What are the Early Signs of a Hermie Plant?


Hermie is a term used by growers to indicate when a plant changes its sex and begins to show both male and female flowers. 

After you’ve spent weeks on end taking care of your cannabis growth, your joy is priceless when you see them begin to flower. 

early signs of hermie plant

Unfortunately, there are times when your plantation will show hermaphrodite cannabis growth. This means it will display both male and female parts. Hermaphrodite plants are challenging to identify, especially during the start. 

They may start off showing female buds, but then they will Hermie – pollinate themselves and eventually produce seeds. No one wants seeds in their buds, and this presents a dilemma for growers. The big question is: what are the early signs of a hermie plant?

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What Triggers a Plant to Hermie?

Here are a few factors that can trigger the change.

Irregular Lightning Routines

The largest contributor to hermie-ing is when plants don’t receive light during the same time daily. This is a major factor to hermie in photoperiod plants. ‘Light Leaks’ when the plant is exposed to light during the dark hours.

It is important to remember that your cannabis plant won’t compromise on its beauty sleep!

  • Very high temperatures or swings in temperature peaks can cause hermie formation
  • Plant problems like nutrient deficiency, nutrient burn, unsuitable pH and light burn can all cause hermies
  • Genetics plays a vital role in hermie formation. Although, stress is a major contributing factor but those seeds whose plants once hermied are bound to hermie again
  • Making purchases from an unreliable nursery

Find out how to sex marijuana plants.

What are the early signs of hermie plants?

Hermaphrodite cannabis plants show signs of hermie any time during the flowering stage. However, they are easier to identify during the early flower stage. 

Once your plants reach the late flower stage, the flowers get bigger, and it becomes difficult to spot a hermie because they get covered by the growing flowers.

Early Flower Stage

During the early flower stage, you can easily identify the sex of your cannabis plant. And you can also spot a hermie relatively easily.

early flower stage

Female flowers distinctively grow hairs on them four to six weeks after germination, which are white in color and called Pistils. They also grow Calyxes. These are almost always confused for male parts by new and young growers. 

Don’t be hasty; call out your cannabis growth as male and throw it out. It can be a very suitable cannabis plant growth too. So, if you’re not sure, always call for extra help before shoving away a good female cannabis plant growth.

On the other hand, male flowers grow round bunches called ‘pods’ three to four weeks after germination. Male parts also grow singularly. This means the bud will appear like a small ball on a stalk (this part can be confused for a female calyx.)


This is part of a female cannabis plant. They appear different but can be identified if you have a good eye and possess some experience.

Calyxes appear as pointy, frosty growths that show white hairs or pistils. This is where cannabis seeds will grow if the plant gets pollinated. 

A male flower that looks like a calyx will be round instead of pointy. It will not have hairs coming out of it. Also, it will be on a stalk. 

Late Flower Stage

As your cannabis plant grows older, it will become increasingly difficult to see the male parts as the buds will become bigger. Sometimes, the male parts grow inside the buds, and it becomes impossible to detect and identify them.

In the late flower stage, something called ‘bananas’ begins to appear. These bananas on your cannabis will split open and pollinate your plant resulting in seed formations growing in the buds.

It is of utmost importance that you know how to detect banana formation. If left undetected, these bananas will pollinate your entire cannabis growth and make your crop full of seeds.

Bananas or Nanners

Finding bananas in your cannabis growth is a sure shot sign that your female cannabis has hermied. 

Find the buds in your plants; if you see a structure on them that looks like a banana, you know that your plant immediately needs treatment. 

Although, in most cases, by the time you find bananas in your cannabis, it is already too late, and chances of salvaging that plant are slim to none.

The bananas not only resemble the fruit when closed, but they also open up to form a star-shaped structure just like the peeled banana fruit. The bad news when you find an open banana is that your crop has been pollinated for sure, and there’s no recovery from that.

If you are so persistent to still find a ray of hope, then look for small buds and calyxes. Open them and search for seeds. If you put this plant down early, maybe seed formation will be minimal and would not have spread to other plants. And then perhaps, you can save the remainder of your crop.

How to Deal with a Hermie Plant?

Finding seeds in your cannabis growth during the flowering stage is a big bummer. But it is still not the end of the world. So buckle up because you have a laborious task ahead to salvage your crop.

All you have to aim is to separate the seeds from the rest of the plant.

To save you some time and energy, why don’t you turn your buds into an extract!!

By doing so, you will be taking the oils, terpenes, and cannabinoids while leaving the seeds behind.

Another option is, kill at sight. Kill the plant in which you discover seeds. This will prevent the seeds from spreading to your remaining crop. 

Elimination from the growing space is key.

But whatever you do, always spend time figuring out where the problem began. And avoid repeating it in the future.

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How to Avoid Hermie Formation

The same factors that trigger hermie formation should be avoided to prevent them from forming. Let’s look at this in a bit more detail.

Avoid Irregular Lightning Routines

Don’t change the light routine during flowering stages. If possible, put a timer on light for your indoor plants.

Protect your outdoor plants from getting exposed to street lights, floodlights, and flaring mobile torch lights.

During the flowering stage, it is vital to prevent light leaks and make sure your plants receive at least twelve hours of uninterrupted dark hours during the night.

Avoid Temperature Variations

Temperatures between 65-85°F (18-30°C) are optimal for your cannabis growing space during the flowering stages.

Do not enforce large temperature swings. It is also important to reduce the temperature slightly during the night hours as compared to the daytime.

temperature variations

Be careful, and don’t leave your plants over a cool surface for prolonged periods.

Be Careful and Don’t Light Burn Your Plants

We understand that more light is better for the growth of your cannabis buds. But very high power brightness can cause light burns and can make your plant hermie on you.

Don’t keep the lights very close to your plants because too much brightness induces stresses and can result in hermie formations. This is true even if you control the temperature of your growing space accurately.

With all the varieties of grow lights available in the market today, make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions precisely.

Act Proactively to Prevent Plant Problems

This is an inevitable problem in any of our growing spaces. One needs to be proactive in detecting any problems arising. Diligent and regular inspection of your crops can help in preventing any of these problems, becoming a stress factor for your plant, which will eventually result in hermie formation.

Problems include:

  • Nutrient deficiency
  • Nutrient burn (overfeeding your plants) 
  • Leaf loss because of bugs
  • Pest infestations

Buy Seeds from a Trusted Grower or Nursery

One thing to always remember is that, even if you do everything right, some of your plants will hermie on you. It is just a fact of growing. 

So don’t beat yourself down, get up, and start again with positive vibes!

Final Words: Can You Save a Hermie Plant?

There is a debate that revolves around this aspect of growing cannabis and when your crop becomes hermie.

Some growers advocate mixing these up with other species to save the plant.

Others disagree and say whatever buds the new mixed-seed plant will give will also produce hermies.

So, it is up to your understanding and experience what you prefer for your crops.

But after some research, we advise to kill the hermie plant and prevent its spread. Even if you breed it with another species, chances are, it will again produce hermie, which is again futile.

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