Early signs of a hermie plant

As a grower, it’s important skill to be able to identify the early signs of a hermie plant before they become a problem. Hermaphroditism occurs when a cannabis plant develops both male and female reproductive organs, which if left unnoticed could destroy this crop.

In this article, we’ll explore what is a hermaphrodite plant, what causes a plant to hermie, how to identify the early signs of hermaphroditism, what to do if you have a hermie on your hands and most importantly how to prevent it from happening.

What is a hermie cannabis plant?

A hermaphrodite plant, also known as a hermie, is a cannabis plant that develops both male and female sex organs. Male plants produce pollen sacs and female plants product bud, hermies will produce both together. This can happen naturally or as a result of environmental stressors. The big danger of hermies is that they produce pollen and so could pollinate your other plants or themselves.

Male pollen sacs growing on female cannabis plant
This plant displays early signs of a hermie, with male pollen sacs growing on female cannabis plant
Male pollen sacs growing on a male cannabis plant
This is a male plant: only pollen sacs, no female flowers are seen

What causes a cannabis plant to hermie?

Most people that have been growing for a while, will understand the frustration of finding a male pollen sac on your female plant, but what causes this to happen? Well to put it simply it is caused by the cannabis plant fighting to survive and its built in desire to breed. Hermaphroditism in cannabis is typically caused by stress.

Stress can be caused by a number of sources, including temperature fluctuations, light cycle interruptions, nutrient deficiencies, and physical damage to the plant. When a female cannabis plant becomes stressed the disruption makes the plant think that it may be in danger of not being able to breed. This triggers a panic reaction in the plant and it begins to create male reproductive organs in an effort to continue its genetic line. The male pollen sacs will then pollinate the female flowers on the same plant, creating seeds.

How do I know if my plant is a hermie? 

You need to first be able to clearly spot the difference between male and female cannabis plants. Male cannabis plants produce sacs that grow in clusters on the plant, these are filled with pollen. Whereas female plants produce the flower that we smoke. To determine if your cannabis plant is a hermaphrodite, you’ll need to look closely at the flowers. Hermaphrodite plants will have both female as well as male pollen sacs on the same plant, typically in close proximity to each other. You may also see nanners (which look like mini bananas) growing from the bud or around it.

What are nanners on cannabis plants?

If you’re new to the world of cannabis, you might not be familiar with the term “nanners.” Nanners are small, banana-shaped growths that can appear on cannabis plants usually growing out of the bud itself. They are basically a cross of a male and a female sex organ that contains pollen. One or two nanners on your plant may not cause a huge issue, but too many of them could cause a lot of seeded buds.

What should you do if you have a hermie?

If you notice nanners or pollen sacs on your female cannabis plants, it’s important to take action right away. Both contain pollen and will pollinate your female flowers if left to their own devices. So unless you want lots of seeded bud follow these steps to the letter…..

How widespread is the issue?

You need to try to figure out how widespread the problem is. Carefully inspect your plants to see how many male or hermie parts are in your grow tent. How many plants you are growing and how bad the situation is will dictate how you respond, so read this next part carefully. 

What to do if you have hermies when growing 1 cannabis plant?

Lots of people will say if you find a hermie in your tent, discard the plant immediately. But if you are only growing one plant then it poses no risk to any other plants. So to avoid sacrificing all of your hard work and starting from scratch, you may as well try to salvage what you can. 

Assess the trichomes of your plant and make a judgement on how close it is to harvest. If you are close to harvest and there are just a few nanners you may be able to carefully cut them off and continue with the grow. If you are still a good few weeks away from harvesting then you can cut the nanners or male sacs off, however, you will need to keep inspecting the plant thoroughly, cutting any more off as you go. 

What to do if you have hermies when growing multiple cannabis plants?

If you have more than 1 cannabis plant in your grow room, then it would be wise to find any hermies and carefully remove them from the grow room. Thoroughly inspect all of your plants and only keep the ones that display no hermaphrodite signs.
Once you have assessed what route you will take the next step is to identify the cause of the stress and try to correct it. If your plants are getting too much light, for example, you may need to adjust the placement of your grow lights. If the temperature is too high, you may need to install additional ventilation or air conditioning.

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How to remove a hermie from a grow room

Removing a hermie cannabis plant from a grow tent can be a difficult decision for any grower, but it’s important to take action to prevent further stress on the plant and reduce the risk of pollination. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to remove a hermie cannabis plant from your grow tent:

Step 1: Change your clothes

Cannabis pollen can spread incredibly easily. Before you start removing the hermie plant, it’s important to make sure the clothes you wear during the removal process are not worn again in the grow room. This is to reduce the risk of accidental pollination. 

Step 2: Isolate the plant

If you have multiple plants in your grow tent, it’s important to isolate the hermie plant to prevent it from pollinating the other plants. Move the hermie plant to a separate location, such as another grow tent or an outdoor area.

Step 3: Cut the plant at the base

Using sharp pruning shears, cut the hermie plant at the base of the stem. Be careful not to damage any of the other plants in the process. Once the plant is cut, place it in a trash bag or compost bin.

Step 4: Disinfect your tools

After removing the hermie plant, it’s important to disinfect your pruning shears and any other tools that came into contact with the plant. Use a solution of one part bleach to nine parts water to disinfect your tools, and be sure to rinse them thoroughly afterwards.

Step 5: Monitor your remaining plants

After removing the hermie from your grow room you are not fully in the clear yet. Pollen can spread incredibly easily so it’s important to monitor the remaining plants for any signs of stress or male flowers. Keep an eye on the temperature, humidity, and light levels in your grow tent to ensure that your plants remain healthy and stress free.

Can you reverse a cannabis plant that has hermied?

Some growers may try to reverse the hermie plant by changing the light cycle. By reducing the amount of light the plant receives each day, it’s possible to trick the plant into thinking it’s nearing the end of its life cycle. This can cause the plant to focus its energy on producing female flowers instead of male flowers.
While this technique may work in some cases, it’s important to note that it’s not always effective. If you are growing multiple plants it can be very risky to attempt to reverse a hermie plant, as it can delay the harvest and potentially lead to further stress on the plant and more hermaphrodites.

Will a hermie pollinate itself?

Yes, a hermie plant can pollinate itself. In fact, this is one of the biggest risks of having a hermie plant in your grow room. If the male pollen sacs are allowed to mature and release pollen, they can fertilize the female flowers on the same plant as well as any surrounding females. The result will be lower quality bud that is full of seeds.

Do hermies still produce buds?

Yes, hermie plants will still produce buds. The definition of a hermie is a plant that produces both male and female sex organs. However, once a hermie begins to produce male parts it will focus less energy on producing flowers which will most likely result in lower quality and less potent bud. 

Can you smoke weed from a Hermie?

Yes, you can smoke weed from a hermie plant. However, it’s important to note that the quality of the buds may be lower than those produced by a healthy female plant. Additionally, smoking buds that have been pollinated by male flowers can result in a harsher smoke and a less enjoyable experience. Also if the female flowers do become pollinated they will produce seeds. They will still be smokeable, but you will need to pick out the seeds and the bud at this point will be of a much lower grade.

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