What Are the Early Signs of Hermie Plant Development?

Everyone likes cultivating plants, and doing so can be more entertaining. The existence of hermaphrodite, or “hermie,” plants is one of the biggest challenges that might arise when cultivating plants. These plants will greatly threaten cultivation efforts if not diagnosed and controlled early. With the right growing techniques, this problem can be resolved in time. 

Hermie is short for hermaphrodite. It refers to plants that possess both sex organs, male and female. Most species are male or female in the plant world, but some possess both reproductive parts. This phenomenon is called hermaphroditism. This happens naturally in some plants. But stress can also cause it. Some of them are environmental changes, nutrient scarcity, and genetic mutations.

Usually, when a plant becomes hermaphroditic, it can pollinate and produce fruits by itself. This indicates it does not need another plant to produce pollination seeds. This may initially seem beneficial, as it can increase seed production and yield. However, these self-pollinated seeds often have a higher chance of inheriting bad traits or mutations. This leads to weaker and less desirable offspring.

Growth of Buds Forming a Hermie Plant

Plants might be male or female, depending on the field in which they are grown for medicinal purposes. Female plants produce the desirable buds in medicinal plants. THC and CBD, which are the main cannabinoids, are present in them.

In male growing plants, specific organs known as pollen sacs are used for pollination purposes. A hermaphrodite plant, or hermie, can develop both buds and pollen sacs; this means that it poses a major problem for cultivators.

Growcycle experts provide technical assistance to farmers and breeders with plant growing techniques. They help them prevent and manage hermaphroditism in their plants. They also offer a light deprivation system. It allows for precise control of light cycles. This prevents sudden changes in lighting. Such changes could induce hermie in sensitive plants.

Types of Hermaphrodite Plants

Following are the types of hermaphrodites in growing plants:

  1. True Hermaphrodites: From the beginning, these plants contain both male and female reproductive structures. Genetic factors commonly cause true hermaphroditism.
  2. Nanners: These are female plants that tend to produce male pollen sacs, which may be due to stress factors. Nanners are not like true hermaphrodites. They are caused by outside factors, not genetics.

How Does Hermie Occur?

It is, therefore, important to explain the various factors that lead to hermaphroditism in plants in a bid to avoid it. The following are some typical causes for this to happen:

1. Genetic Factors

Some plant strains are more prone to developing hermaphroditic traits due to their genetic makeup. Always choose reputable strains with a low likelihood of turning hermie.

2. Environmental Stress

Stressful growing conditions can trigger hermaphroditism in plants. Inconsistent light cycles can confuse the plant, leading to stress. During the flowering phase, even small light leaks can cause hermaphroditism.

Extreme temperature changes can stress the plant. Aim for a stable environment with temperatures between 68-77°F (20-25°C). Overfeeding or underfeeding plants can lead to stress. Follow a balanced feeding schedule appropriate for plants.

3. Physical Damage

Accidental damage to the plant, like broken branches or too much pruning, can cause stress, which can lead to hermaphroditism. Handle plants carefully to avoid such issues.

Early Signs of Hermie Plant

Identifying the early signs of hermaphroditism can save the crop. Here are some key indicators to watch for:

1. Pre-Flowers

During the pre-flowering stage, inspect plants closely. Keep an eye out for the development of the sex organs, both male and female. Male pre-flowers appear as small, round balls. Female pre-flowers look like teardrop-shaped calyxes with white pistils.

2. Buds Early Signs of Hermie Plant

In the early flowering stage, check buds for any unusual formations. Hermie plants may develop pollen sacs (nanners) within the buds. These look like small, banana-shaped structures and should be removed immediately.

3. Sudden Changes

Look for any abrupt changes in the plants’ health or growth patterns. Any strange behavior could indicate stress, which can cause hermaphroditism.

4. Yellowing of Leaves

While not exclusive to hermaphroditism, the yellowing of leaves can indicate stress. Ensure that cultivation techniques and growing environment are optimal to prevent this issue.

5. Environmental Factors

Keep an eye on environmental conditions. Any significant fluctuations in light, temperature, or humidity can trigger hermaphroditism in plants.

Buds Early Sign of Hermie Plants

Hermaphroditism is Harmful for Medicinal Plants

Hermaphroditism can pose challenges for breeders and farmers. This becomes challenging when the flowers are self-pollinating, and issues such as maintaining pure strains or crossbreeding new hybrids come across. This can have a negative effect on the constructive characteristics and genetic variations that are required for species of crops. Some other concerns are mentioned below:

Pollen Production

Hermie plants produce pollen sacs that can pollinate nearby female plants. Once pollinated, female plants focus their energy on producing seeds rather than developing potent buds. This results in lower-quality yields.

Reduced Potency

When female plants are pollinated, the resulting buds have fewer cannabinoids and terpenes, reducing the harvest’s overall potency and flavor profile.

Resource Allocation

Managing hermaphroditic plants requires extra time and effort. Instead of focusing on optimizing the growth of other plants, growers will be busy identifying and addressing hermie plants, diverting resources from the rest of the garden.

How to Get Rid of Hermie?

If gardeners identify a hermie plant in flower form in their garden, it’s essential to act quickly to mitigate the damage. Here’s how they can manage hermaphroditic plants:

Early Detection and Removal

The sooner growers identify and remove hermie plants, the better. Regularly inspect the growing plants during all growth stages, especially during pre-flowering and early flowering phases.

Manual Removal of Pollen Sacs

If the growers notice the issue at its early stage, they should be able to prune the male pollen sacs from the hermie plant. Sterilized tweezers or shredders should be used to not damage the rest of the plant when removing these structures.


Isolate the hermie plant from the rest of the garden to prevent accidental pollination.  Move the plant to a different grow area or dispose of it entirely if possible.

Stress Mitigation

Identify and rectify any environmental stress factors that may have contributed to hermaphroditism. Ensure the grow room is free from light leaks, maintain stable temperatures, and follow a balanced feeding schedule.

Use of Cultivation Software

Utilizing cultivation software can help monitor and improve the growth environment. These instruments offer real-time information on light, temperature, humidity, and nutrient levels so cultivators can make sensible adjustments to lessen plant stress.

Precautions Gardeners Should Take to Prevent Hermies

Preventing hermaphroditism requires a proactive approach. Here are some precautions growers can take to minimize the risk of developing hermie plants:

1. Choose Stable Genetics

Choose cultivators from reliable breeders like Growcycle, who have a solid track record of genetic stability. Research and choose strains with a low likelihood of turning hermie.

2. Optimize Growing Environment

Maintain stable temperatures, humidity levels, and airflow in the grow room. Use fans, dehumidifiers, and heaters as needed to create an optimal plant environment.

3. Follow a Balanced pH and Nutrient Schedule.

Provide plants with a balanced pH and appropriate feeding schedule for each growth stage. Avoid overfeeding or underfeeding, as nutrient imbalances can stress plants.

4. Regular Inspections

Plants should be regularly inspected to catch any early signs of hermaphroditism. Early detection is key to preventing pollen spread and ensuring a healthy crop.

The Bottom Line

Hermaphroditism in plants is often problematic for growers; however, with a proper understanding of growing techniques and control measures, it is not an insurmountable obstacle. 

Growcycle has various products developed to avoid the genetic disorder of hermaphroditism in plants. These include stress-relieved supplements like Korean seafood extracts and amino acids that assist the plant in maintaining balance in hormone- producing glands in order not to cause hermie.

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