When it comes to marijuana plants and their genders, there are three in total. Female, male and hermaphrodite. It is important to know about each of them, in turn, to be able to fully understand the uniqueness of the cannabis plant and how to properly grow them. It is popular opinion that female marijuana seeds are the most popular choice for breeders, but when you do come across males and hermaphrodites, you should know what to do.
The Roles of Each Gender
Like almost all living beings, each gender of a species have its designated role in life. You should be able to understand what each gender of cannabis plants do to make them easier for you to handle.
Male plants are what pollenate the female cannabis plants to form seeds. If this happens, then instead of producing buds, the plants will concentrate on producing seeds making your harvest not that productive. This is why most breeders tend to dispose of their male plants as soon as they are identified to keep their product purely flowers.
Female plants are what produces the buds that we use. They also produce trichomes which contain the resin that gives us the psychoactive effects that cannabis can bring us. Within each cola that female cannabis plant sprouts are pistils and stigmas that are what connect to pollen to be fertilized. Once this happens, then they will start producing seeds.
Hermaphrodite plants are both male and female. They are what you can consider being the plants that ensure the survival of the plant’s genetics. They can produce both flowers and seeds at will. This all depends though on which is more dominant in the hermaphrodite, the male or the female genetics.
Identifying the genders of your cannabis plants is one of the best ways that you can prevent your male plants from having your whole crop ruined by pollination. This process won’t be done until your plants get to their pre-flowering stage a few weeks after germination. So here are the things to watch out for:
Male marijuana seeds
Male marijuana seeds produce plants that have small “balls” of pollen where stalks meet stems. These balls are called pollen sacs and when they burst, this is when pollination happens. They also produce a yellow growth that makes identifying it quite easier. Male plants usually grow much taller than female cannabis plants so they can be pretty distinctive.
Female marijuana seeds
Female marijuana seeds produce plants that take a bit more time to be distinguished. They show the signs of their gender a bit after flowering. You’ll know a female cannabis plant when you see it shooting out white pistils where the stem meets the stalks. These are what will grow to be the plant’s flowers. Remember that the pistils should never be green, only white.
Hermaphrodite marijuana seeds
Hermaphrodite marijuana seeds produce plants that have signs of both male and female cannabis plants making them a bit longer to identify. You’ll see signs of both pollen sacs and pistils where the stalk meets the stem after the flowering period begins. It is harder to know if the hermaphrodite plant is mostly male or female so it is best practice to separate them from the bunch.
Why do you get hermaphrodite cannabis plants?
There are two reasons why you may find yourself dealing with hermaphrodite cannabis plants. It could all come down to genetics, or the problem is environmental.
There are several cannabis strains that naturally produce a higher number of hermaphrodites with each crop. These plants are called true hermaphrodites and there really isn’t much you can do about it since it all boils down to their genetics.
Now another way that you can produce hermaphrodite plants are due to environmental factors. Any type of hermaphrodite plant is a female plant that undergoes some stress leading it to go into survival mode and grow male parts to produce seeds.
This can happen to almost all cannabis strains can produce these plants when in a bind but all you have to do to prevent this from happening is to avoid these things:
– Interruptions with their photoperiod or light/dark exposure
– Too much heat or lighting during their lifetime
– Too little or too much moisture in their surroundings
– Too little nutrients or too harsh toxins
– Exposure to pests and mites
– pH problems
What to do when you come across hermaphrodites
The best thing to do when you identify a cannabis plant to be a hermaphrodite is to separate them immediately from the rest of the plants. You don’t really have to throw them out since they are useful in producing seeds that can be used for your next crop. It is, however, that you keep them well away from the other female plants to avoid them being fertilized and full of seeds if you want to harvest quality buds.
Producing female marijuana seeds from hermaphrodite plants
Now one of the best things about hermaphrodite cannabis plants is that they can produce female seeds. Once you have these plants separated from the rest of the crop, you can then leave them to pollinate their own flowers to create seeds.
Since hermaphrodites stem from female plants, it is more likely to produce female seeds as well. But if you want to make sure, you can always use rhodelization to produce them.