Female cannabis plants are the main focus of casual growers looking to harvest a personal stash. But, depending on their genetics, female plants can look drastically different from one another. Some remain small, producing dense canopies and significant lateral growth. Others grow in excess of 3m, produce massive harvests, and look more like trees than regular garden plants.
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.
HERMAPHRODITES: WHEN CANNABIS PLANTS BECOME MONOECIOUS
Despite their differences, all female plants share one thing in common: they produce flowers. These flowers, colloquially known as buds, possess small glandular structures called trichomes that produce cannabinoids such as THC and CBD.
Female pre-flowers also develop at the nodes. You can distinguish them based on one obvious visual characteristic: hairs. Female pre-flowers feature tear-drop shaped calyxes with small hairs protruding from the tip. These small hairs, known as pistils, are the sex organs of female cannabis flowers.
To avoid this issue, try to maintain a stable environment in your grow room. Use a thermo-hygrometer to monitor temperature and humidity, keep your light schedule strict, and ensure your plants get all the nutrients they require.
Bagseed plants are notorious for self-pollinating (hermiphrodite) late in flowering. Generally, the outdoor commercial weed isn’t pollinated with males (which are culled), but by hermi-females that are harder to see. This results in hermi-seeds. It’s very hard to find a reliable female from bagseed.
Your germination problems are also due to the fact that they were bagseed. It’s usually compressed and stored in a way that kills the seed. Seeds need to be stored in a cool, dry place to stay viable.
There’s nothing wrong with growing some bagseed. Hopefully you got some decent smoke and learned a lot. In the future, any seeds you buy from a breeder are going to seem like a breeze!
I personally prefer feminized seeds, and that’s the only type of seed I grow. It makes it easier for me in my limited grow space. I haven’t run into any significant problems with hermies, so I’m satisfied with growing only bud-bearing plants.
Choosing the Right Cannabis Breeder
If you don’t have room for extra plants, feminized seeds can make planning your grow a lot easier!
All plants produce buds
If a seed is pure white it usually means it’s underdeveloped and won’t sprout. But it can sometimes be hard to tell. In the end, if a seed sprouts and grows it’s a viable seed! I’ve had very pale, flimsy seeds sprout into gorgeous fast-growing plants, so if you’re not sure the best thing to do is try to germinate it!
Commercial breeders and seed banks use chemical stimulation to create feminized seeds. What that means is they put specific compounds on developing female plants to force them to produce pollen. You can actually do this yourself at home.
Seed Banks & Breeders