What Causes Plants to go Hermaphroditic?

Some have asked what strains are most likely to turn hermaphroditic. The answer is not so cut and dry. Specific types of strains can turn hermaphroditic depending on their genetics. A lot of different factors can determine whether a plant will turn hermaphroditic. What exactly is hermaphroditism and is this likely to happen to your plants?

What is Hermaphroditism?

Hermaphroditism is when your plants display both male and female parts. Most plants are in fact hermaphroditic. Cannabis plants are one of the few species of plants that are grown to have separate genders. Male plants display clearly visible seed pods with no buds. Female plants display buds, but no seed pods.When growing cannabis for consumption, you want female plants.

Which Plants are more Likely to Turn Hermaphroditic?

Thai sativas are highly likely to turn hermaphrodite. As such, they are more difficult to grow than other strains because of the amount of time and care that they require. You have to watch them very closely and control their environment. If you are a novice grower, it would be best for you to avoid growing this strain.

True Hermaphroditism

When a strain is hermaphroditic strictly via genetics, then it is known as a “true hermaphrodite.” True hermaphrodites come from a hermaphroditic clone mother. When you find a true hermaphrodite among your plants it is best to move it out of the vicinity of the other plants, lest they become hermaphroditic as well.

Bisexual Plants

Plants that become hermaphrodites due to environmental factors such as stress, are known as bisexual plants. This happens on the female plant, when it begins to detect factors that can induce stress, it then begins to produce stamen along the pistils. By doing this, the plant shortens its flowering time, ensuring that it is more likely to pass its genes to its offspring. When this happens, you should move the plant away from the others in your crop. In most cases, it should be harvested immediately.

A hermaphroditic cannabis plant. Image Source: 420 Magazine

What Environmental Factors Cause Hermaphroditism?

Several environmental factors can cause your plants to turn hermaphroditic. Most are caused by negligence and can be easily avoided. One such factor is poor temperature control. If the temperature is too hot, your plants are much more likely to turn hermaphroditic. Pruning too early is another common cause. Other causes include, incorrect fertilization, changes in the photoperiod during the flowering phase, and of course mite infestation. All of these can be prevented as long as you’re vigilant with your plants. For instance, you should always do your pruning and topping when your plants are still in the vegetative stage, prior to flowering.

Are There Uses for Hermaphroditic Plants?

You can still get smokeable buds from hermaphrodite plants, they will just be full of seeds. It’s not ideal, but if you’re in a tight spot you can still use them. If your hermaphrodite plants are female, then you can use the seeds for your next batch. Feminized seeds have a high likelihood of turning female.

Featured Image Source: growery.org

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    Writer, Customer Support Angel at I Love Growing Marijuana

    Sarah is a D&D fanatic and loves singing silly songs to her cat. No matter what she does though, Sarah can always be found with a bong in hand. If there is one strain that she could call her favorite, that would be Zkittlez because it matches her colorful personality and hair!... [Read full bio]


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      8 comments on “What Causes Plants to go Hermaphroditic?”

      1. i’m a Beginner and most of my grows have been Unsuccessful i only grow one at a time Because I’m a beginner. after reading this Article I’m sure my plant Hermie Because of early Pruning. I’ve only had one ok harvest out of about ten plants and i can almost relate it to me screwing Something up. also i Didn’t pick the Easiest strains to grow. this Article helped as do most on this site.

      2. I did everything Your guide told me and I’ve grown before, how do I know they weren’t males. You guaranteed females

      3. I found it white widows our a problem now so I will never grow those again it’s kind of weird to me that you start 10 seeds and every one of them’s a hermaphrodite

      4. dude I bought some gorilla glue feminized seeds from you and all five hermorphidited 6th week of flower Bruce banner blue haze, strawberry cough, just a little pissed

      5. I planted auto flowering, for some odd reason 1 out of 6 was a male so I pulled it before the pollen came out I’m wondering if it had pollonate my others if they would had auto seeds.