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Hermaphrodite cannabis plants: prevention, detection, management

A hermaphrodite flower is one that has both staminate (male) and pistillate (female) floral structures on the same plant.

And the reason this is such a dreaded sight is because male structures release pollen. Unpollinated female flowers — the entire goal of sensimilla cannabis production — will become contaminated by the pollen and become seeded buds.

Seeded buds are only desirable when you’re breeding seeds. Otherwise, they are almost impossible to sell. The formation of seeds takes energy and resources that the plant could otherwise use to produce bigger buds and more THC, other cannabinoids, and terpenoids.

Many years ago, some growers looked at hermaphrodite cannabis, commonly referred to as “hermies,” as a benefit. Seeds produced by hermaphroditism tend to grow out to be female plants. They’re purebred cannabis seeds that can help a grower lock in desired genetic traits.

However, plants grown from cannabis seeds produced by hermaphroditic flowers also tend to be cannabis hermies.

In other words, the pollen problem occurs all over again.

So what causes them, and what can you do if you see them on your plants?


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