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Hermaphrodite cannabis

Hermaphrodite Cannabis: How to Identify and What to Do With It

A hermi weed plant sounds cute, but it’s a severe condition that can have a massive effect on the viability of your harvest. These plants guarantee the survival of their genes by self-pollinating in certain situations. 

This biological trait is incredibly clever for the continuation of the species, but it can cause harm to the coveted flowers. What does a hermaphrodite pot plant look like? We’ll show you the signs of hermaphrodite cannabis.

Learn about this strange natural phenomenon and what effects it can have on your prized cannabis buds. 

Let’s get started.

An introduction to cannabis genders

Unlike most flowering plants, cannabis is dioecious. It means each plant grows male or female sex organs in separate individuals. Most vegetation is monoecious (both sex organs on a single specimen) and self-pollinates.

Hermaphrodite cannabis and bisexual flowers occur due to stress-causing gender change. To understand that impact, you first need to know about cannabis plant anatomy.

Male cannabis plants

Breeders use males to create new strains as they don’t produce the delectable bud that tokers want. Hermie pot plants are similar.

lots of pollen sacs on a male plant

Like most species, the main biological aim is reproduction. Males fertilize the females to make the seeds that herald the next generation.

a male plant with balls on stems

Fast-growing male plants show pre-flowers at the nodes about 3–4 weeks after germination. The sex organs are green, ball-shaped pollen sacs, making determining sex simple with some experience.

a male cannabis plant

In cannabis, male plants create staminate blooms which don’t contain significant cannabinoids.

Marijuana cultivators or smokers who want unpollinated buds have no use for male or hermie plants.

male cannabis plant with a pollen sac

Female cannabis plants

Most cultivators hope to grow females and produce the blooms that delight cannabis consumers. Fertilized females and hermi weed plants quit making the buds and the valuable cannabinoids and terpenes they contain. 

a female cannabis plant

Most growers aim for seedless cannabis; they remove all male specimens when the pre-flowers appear to avoid compromising the crop.

a female weed plant with pistils at the nodes

Female sex organs appear on cannabis seedlings after about 4–6 weeks of vegetative growth. Spot them at the nodes on the stem where branches form. You should notice the initial twin white pistils, which eventually bunch up into calyxes that protect the buds.

a female plant in a vegetative growth

Can a hermaphrodite plant pollinate the females? Yes, it can; more on that later.

a female cannabis plant producing buds

What are hermaphrodite cannabis plants?

Hermaphrodite weed plants have dual sex organs and can pollinate themselves. They occur in nature and are an ingenious ploy to ensure survival, but they can rain on a grower’s parade. 

In cannabis, hermie pollen sacs can grow on female plants if the plant senses environmental conditions are unfavorable to complete flowering.

These biological oddities may self-pollinate but can also create seeds in nearby females. Early hermaphrodite cannabis plant identification is crucial.

What causes hermies?

Most herm plants occur in response to stresses during the cannabis flowering stage. These may include:

  • Hot or cold temperature stress
  • Overwatering or underwatering
  • Problems with the photoperiod or light leaks during flowering
  • A pH imbalance
  • Issues with fertilization
  • Physical stress from training regimes
  • Harvesting too late
  • Root rot
  • Using pesticides (phytotoxins)
  • Infestations

Does genetics matter?

It does. Some cannabis plants are more predisposed to result in hermie offspring. Thai sativas are particularly famous for producing hermaphrodite crops, and there isn’t much you can do to change it. 

If unchecked, these problems can be damaging. Marijuana plants throw themselves a lifeline with self-pollination, but what does it mean for your crop, and what are the cannabis hermaphrodite signs?

How to spot a cannabis hermie

You need to remove hermaphrodite marijuana plants from your grow, but how do you identify them? There are two different kinds of hermies. 

a cannabis hermie

True hermaphrodites have both male and female sex organs but on different parts of the plant. They’re uncommon, but you could still be in for a surprise after determining the sex of your crops.

this is how a cannabis hermaphrodite look

Hermaphrodite plants usually display the male weed plant balls earlier. If you leave them for about two weeks, they also start showing the feminine wispy pale pistils.

Bisexual flowers are tougher to spot and control. The stamens grow directly on the blooms. Importantly, they can immediately pollinate as they’re not covered

Stamens are yellow with a peculiar shape that led to their nicknames ‘bananas’ or ‘nanners.’ They are like those within the pollen sacs, but the sacs take a few weeks to split open, giving growers time to eradicate males.

nanners on the buds

So, you’ve grown a hermie… what to do with it?

You have a few options when you find a hermie weed plant flowering. Determine what kind of herm it is, with the growth stage all-important. 

It’s a true hermaphrodite if it bears both male and female organs. It’s best to pull them out immediately. If unsure, look through our pictures of hermaphrodite pot plants for identification.

Move the hermaphrodite marijuana plant and complete its life cycle in a sealed area. It allows you to harvest even though they’re heavily seeded. Employ the female cannabis seeds and still consume the lower-grade bud.

It’s possible but tricky to cut off the male pollen sacs when they develop or before they open. It’s risky because you could miss some and pay the price. This action presents the opportunity for an ample, unfertilized harvest if your hermie pot plant is flowering.

If you spot bisexual buds, your recourse is limited. Check our hermaphrodite cannabis pictures to be sure, but if you leave them, the stamens could pollinate all nearby females. Some growers use the seeds for the next generation of hybrid plants.

The second option is to pull it out. Destroy the plant completely, as the pollen can still fertilize from a distance. You could also separate and isolate herm weed to harvest the seeds and flowers when it’s time.

The final choice is to harvest immediately. You’ll get immature buds and a light yield, but they may even be seedless if you spot the bananas soon enough. This option is the safest for the rest of your plants.

How to avoid hermaphrodite weed: Better prevent than cure

There are various actions you can implement to avoid hermies. Most occur due to stress and can be difficult to discern, so check out the pictures of hermaphrodite plants.

First up, choose high-quality seeds. Select strains that aren’t predisposed to growing both sex organs, like the famously sticky Gorilla Glue #4. Quality feminized seeds from respectable and trusted breeders result in female plants over 99% of the time. 

Light is invaluable for efficient growth, but photoperiod plants also need uninterrupted darkness, especially when flowering. Light leaks or varying schedules at this time can cause hermaphrodite buds. Outdoor growers must watch out for streetlights or sensitive security lamps.

cannabis nanners”

Temperature variations can also prompt hermaphrodite marijuana. Consistent air temps that fall between 70–80⁰ F should keep your plants happy, but any higher is likely to cause cannabis heat stress

Check your watering temperature. Thermal stress can occur if you use liquid that’s much colder than the air temp.

Complementary pH levels are vital, so you’ll need regular cannabis soil pH testing. If it’s too acidic or too alkaline, it can induce herms. 

Nutrient deficiencies or excesses can also unbalance growth patterns and result in hermie buds. 

Taking cuttings from healthy flowering mothers transfers the exact DNA to the clone. While it prevents true hermies, adverse conditions can still lead to bisexual flowers with bananas.

Mechanical stress through low-stress training (LST) can improve output and quality, but overreach can cause your plant to develop male traits. Breaking branches, damaging roots, or pruning during the flowering stage can lead to herm weed.

Don’t wait too long to pick your buds. Unfertilized flowering plants could develop male sex organs to self-pollinate before it dies. 

Once the trichomes have changed from clear to cloudy, it’s time to harvest. Don’t put it off to avoid decreasing THC levels and increased potential for hermie marijuana plants.

Hermaphrodite cannabis plants: FAQs

While hermaphroditism is confusing for plants, it can be even more so for growers. We answer a few of the most common questions on this topic:

Can you smoke hermaphrodite bud?

You sure can smoke buds from hermaphrodites, but they’re unlikely to be of excellent quality. Understand when to harvest a hermie plant; if you cut them down early, they’ll not be as mature or potent. 

You could also allow the crop to mature, but the flowers become heavily seeded. If you reap straight away, the yield suffers with light, loose buds. The hermaphrodite marijuana flowers may still be seedless, but you’re unlikely to get as high.

If you allow them to form male cannabis seeds, the plants focus on producing them instead. They stop churning out THC, CBD, and all the other cannabinoids and terpenes, reducing potency and effect. 

Are hermaphrodite and bisexual plants the same?

No, they aren’t. Hermaphrodite weed first shows its male pollen sacs before producing the first female pistils a week or two later. 

Bisexual plants are a bit trickier because of ‘nanners,’ oblong yellow sacs shaped like bunches of tiny bananas. These are the male sex organs, produced as the plant fears it may be unable to create seeds.

These bananas look and operate like the stamens inside male pollen sacs. As there is no covering, these can disperse pollen immediately and fertilize females in the area. The host is especially at risk.

Can cannabis clones be hermaphrodites?

When you slice the clones from an old mother plant, they can. This action can result in hermie plants, so it’s vital to proceed with care. Some growers assume clones can’t be herms, which can be an expensive mistake.

How to turn a hermie back into a female

In short, you can’t. Some growers claim their plants show male sex organs, but this stops when they repeatedly eliminate them. They report hefty harvests after using sterilized tweezers to snip off any new, unwanted weed plant balls.

The plant doesn’t turn back into a female, but you could carefully usher it to completion.

No delight with hermaphrodites

Now you know what hermie cannabis is and how it can affect your harvest. You can tell the difference between male and female pre-flowers and what causes them to appear on the same plant. 

You’ve seen hermaphrodite cannabis plant pictures to ease detection and learned what to do if they occur. You also learned the best ways to avoid these mixed-sex versions and how to prevent propagating them.

A hermed weed plant can trash your entire grow, so early detection and swift action are essential. If you spot one, act fast. 

Buy high-quality cannabis seeds from i49 Seed Bank and start tending your crop. Armed with the above knowledge, you should be able to spot and deal with these unwanted imposters.


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