Hermies and pollen sacks describe certain characteristics that can appear on cannabis plants. Hermaphrodites, also known as “hermies,” are cannabis plants that possess both male and female reproductive organs. On the other hand, pollen sacks are the structures on male cannabis plants that contain the pollen used for fertilization.
Cannabis is dioecious, meaning it has both male and female flowers. Hermaphrodite cannabis becomes monoecious, showing traits of both sexes. It includes not just flower or bud buds but also pollen sacs. Since the buds are what you’re after when cultivating cannabis, farmers find this feature very undesirable. Sinsemilla is seedless cannabis. The remainder of your cannabis crop is at risk of being pollinated by hermaphrodite plants, and if that happens, you may kiss your harvest goodbye.
Hermaphrodites occur naturally in cannabis plants, although the frequency of their occurrence can vary depending on genetics and growing conditions. Hermies can develop in response to stress, such as changes in temperature or light cycles, or due to genetic predisposition. Hermies are a problem for cannabis growers because they can produce seeds in buds, compromising the final product’s quality and potency. It is especially true for growers who want to create seedless, or “sinsemilla,” buds.
On the other hand, pollen sacks are a natural part of the reproduction process for cannabis plants. Male cannabis plants produce pollen in structures called “pollen sacs.” These sacs will eventually burst open and release the pollen, which is then used to fertilize female plants. Pollen sacs are typically smaller and less noticeable than the larger, more resinous buds produced by female plants.
Looking at the nodes is the equivalent of sexing a male, so you can find out which way your weed plants will flower. The plant’s nodes are the junctions between the main stem and the several branches that grow from it. Male cannabis plants will produce little green balls called pollen sacs in this location. At this meristem, female cannabis plants will have the pistils, the female plant’s reproductive organ. However, hermaphrodite plants provide an entirely other performance.
Hermies form bud sites at the nodes and male pollen sacs early on. When examining your plants attentively, look for spheres, thin hairs, and banana-shaped structures. The tiny banana-shaped formations, known as “nanners,” appear in groups much like a bunch of bananas and are named after them. Unlike real hermaphrodites, nanners don’t exhibit male and female features in separate regions of the plant; nonetheless, they are just as problematic.
Following the growth phase, your cannabis plants will transition into the pre-flowering phase. They will prepare for the long haul to sustain the flowering period and its delicious buds. Now is the time to watch your plants for signs of sex, whether nearing the end of veg or just starting to bloom. It may be difficult to determine if your crops are showing up as male, female, or hermie plants in the early phases of the big reveal, but in the next few days, those structures will grow, and you’ll soon know.
Another possible early indicator of hermaphrodism in your grow space is abnormally slow development. A hermie cannabis plant may be identified by its extreme lateness compared to other plants. Your hermie will probably be the shortest plant in the room since the hermie procedure reduces the energy the plant has to expand and stretch.
Don’t think you’re safe just because your plants have reached the blossoming stage. Keep a watch on your blooming plants and look for evidence of hermaphrodite characteristics, which may arise late in the life cycle as a reaction to stress.
Hermies develop as a response to two main causes: environmental stress and inherited predisposition. Under extreme duress, your plants may resort to hermaphroditism as a survival mechanism. Hermaphroditic features may emerge in cannabis plants if they are treated poorly, whether that be via improper lighting, temperature, disease control, or nutrition distribution. Overstressing your plant with high temperatures and plenty of light can cause it to become hermie in an unsuccessful effort to produce seed.
It’s frustrating and disheartening for you, but the plant is only trying to survive, and regrettably, this is a typical strategy that many plants use. It’s brilliant when you stop to think about it, but as gardeners, we don’t have much use for this approach.
Hermaphrodite cannabis plants are not unavoidable, which is excellent news. Properly setting up your environment, regularly monitoring it, and making necessary adjustments are all required. Ensure the grow room is at the right temperature, the lights are on at the right time, and the fertilizers are distributed properly in your growing medium. By keeping on top of the important details, you may ensure that your plants thrive and avoid dreadful hermaphroditism.
Having a hermaphrodite plant in the house may give you a high, which is not good. Soon enough, the sacs will burst open, releasing their pollen contents. It won’t take long for the pollen to reach your female plants, and once it does, they’ll immediately shift from flower production to seed production. Your profits will plummet if that occurs. You’ll get fewer buds but a good number of seeds.
As soon as you discover hermaphrodite cannabis plants, it is crucial to remove them. If you’re cultivating buds, keep hermies away from your crop and the females safe. After removing them, accidental pollination may still occur, so it’s best to keep them at bay.
Here, we’ll review some measures growers may take to lessen the likelihood of seeing hermies in their spaces.
Keep your plants on a routine throughout life, regardless of the strain, to help them establish healthy circadian rhythms. Also, during the blooming stage of photoperiod plants, the dark period of 12 hours should not be broken for any reason.
Why? One of the most popular methods to stress a plant into generating hermies is to disrupt the plant’s ability to “count the hours” until sunlight returns during the dark period. It might also trigger a vegetative regression in your plant.
Additionally, check for any light leaks that could let in outside light during the dark time and seal them up. In the dormant phase, total darkness is best for your plants.
Make sure the “hand test” doesn’t reveal any overheating problems in the upper canopy of buds directly under the light. If the tops of your plants feel too hot after 10 seconds of placing your hand (palm down) beneath the grow lights, the temperature is too high. Nighttime drafts may be especially dangerous in chilly areas throughout the winter.
While it’s true that cannabis thrives in brighter conditions, overexposure to intense light may induce stress, unintended bleaching, and even hermaphroditic behavior. LED grow lights and large HID lights provide a lot of light; therefore, it’s important to keep them at least as far away from the tops of the plants as the manufacturer recommends.
Don’t put your lights too close together; they may still produce stress even if the temperature is controlled. Only very powerful LEDs, large HIDs, or a combination of many smaller HIDs are likely to cause a light burn. Fluorescent lights, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), smaller high-intensity discharge (HID) bulbs, and so on are less likely to “light-burn” your plants.
The plant’s response to severe stress may be unexpected, and it may result in the production of male pollen sacs. Among the major strains are:
Some techniques can be used to reduce the risk of hermies. For example, growers can use the “Screen of Green” (ScrOG) method, which involves training the plants to grow horizontally through a screen. It can help to reduce stress on the plants and promote healthy growth. Additionally, growers can use “Topping,” a method of cutting the plant’s main stem to encourage bushier growth and reduce plant stress.
Hermies and pollen sacks are characteristics that can appear on cannabis plants. Hermies are cannabis plants that possess both male and female reproductive organs, which can produce seeded buds and decrease the overall yield. On the other hand, pollen sacs are the structures on male cannabis plants that contain the pollen used for fertilization. Growers should maintain a stable growing environment and carefully monitor the plants for any signs of stress or changes in the plant’s sex to prevent these characteristics from appearing.
Janice has been on the cannabis scene for many years now, though she tends to keep to herself and might fly under the radar for many, even those well-versed in cannabis growing. Her writings on different methods of watering cannabis helped bring the use of reverse osmosis water to the forefront of cannabis gardening. About this Author