Cannabis, like those who love it, doesn’t always stick to the rules, though. Sometimes, this dioecious plant species goes against the grain and develops both male and female reproductive organs. These specimens are known as hermaphrodites. Either genetic or environmental factors, or both, can cause plants to develop this unusual trait. Having both buds and pollen sacs, they end up developing the ability to pollinate and reproduce with themselves.
Male plants, in contrast, don’t produce flowers. This makes them less valuable for growers seeking only buds. However, they do produce pollen sacs. These small vessels create the genetic material required to fertilise female flowers and create hybrids. This makes the males extremely important for breeding new cannabis strains.
IDENTIFYING EARLY SIGNS OF MALE PLANT
It also means cannabis growers have more control when it comes to crossing specific males and females together. They can choose two healthy and vigorous specimens, place them close together, and produce progeny that express certain traits.
Hermaphrodite cannabis plants come in two different forms: true hermaphrodites and “bananas”.
Even if you have all of these bases covered, plants can still pollinate themselves due to poor genetics. Plants with a bad genetic history and too much genetic variation are prone to becoming hermaphrodites. For this reason, it’s important to shop with reputable companies that offer high-quality seeds with stable genetics.
Sometimes, cannabis plants can inherit hermaphroditic genes. This can occur naturally or as a result of breeding, the stress of which can introduce hermaphroditism into a strain.
Sometimes, female plants that have gone long stretches of time without pollination can start to produce pollen in an effort to self-fertilise.
WHAT IS HERMAPHRODITISM?
There are a number of different causes of hermaphroditism in cannabis plants. These include:
There are many ways to stress cannabis plants. These include:
• Long flowering times
Conclusion: Feminized seeds from a trustworthy breeder have a low chance of producing hermies, but the odds are much worse with feminized seeds from an untrustworthy source
So only some feminized seeds come from parents with bad genetics, and that’s what’s the grower cares about most.
There are different ways to feminize seeds, but only some methods produce seeds that turn hermie on you.
The pollen that results from chemical stimulation is used to pollinate another female plant and make feminized seeds. If the parent plants would never hermie without chemical stimulation, then you have created feminized seeds that won’t ever make pollen in your grow room.
Commercial breeders and seed banks use chemical stimulation to create feminized seeds. What that means is they put specific compounds on developing female plants to force them to produce pollen. You can actually do this yourself at home.
This grower didn’t notice that the buds had been seeded until harvest. As he was trimming, he noticed seeds popping out. Since there were no male plants, chances are this was caused by an unnoticed hermie somewhere in the grow space.
Unfortunately, hermies can be a lot easier to miss than a male plant since it may just be a small part of the plant that’s affected. A male plant makes itself known at the beginning of the flowering stage, but a hermie plant may grow only buds except for just one or two tiny pollen sacs. A few yellow hermie bananas hidden in the buds can also produce pollen. Any type of male flower part that grows in your garden can add seeds to your buds, and hermies are some of the worst offenders.