Hermaphrodites, also known as hermies, are plants that exhibits both the characteristics of male and female plants. They become she-males due to the two most common reasons. First, its genetic imprint- if it’s ought to be one then it’s going to be one. Second is because of a stressful or hostile environment. Becoming a hermy is an adaptation technique that marijuana plants use to survive. As the environment becomes unfavorable it hastens it’s reproduction by making both the stigma and the sac for its self-pollination which becomes seeds in time capable of producing another plant in another time and place.
Now, Why Don’t We Want the Hermaphrodite and the Male Plants?
We are after the leaves of the plant and this is ingeniously produced by feminized pots. Simply put, male plants produce the sacs, not the leaves, while the hermaphrodites produce both the stigma and the sac which progresses to seeds. If you’re a seed seller then you should find a way to produce more of the hermies but if you’re using it personally or selling the leaves as a finished product then you don’t really want to have the she-males and the males in your pot. You have to simply pluck it away or separate it from the rest of the feminized ones. Usually the growth ratio will be 50:50 for males and females.
What Can We do to Avoid Them?
As I have mentioned earlier, if the reason is genetically imprinted, then there is not much you can do but to pluck the ‘unacceptable’ away.
If it’s because of a stressful environment then try to put your precious weeds into a more soothing place. Here are a few points to look into:
Air- Mind how the air circulates between your crops especially during the night cycle. Fans can be installed or provided to ease the plant’s breathing especially for seedlings as this can help strengthen their stems. If your crops are placed indoors then you have to make sure that the air is replenished every 8-15 minutes.
Temp and Humidity- relative Humidity directly affects the transpiration process of plants. Aim around 40-80% for Relative Humidity (Cutting/Seedling Stage: 70-80%; Vegetation: 50-80%; Flowering Stage: 40-50%). Make sure that the cannabis does not need to expend a lot of energy in transpiration.
Place and Soil- If you are going to plant your weeds outdoors, a good nourished soil to start with could be a deciding factor in producing female plants. Try to put your garden and mix them with other plants but leave an ample space for them to branch out and grow. Marijuana plants are hard to spot if mixed with other plants, making it unnoticeable. Its place under the sun is also crucial as well as its shield to a heavy rain.
Water- if you are going for Hydroponics then I would recommend that you invest in a good box that can control the growth conditions of your pots. Check the instructions provided by manufacturers for you to know the optimal setting that would increase your yield.
People also try to urinate on the outdoor weed area to scare off animals away. However, if you cannot really stop them, you should take the hermies out immediately as this would be very bad influence to your other healthy female cannabis.