it. Some don’t support this idea, saying that buds that the mixed seed plant would produce will also contain hermaphroditic traits. We advise people to uproot a hermaphrodite weed plant entirely to present its spread and protect the remaining cannabis plants.
I’m an avid gardener and cannabis enthusiast. You can usually find me in my garden caring for my plants or at my computer crafting helpful blogs for my readers.