Having more male plants than the female presence in the growing area can affect the bud production, especially for growers. The same goes for the female ratio at a higher level, although it affects the other plants more favorably in the grower’s eyes.
However, did you know that hermaphrodite can actually exist in cannabis plants? Yes, having both of the sexes can occur in cannabis plants, and it plays an important role in the growth and the seeds it produces. As much as breeders and growers wanted a favorable output in their own respective businesses, hermaphroditism can cause problems on the output of plants and can affect the quality and genetic makeup of regular cannabis seeds it produces.
In this article, we are going to investigate the effects of having both male and female sexes of a single cannabis plant and the causes for this occurrence. We will also provide guidelines on how to identify a hermaphrodite cannabis plant easily. Most importantly, we will tackle how hermaphroditism greatly affects regular cannabis seeds. Scroll down to reveal more information.
What is Hermaphrodite?
By simple means, a hermaphrodite is any particular living being that has both female and male sexes. It occurs and happens simultaneously. For plants, this is a natural occurrence that helps them survive more because they are self-sufficient to fertilize themselves without needing other plants.
For marijuana plants, it is fairly common to have a single plant to produce both male and female sexes. It has flowers that provide both of the sexes. However, if you purchased feminized cannabis seeds from a reputable seed bank, there is much less likelihood of producing hermaphrodite plants.
A few of the things that can manipulate the large production of hermaphrodite plants are the environmental condition where the plants are growing. Everything surrounding it, like stress, will alter the genetics of the plants, which causes the hermaphrodite condition.
When you purchase from a renowned seed bank, there are less expected hermaphrodite plants to develop because of the intensive care they put into the seeds. However, if you still have hermaphrodite plants present in your garden, there is a greater possibility that the environmental condition impacts its development.
The presence of a single hermaphrodite plant in the garden is more of genetics and less likely to be caused by environmental factors. Most of these seeds are unstable genetics, which has a higher inclination to becoming hermaphrodite. Before purchasing seeds, make sure you have done tremendous research and choose the ones with the most stable genetic makeup.
You may also check out some best-selling regular seeds here.
Causes of Hermaphroditism on Regular Cannabis Seeds
There are numerous reasons why hermaphrodite occurs in cannabis. Check the list below.
Hermaphrodite is a condition that can be inherited and passed on to their offspring and carry hermaphrodite genetic makeup, which later shows up during the growth and development of the cannabis seeds, especially among regular seeds. This has nothing to do with the environmental impacts, but it is caused by the breeding process of the two seeds, wherein somewhere during the procedure, stress was introduced and interfered with.
Manipulation of the Seed
Lesser care and lousy handling of the seeds can increase the likelihood of hermaphrodite to the cannabis plants. This may include the process of feminization growers typically apply to the plants to increase the number of female plants and seeds.
Usually, the ones doing this are breeders from a seed bank that releases feminized seeds. If done properly, the process will produce feminized seeds and plants. However, if done badly, it will result in hermaphrodite seeds.
Too Much Stress
Environmental conditions around the growing area play a vital role in producing and providing healthy and vigorous cannabis plants. It allows them to grow very sturdy and with favorable production upon harvest. However, when favorable environmental conditions are not achieved properly, it will cause stress to the cannabis seeds, which typically results in a hermaphrodite condition.
There are numerous ways and things that cause stress on cannabis, below is the list of it including:
Level of Humidity and Temperature
The cannabis seeds are in favor of temperatures ranging from twenty to thirty degrees Celsius. It also prefers humidity levels within forty to seventy percent. If the level of humidity and temperature is too high or too low from the ranges given, it is enough reason to cause hermaphrodite on your cannabis seeds.
A growing area with a regulated level of pH and soil with an adequate range of proper pH levels will sustain the great development of cannabis seeds. However, if the growing area is too acidic or too alkaline, it can serve as a huge stressor for the seeds, turning them into hermaphrodite cannabis plants.
Light is crucial and vital in growing cannabis at any given period of its growth. Provided that cannabis is in close proximity to light or the light is scattered all over the growing area, it may increase the likelihood of causing hermaphrodite conditions on the cannabis plants.
Even a slight exposure to light during the night or in dark places, which serves as a huge source of stress, can easily cause hermaphrodite. Thus, it should be regulated properly and rapidly.
Provision of Nutrients
To anticipate the excellent production of quality buds, cannabis is required to have adequate and proper amounts of nutrients even when they are still in the vegetative stage. Too much or too little amount of nutrients may cause tremendous stress on cannabis seeds, directly affecting not only their growth and productivity but also increasing the chance of turning into a hermaphrodite.
Techniques used to train cannabis plants like topping, cropping, low-stress technique, and other types of training can provide adequate growth and encourage a more productive development. However, if done poorly, it will cause plants to acquire nutrients poorly and reduce productivity. This results in the poor health of plants, which later turns them into a hermaphrodite.
With a promising growth area, the roots of your cannabis plants can easily absorb nutrients and enough water to sustain their growth. However, having poor conditions in the growing area can cause tremendous trouble in developing proper rooting, which later causes suffering to the plants. With its suffering, it is followed by stress and later turns cannabis plants into a hermaphrodite.
In most cases, female plants, without being pollinated for a long period, can cause them to turn into a hermaphrodite and rather choose to pollinate themselves. All plants, cannabis included, require a specific time frame to sustain proper growth and development that encourages more appealing terpenes and potency.
If done incorrectly, it can cause suffering to the cannabis plants, which can result in the hermaphrodite condition, especially when the plants have innate hermaphrodite genetics.
Signs of Hermaphroditism
When there is a hermaphrodite plant present in your growing area, it can damage your entire production and growth of buds. It can release pollen to your female plants and fertilize them. When this scenario occurs, the pollinated female plants will tend to concentrate more of their energy on seed production instead of producing buds dripping with resins.
It is essential to identify a hermaphrodite plant as soon as possible to prevent this scenario from happening. Few plants with a tendency to become hermaphrodite can show signs of hermaphroditism as early as the flowering period happens. You will notice that the cannabis plants will produce the female and male structures of flowers. It can occur on any branch of the plants, and some may develop on similar bud sites.
There are also some cases that hermaphrodite can happen at the end of the flowering period. This happens because plants have natural survival instincts that allow them to self-fertilize before reaching the dying stage.
Some growers will tend to lower their guards during this stage; however, it is essential to monitor your plants at this point closely just to make sure there are no hermaphrodite plants around, and if there is, you can take it off immediately. At this stage, hermaphrodite can easily pollinate your female plants by spreading pollen from its male sacs. This can happen at any given moment.
How does Hermaphroditism Affect Regular Cannabis Seeds?
As mentioned above, when hermaphrodite plants pollinate the female plants you have, it may affect the seeds it produces by having similar undesirable traits. Hence, typically the seeds from these hermaphrodite plants are gone into waste.
Breeders do not use these seeds in crossbreeding as they possess low quality, and there is a higher chance that the hermaphrodite genes will be passed on to many generations of backcrossing. There is also a higher chance that these seeds will grow with hermaphrodite conditions despite regulating the environment, humidity, temperature, and other factors that contribute to its occurrence.
Being a hermaphrodite seed, the quality is reduced significantly. Apart from being rejected in the breeding selection, it is also rejected in terms of cultivation. The seeds from hermaphrodite plants are usually thrown as they can only affect the quality of other crops and will cause further troubles on growers. Hermaphrodite plants will pass on the genetic makeup they possess and typically produce hermaphrodite regular seeds up to 90% of the likelihood.
Although, there is no telling if regular cannabis seeds are hermaphrodite in the first place and may require them to grow before noticing signs of hermaphroditism. Hence, growers do not waste their time and chances in growing seeds produced by hermaphrodite plants.
Reducing Hermaphroditism’s Impact on Regular Cannabis Seeds
If you have done close monitoring on your cannabis plants, and there is a presence of hermaphrodite plants around, you will notice that there are sites on some branches that have the resemblance of banana structure. If this happens, take the hermaphrodite plant away from the female plants as immediately as possible. Isolate the hermaphrodite plants to prevent them from pollinating your plants.
You can use tweezers to take off the male organs of the hermaphrodite plant or even the branches themselves. The banana-like pollens do not burst open on cannabis plants with feminized genetics, but it is not the best idea to take them back to the garden. It will take about fifteen days to develop male flowers fully, and within this time, make sure that you have taken off all the male organs of the plant and carefully dispose of them.
It should be done as quickly as possible to prevent the plants from pollinating the female plants, which later produces a higher likelihood of hermaphrodite seeds. If this happens, all the grower’s efforts are gone to waste because regular seeds affected by hermaphroditism are typically not recommended for growing and breeding.
In most unfortunate circumstances, hermaphroditism is unpredictable, and it is hard to tell whether a seed can grow into a hermaphrodite. The proper way to prevent it from happening is to provide the best environmental condition for cannabis plants and avoid stress as much as possible. When applying training techniques, always make sure that you are trained to do it, and you know how to execute them properly.
When you see the presence of hermaphrodite plants in the garden, take them away from the area to avoid them from pollinating the females and producing similar hermaphrodite genetics on the production of regular cannabis seeds.
Ultimately, the most important thing to consider is to assure that the seeds you acquire are from renowned and reputable seed banks. In this way, you can be confident enough to lessen the presence of hermaphrodite seeds affecting your breeding or cultivating processes.