Is it a Hermie?
This is a topic that scares a lot of home growers, this is what we all seek to avoid when it comes to growing cannabis. This article is going to focus on identifying a true hermie in autoflowering cannabis.
I will start by saying, a true hermaphrodite is rare. There are things that can cause a female plant to go into what is called rodelization. Rodelization takes place when a female plant will try to pollinate herself as a last resort when she doesn’t get pollinated and is nearing the end of her life cycle. That is why sometimes older or stressed female plants grow a few male “balls” as a last-ditch attempt to self-pollinate.
In autoflowers this process can happen early, at the beginning of flowering. It DOES NOT mean that your plant is a hermaphrodite! This is a natural response to some sort of stress trigger, it can be anything from temperature swings, humidity issues, watering issues, lighting issues, etc. We have not identified what exactly causes this rodelization response. What we do know is that it is generally not a cause for concern.
Next we will identify how to tell if your plant is has “stress sacs” or is a true hermie.
Generally, rodelization stress sacs only occur at the bottom most branches. They usually only occur on the first 1-3 internodes (the place where the lateral branch meets the main stalk) and it will almost always be just a few of them in a small cluster that forms at the base of the internode. They almost always are small and easy to spot.
This is an example of a stress sac, as long as it is at the lower most part of the plant.
A true hermaphrodite is going to have both male and female parts forming all the way up the plant, they will form tight male sac clusters where buds should be. They generally will have both male and female parts in the same bud site, not always – but most of the time. On a true hermie you will notice a lot more male flowers in the place where pistils (the hairs on female plants) are supposed to be.
This is an example of a true hermie.
If you do in fact have stress sacs vs a true hermie, the easiest way to deal with them is pluck off the stress sacs that you can see. Then keep a close eye on the plant and watch for any further sacs to develop, in most cases they will only throw out one, MAYBE two sets of sacs at the bottom most branches. Stress sacs are not super rare and can happen from time to time. True hermies however are much more rare, and that is why it is always key to stick with reputable breeders and reputable retailers, like Multiverse Beans!