Male plants literally have grape-sized “balls” of pollen. The balls will show up about a week or two after the plant has entered the flowering stage. They also produce a growth that is a distinct yellow colour and look a bit like bananas.
There is only one more problem. Cannabis plants can be both male and female in the right circumstances.
However, there are other ways to find out if any of your plants are hermaphrodites. The first is to check the kind of flowers they produce. The second comes at the end of the growing process. However, it is important to check before you grow the next time. If you find seeds in your harvested bud and you know you have no males, you have a hermaphrodite plant.
WHEN DO CANNABIS PLANTS SHOW GENDER?
Determining the gender of your cannabis plants is the first step to a successful grow. Female plants are the only ones that produce bud cannabis. While it is fairly easy to spot the gender difference, cannabis does come with a curveball. Plants can also be hermaphrodites. And female plants can switch to this state during growing stress.
In either case, once hermaphroditism has compromised the safety and purity of your sensimilla, the plant should not be propagated further. Remember, once a hermy, always a hermy. The plant pictured here is in the tenth and what should have been the final week of ripening, but a timer failed and one light stayed on continuously for almost two weeks, causing this vegetative regrowth. Because the light was continuous, the plant made no pollen. This method of re-vegging can be used to save a flowering plant you have no copies of, but be careful, as this may cause some strains to hermaphrodite.
Cannabis plants are monecious. This means they have the ability to be either male or female. Or in the case of hermaphroditism, they can be both. The reason to make sure there are no males or hermaphrodites in your garden is because male flowers make pollen. When pollen touches the white hairs on a flower, it makes a seed, and seeded weed gives you headaches. Even though there are reasons in nature hermaphroditism could be important, such as continuing the species in case there is no male present, hermaphroditism is generally a bad thing when talking about cannabis plants.
Negative stressors can combine with small interruptions of the light cycle to cause hermaphroditism, especially with less-stable, clone-only hybridized strains. When the night cycle is abnormally interrupted, it sends a mixed hormonal signal to the plant. This can cause a full female plant to throw some male flowers. Male flowers are easy to identify, especially when side by side with female flowers. Male flowers look like small bunches of bananas, which will take a week or two to swell before they burst and release their pollen.
The big leaves, that grow lower on the plant and in between the budding areas, but not in the buds or cola’s themselves, are called fan leaves; these are basically the solar panels of the plant. These leaves provide the plant with the energy it needs to grow and form buds. The few fan leaves that remain after pruning during the flowering stage can be easily trimmed away at harvest when growing indoors. When growing outdoors, most fan leaves will still be attached to the plant at the end of the flowering stage but these can be easily removed at the time of harvesting.
Another indication of pollination can be the colour of her pistil hairs. When a female has been pollinated, the previously white hairs will soon shrivel and become darker.
WHAT IS A CALYX-TO-LEAF RATIO
Male plants won’t show hairs at these nodes, but will develop little sacs of pollen. These pollen sacs will look like little balls. These balls can appear on their own or in clusters, depending how far into the pre-flowering stage the plant is. At some later stage of growth, the pollen sacs will burst open, spilling the pollen and possibly pollinating your females.
The stigmas or long hairs can help a grower identify when a plant is ready to be harvested. In the first weeks a female cannabis flower or bud is formed, it will have long white hairs coming out if it. After 4 to 5 weeks the stigmas will start to turn yellowish. When about 50 to 80 percent of your plants’ buds have stigmas, that have turned yellow or amber, they are ready to be harvested. If you harvest later, the stigmas will turn brown and dry out; do not wait this long to harvest your cannabis plants, as it will have your buds lose potency and taste.
Among the early signs that your female has been pollinated is that her bracts become larger. Bracts are small, leaf-like structures that protect the female’s reproductive parts. These are the sites from which the flowering buds appear. Do not confuse the bracts with calyxes.