Modified on: 30/10/2023
Everything you need to know about hermaphroditic marijuana
If you have decided to open this article, you would like to learn more about hermaphroditic marijuana.
Contrary to what some people might think, it is not entirely harmless because its presence in the crop could jeopardize the proper development of other plants.
Are you perhaps wondering what the reason is?
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To answer this question, continue reading this article. It is definitely for you.
What is a hermaphroditic marijuana plant?
Hermaphroditic marijuana plants develop both male and female flowers.
While this is a natural characteristic of the cannabis plant, it is an undesirable trait when growing marijuana (CBD marijuana too) for consumption because there is an excellent possibility of obtaining a plant full of seeds, which seriously reduces the quantity and quality of the final product.
Hermaphroditism can have two origins: genetic and environmental.
Genetically, some marijuana strains are more susceptible to hermaphroditism than others; the genetic origins of the strain can explain this—Thai Sativa, for example, usually achieve a high percentage of hermaphroditic plants—or even by the technique used to produce the seeds.
Regardless of its genetic susceptibility, a marijuana plant (and CBD cannabis plant) can also become hermaphroditic due to stress.
That’s right. You read that right.
When it feels that flowering conditions are too tricky, hermaphroditism is an effective and natural way to shorten this period by pollinating its female flowers with pollen from some male clusters.
Stress, which significantly increases the risk of hermaphroditism, can be triggered by several causes, such as:
- changes in the photoperiod, in particular interruptions in the dark period during flowering;
- too much heat (> approx. 27° C);
- incorrect environmental conditions;
- too late harvesting, when the grower does not respect the deadline for harvesting his plants;
- mechanical stress: broken branches, damaged roots, pruning during flowering, etc.;
- irrigation problems (lack or excess);
- insects, mites, diseases;
- thermal stress (watering the plants with cold water);
- use of phytotoxic products (pesticides, fungicides).
What should a cannabis grower do to prevent the development of hermaphroditic plants?
To avoid hermaphroditic marijuana plants, the main rule is to prevent any stress during the flowering period and to limit the risks as much as possible.
In addition, plants should be pruned and staked during the growth and/or pre-flowering (elongation) phase before the buds begin to develop.
To reduce the likelihood of obtaining hermaphroditic plants, the canapiculturist should
- maintain good environmental conditions in the growing space
- ensure perfect hygiene;
- check the timers regularly;
- check the plants for insects and mites;
- water regularly with a balanced nutrient solution.
At the end of flowering, you will have to check the trichomes carefully to avoid missing the harvest deadline.
What to do when you find hermaphrodite marijuana plants?
As we have already mentioned, it is essential to carefully check the plants for male flowers right from the start of flowering.
Indeed, during this period, the male flowers are easily observable due to their yellow colour and banana shape. In addition, as we mentioned earlier, it will also be necessary to check for the presence of mites or insects, as well as mould, to avoid the most common cannabis pests.
If a plant has male and female flowers right from the start of flowering, it will have to be removed immediately from the cultivation space. Otherwise, it could pollinate the entire crop, transmitting the hermaphroditic trait to its offspring.
When the plant becomes hermaphroditic in full bloom, there are two options:
- if the plant produces only a few male flowers, the grower can remove them with a pair of tweezers (sterilized with alcohol), spray water on them and then observe the new inflorescences (or new CBD flowers);
- if the plant produces numerous male flowers, it should be removed from the cultivation space.
Alternatively, if a marijuana plant becomes hermaphroditic at the end of flowering, it should be harvested as soon as possible, i.e. before the male flowers release their pollen.
This article has tried to give a general overview of hermaphroditic marijuana and how to recognize it.
Characterized by having female and male inflorescences, this plant could pose a problem for cannabis growers because it would compromise the entire crop.
However, by considering all the factors that contribute to its development, it is possible to prevent it from impacting the growth of other marijuana plants.
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