It also means cannabis growers have more control when it comes to crossing specific males and females together. They can choose two healthy and vigorous specimens, place them close together, and produce progeny that express certain traits.
Hermaphroditism stems from two major driving factors: stress and genetics. In regards to stress, hermaphroditism serves as a survival mechanism. If a plant experiences damage, heat, disease, or nutrient deficiencies, they start to freak out. Essentially, plants get the impression that their time is up. In a last-ditch attempt to reproduce, they decide to stop waiting around for a male and get the job done themselves.
HERMAPHRODITES: WHEN CANNABIS PLANTS BECOME MONOECIOUS
The former features distinctly male and female reproductive organs. Upon close inspection, you’ll notice pollen sacs occupying some nodes, and female flowers residing at others. When the pollen sacs rupture, the pollen will displace into the flowers, and the plant will effectively breed with itself. From there, it’ll go to seed and produce the subsequent generation.
Hermaphrodite cannabis plants come in two different forms: true hermaphrodites and “bananas”.
Of course, growers want to avoid this phenomenon if they’re aiming for the best flowers possible. We’ll dive deeper into what causes hermaphroditism and how to avoid it below.
• Poor growing medium
Using a growing medium that is too acidic or alkaline is another big stressor for cannabis.
Cannabis is a dioecious plant species. Unlike other flowering plants, it produces distinct males and females. However, cannabis can also be hermaphroditic, producing a single plant with both male and female sexual organs.
WHAT KIND OF STRESS CAN CAUSE CANNABIS PLANTS TO BECOME HERMAPHRODITIC?
In order to better understand hermaphroditism in cannabis plants, it’s important to realise that, in some cases, hermaphroditism is a survival mechanism.
Remember, plants need a specific set of conditions met in order to grow and develop properly, and cannabis is no different. When we grow weed, especially indoors, we’re responsible for meeting these conditions. We also walk a fine line of pushing our plants and manipulating them in ways that benefit us in terms of higher yields, more potent and flavourful bud, and more.
Cannabis plants need the right nutrients to produce great bud. Over/underfeeding can stress your plants, affecting their ability to develop properly and potentially increasing the risk of becoming hermaphroditic.
Plants that turn hermaphrodite late in the bloom phase usually develop what some growers call “bananas”. This is the male stamen (exactly like those you’d find inside a male pollen sac), which has protruded through the female flower and can release pollen at any moment. Technically speaking, these are mixed-sex buds, rather than true hermaphroditic plants.