Can You Save a Hermie Plant

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Growing cannabis requires paying careful attention to your plants. While most know that they need to care for their plants in order to get a good yield, there are many who don’t know that the plants themselves can actually interfere with the process.

Two important things any grower should learn are how to identify a hermaphroditic plant and what to do when one of these plants has been identified.

Is my plant a hermie?

A cannabis plant growing both male and female flowers is actually a natural feature of the plant, but it’s not something that most cannabis growers want. These plants, called hermaphrodites or hermies, are going to reduce the potential yield for growers and lead to a crop that’s not quite as useful for their needs.

As such, it’s vital that you learn how to identify hermies early on.

Green Cannabis flower

The easiest way to identify a hermie is by looking at the marijuana as it buds. The key is to look for a combination of not just the usual buds, but also banana-shaped growths that indicate a male flower.

These pollen sacs are definitely to be avoided when possible, so it’s vital that you figure out how to tell them apart from the usual indicators of a female plant. If you’re not sure how to properly identify a hermie plant, you may want to watch this video.

Common Causes Of Hermies

While hermies do occur in nature, there are also specific environmental factors that can cause them to occur. Below are just a few of the most pressing:

  • Late harvesting
  • Growing them in a room that’s too hot
  • Breaking branches or roots during pruning
  • Too much or too little water
  • Using the wrong pesticides
  • Interrupting the dark period of the plant’s growth

What should I do if I get a hermaphrodite cannabis plant or plants?

This is honestly a question that has a few different answers. Some will say that you should immediately destroy the plant, lest it interfere with the rest of your crop. While this is definitely a solution, it’s a bit wasteful and it can be expensive.

Instead, it’s best to look at ways to keep the plant.

The first step you’ll take is to isolate the hermie from the rest of your crop. The last thing you want is cross-pollination, so move it to an entirely different room and never interact with your other plants after you’ve interacted with the hermie.

Bush of cannabis

This will help you to avoid potential issues as you move forward.

The next step is to identify those male organs and to totally remove the branch that contains them. Yes, that’s a bit of a tricky problem as this stress can actually cause a hermie to grow in certain stages of development, so try to cut away as little as possible.

Once this is done, you should be able to harvest without worrying about getting a particularly seed-filled yield.

Hermaphrodite can occur when you wait too long to harvest so how do you know when it is time to harvest your cannabis plant?

Simply put, you’re going to need to pay attention to the trichomes. The trichomes, the small sacs that you’re generally only able to really view with a microscope, are the best indicator of a plant’s readiness to harvest.

You’ll want to watch the plant as it matures, looking for these sacs to fill and for about half of them to turn from a milky white to amber. If you’ve reached this stage, you’ll want to harvest as soon as you can.

How to Avoid Hermaphrodite Plants

The best way to avoid these plants is to be very careful about where and whom you buy. Certain strains are naturally more likely to produce hermies, as are certain attempts to manipulate the seeds of the plant.

You definitely want to buy from a stock that already has a good reputation and that doesn’t have a frequent history of producing these aberrant plants.

Marijuana seeds over dark reflective background

It’s also best to pay attention to how you care for your own plants so that you can avoid hermie seeds. Don’t introduce unnecessary stressors into the growth process, make sure that you harvest in a timely manner, and remove any hermies from the rest of the your crop as soon as possible to prevent their spread.


Is it possible that only a few branches went hermie and maybe they can be cut off?

Yes, this is very possible. While cutting off the hermie branches is not ideal – doing so can cause others to go hermie from the stress – it might be your only way to save the plant if you can’t remove the sacs before they mature.

Will the seeds that a hermie produces be feminized or will they all become hermies like the mother?

It’s honestly luck of the draw here. Some hermie plants produce seeds that grow on to be winners, while others grow seeds the go on to be future hermie plants.

Whether or not you keep the seeds is really a matter of the space you have and the amount of attention that you want to pay to the final product. It should be noted that a plant that goes hermie due to stressors is more likely to produced feminized seeds, while one that is genetically hermie is more likely to replicate that state.