Most cannabis plants can be considered as either male or female however there are times when you have cannabis plants that show both male and female parts and characteristics. These plants can self-pollinate or can even pollinate other female plants and are called hermaphrodites or “hermies.” Hermies can pollinate other females which can result to seedy buds.
If you want to become a successful cannabis grower you must understand the difference between male, female and hermies. Understanding these differences and knowing how to identify hermaphrodite plants will help you make a better decision by the time you encounter one. Most breeders prefer not to use mixed-gender plants or hermies to create seeds because it is likely that their offsprings will display hermaphrodite characteristics as well.
Identifying Hermaphrodite Plants
Sometimes breeders may refer to all mixed-gender plants as hermies however there are actually two different kinds of mixed-gender plants. The first kind is a hermaphrodite cannabis plant and mixed-gender buds such as buds with bananas or nanners. Of the two kinds, hermaphrodites are more predictable and can be easily distinguished.
In true hermaphrodite plants male and female parts appear on different parts of the plant. You won’t see male and female parts in the same spot unlike cannabis plants with bananas that appear in the midst of buds.
Having hermaphrodite traits is a highly-inheritable genetic trait and therefore is not recommended for these plants to further breed. Breeders are therefore advised to remove hermies immediately from the growing room to avoid accidental pollination. Use only good breeding stock female plant to create cannabis seeds because these do not show any signs of hermaphroditism even when these are exposed to stress.
If you are not careful and pollen from a pollen sac accidentally contacts a bud, this will stop making buds and will make seeds instead. Definitely no breeder wants seedy buds because this will significantly reduce their yields.
Hermies are predictable so you must watch very closely so you can carefully remove all the pollen sacs before these even open. And you must stay vigilant because these sacs can appear during the early part of the flowering stage or even throughout the phase as well.
- Bisexual flowers
Hermaphrodite plants with mixed male and female parts can be called bisexual flowers. In mixed gender buds, you will find that pistils and pollen sacs are found together. It is easy to spot bisexual flowers because you will easily see both parts in one area of the plant, usually on the top layer of the plant.
- Bananas or nanners
Bananas is another type of mixed gender buds and is so called because of the presence of banana-like appendages seen jutting out from the middle of female buds. Bananas are like bananas; they are rarely round and are unlike any pollen sac you will ever encounter. Bananas are yellow and elongated and may even grow together in bunches that may also look like a bunch of bananas. You may also find bananas that appear lime green.
Bananas are even more dangerous than pollen sacs because these do not need to open to pollinate. A banana is an exposed male part or a stamen. Once a banana or a bunch of bananas appear, these immediately start to pollinate the plant’s own female parts plus all females in the area. This means more losses and a big problem for growers!
Sometimes if a female plant is allowed to live too long without being pollinated or harvested, it will start making bananas with her buds in attempt to self-pollinate and create seeds. This may happen when plants are past their point of harvest and therefore may not be as destructive as other kinds of hermies.
Stress, the Number One Cause of Hermaphrodite Cannabis Plants and Bananas
Stress is the most common cause of hermies in cannabis plants. It is also the most popular cause of the appearance of bananas. There are different types of stress which can affect cannabis plants:
- Inconsistent delivery of indoor lights and light leaks
Cannabis love light and they need a lot of light to manufacture food. Plants that are still growing need a lot of light to reach their full potential and plants that don’t get light at the same time each day could become stressed and produce hermies or bananas. Plants exposed to light during their dark stages could also become stressed and develop mixed-sex characteristics.
- Very bright light
Very bright light can cause a lot of stress to plants and this can trigger the development of hermies. Keeping lights too close to their plants can also lead to hermies; this can also lead to light burn which can add more stress to plants as well.
- Too hot temperatures
Hot temperatures are usually due to lights set too close to the plants. This can stress plants and cause hermies to form. Your grow room can also get too hot for plants and again these can stress them to form multiple-sex plants.
- Plant problems
Just like humans, sickness can cause a lot of stress to plants. Other plant problems that will almost always result to the growth of hermies include nutrient deficiencies, pH imbalances, root rot, nutrient burn, and light burn and so on. The key is to give your plants TLC and keep their development closely monitored. Always trust an experienced local breeder when you are buying seeds.
Stress is a huge factor in the formation of hermies however the tendency to form these could be due to genetics. When a plant that has been hermied produce seeds, it is almost likely that these also show hermie traits as well. Plants that hermied feminized seeds can be always female but could also show herming traits that it has acquired from its parent. Seeds produced in this manner will naturally produce more buds that can grow bananas.
Now that you know about hermies, it’s smart to remove plants that show bananas from the grow room as soon as possible to protect all the other buds from making seeds. Self-pollination could also lead to the development of poor quality seeds that may have the same problem.