Determining the sex of your marijuana plants is the first crucial step to a fruitful growth. Cannabis plants can be male or female. Males are not useful in bud production. That’s why many growers look for pollen sacs on the female plant for a great harvest.
Characteristics of Normal Male and Female Cannabis Plants
Female plants have a special characteristic that sets them apart from male cannabis plants. Females have pointed green calyxes which will sprout a thin and white pistil. It is a hair-like part of your female products that grow from their calyx.
On the other hand, male plants have green and round pollen sacs which will enlarge and will not sprout a white and thin pistil. Get these pollen sacs as soon as you see them on any of your cannabis plants. Catch them before they burst which can damage your crop.
It’s simple to spot how female cannabis plants differ from males. However, there are times that cannabis plants become hermaphrodites. This issue occurs to female cannabis plants, typically in case of growing stress. Therefore, pollen sacs on female plant aren’t gender-neutral.
Hermaphrodites – What are They?
Do you see both flowers and pollen sacs in one or two of your cannabis plants? If so, those plants are hermaphrodites. Hermaphrodites can pollinate themselves and reproduce. That may sound good to your eyes, but hermaphrodites can destroy your crop just like what males can do. Their only benefit is that breeders use them to produce feminized seeds.
According to Wikipedia.org, this odd thing happens only to female plants. They may become hermaphrodites not only because they want to. Instead, it happens to them in some situations. In bad cases like the plants are experiencing stress or they are not getting the right amount of nutrients, some of your female marijuana plants can turn into hermaphrodites.
Don’t freak out if you see hermaphrodites in your crop. It’s not the end of the world. These plants are still capable of producing buds because they are still females. However, they will have a lower resin concentration. That means they don’t produce a strong high.
Having hermaphrodites in your grow room can be a catastrophic scenario if you are a commercial cannabis grower. It’s because hermaphrodites produce low-quality and not sellable cannabis seeds. This means it will severely reduce the quality and quantity of your harvest.
Hermaphrodites are as dangerous as male cannabis plants. However, always remember that male marijuana plants are not completely useless. Instead, they play a crucial role in breeding cannabis.
Causes of Hermaphroditism in Cannabis Plants
Hermaphroditism in marijuana plants has two origins, namely environmental and genetic. Genetically, some strains of cannabis tend to be more sensitive to hermaphroditism compared to others. The genetic origin of a cannabis strain can explain it. For instance, Thai Sativa strains typically reach a higher percentage of being hermaphrodites genetically. Sometimes, it happens due to the method used in producing cannabis seeds.
Stress is unhealthy even for cannabis plants. Whatever their genetic sensitivity is, female marijuana plants can turn into hermaphrodites due to stress. If the plants find it hard to develop flowers, hermaphroditism will be the natural way for them to shorten the flowering period. Hermaphrodites will start pollinating the female flowers using the pollen of some male clusters known as “bananas.”
Stress highly increases the chances of vulnerable female plants to become hermaphrodites. It occurs due to several reasons, like:
- Changes made within the photoperiod. These include the interruptions in the dark period throughout the flowering phase.
- High temperature (approximately 27 Celsius)
- Bad environmental conditions
- Delayed harvesting when you miss the right time for collecting the buds
- Mechanical stress. These involve damaged roots, broken branches, trimming during flowering, and many more
- Irrigation problems, which can be excessive or poor irrigation
- Diseases, mites, and insects
- Thermal stress which includes irrigating cannabis plants using cold water
- Use of pesticides, fungicides, and phytotoxic products that are widely available in the market these days.
How to Prevent Your Cannabis Plants from Becoming Hermaphrodites?
In getting rid of hermaphrodites, the key rule will be to protect your plants from any form of stress especially when they’re in the flowering period. Stress indirectly causes cannabis plants to become hermaphrodites, so you should control it to reduce the chances of hermaphroditism to take place.
Trimming and staking of your marijuana plants will be necessary throughout their development, particularly in the pre-flowering stage. Therefore, you should be familiar with the exact flowering period of your cannabis plants because trimming and staking them is a must before the buds begin to appear.
To lower your chances to have hermaphrodites in your grow room, you must maintain the ideal environmental conditions based on your preferred growing space. Likewise, you should practice proper hygiene, regular monitoring of your timer, inspection of the plants for mites and insects, and proper watering routine with a well-balanced nutrient solution.
When the flowering time is over, carefully examine the trichomes of your cannabis plants to avoid missing the exact harvest due date. If you’re planning to cultivate new cannabis strains on your next crop, find out what other cannabis growers say about the strains. Also, look for some pieces of advice and suggestions from the seed banks.
Before cultivating new strains of marijuana, educate yourself about them first. This will help you a lot not just in growing new plants but also in avoiding those cannabis strains with tendencies to become hermaphrodites. The truth is, if there are too many customers claiming the hermaphroditism of a cannabis strain, the breeder automatically withdraws the strain from the market.
The regular marijuana seeds tend to be less sensitive to hermaphroditism compared to feminized seeds. While this is not a myth, every cannabis grower should carefully check his plants for male flowers regardless of the kind of marijuana plants he grows.
What Should You Do If You Have Hermaphrodite Cannabis Plants?
As said before, you must carefully check your plants for male flowers when the flowering period begins. During this growth period, male flowers are easier to recognize because of their yellow color and banana-like shape. Likewise, you should check your cannabis plants for insects or mites, molds, and other common marijuana pests.
If some of your marijuana plants show both female and male flowers from the start of the flowering period, you should eliminate them right away from your growing space. If not, they will surely pollinate the other female plants which will let them transmit their hermaphrodite characteristic to their offspring.
When your cannabis plants become hermaphrodites in the last part of the flowering process, you can deal with them in two ways:
- If there are fewer male flowers, remove them by using a pair of tweezers. Make sure they are clean before using them. You can clean them with alcohol and spray them with water. Water is a good sterilizing solution for pollen. After removing all those male flowers, continue checking your plants for new flowers, and repeat the provided steps.
- If your cannabis plants have more male flowers, you have no other choice but to remove these problematic plants from your grow room. Ultimately, if some of your pollen sacs on the pollen sacs on female plant become hermaphrodites when the flowering period ends, start harvesting the buds right away to prevent the male flowers from releasing their pollen.
Did You See Seeds in Your Grow Room?
If there are seeds in your harvest while there are no male plants somewhere in your growing space, this means there are hermaphrodites hiding in your crop. These unremoved abnormal cannabis plants released their pollen to your female plants, which produced those unwanted seeds. Unfortunately, when this type of pollination takes place, the female plants will spend its energy on seed production, not on producing flowers.
As said before, these new pollen sacs on female plant produced by hermaphrodites will also carry this unwanted trait, which will destroy entirely your crop in the long run. Thus, you should not hesitate to remove them for good in your grow room.
In just one glance, you may find getting rid of hermaphrodites in your growing space a difficult task to finish. However, now that you know how to deal with them, things will be much easier.
What is the Easiest Way to Keep Your Growing Space Free from Hermaphrodites?
Well, the best preventive solution to this issue is to get feminized marijuana seeds. Feminized means your seeds are 100% females, no males, or even hermaphrodites. Thus, you don’t need to check the growing plants for pollen sacs or banana-shaped flowers. Your harvest will be of the best quality, always!
How to Buy Feminized Marijuana Seeds Sale
You can buy feminized marijuana seeds sale through the web or at a local dispensary. To be sure of the quality, get your cannabis seeds from a reputable seed company. Most cannabis growers prefer getting their supplies from an online seed company.
Buying feminized cannabis seeds online is easy, safe, and convenient. The entire process will be discreet and protected. Your order will arrive at your doorsteps on time in a good sealed condition. Nobody will ever know that you bought cannabis seeds.