In addition to looking for preflowers, all cannabis plants reveal their sex when they reach their second stage of life, known as the “Flowering Stage”. The first sign of sex almost always appears at the “V” where new growth tips form from a stem, like this…. See the little growths appearing at the “V” or “crotch” where the growth node meets the stem? In this case, we can see the pre-flowers are forming, but it could be tough to tell whether this plant is going to turn into a boy or a girl quite yet. (Note: It’s a boy) Younger plants (that are less than 6 weeks old or haven’t shown preflowers yet) tend to take a little longer to switch into the flowering stage compared to older, more mature plants that have been vegetating for a while.
Other than that, you can pretty much force a cannabis plant to start flowering no matter the age, even 2-3 weeks after the seed was germinated. Read the full article about male vs female cannabis plants (and learn how to use cloning to identify the sex of young plants while they’re still in the vegetative stage – advanced only!): https://www.growweedeasy.com/marijuana-boy-girl. When Sex Isn’t as Certain… Avoid Accidental Pollination! So now you know that most cannabis plants are normally considered to be either “male” and “female.” Yet sometimes you will run into plants that show both male and female characteristics, and these plants can accidentally self-pollinate, or pollinate your other female plants. A cannabis plant that shows both male and female parts is often referred to by growers as a hermaphrodite or “hermie.” These can pollinate your plants and cause seedy buds. There are a few different types of mixed-sex plants, and it’s important for a grower to understand some of the biggest differences so they make the best decision possible when faced with hermies. Important: It’s not advisable to breed mixed-sex plants to create seeds because their offspring are more likely to display hermie characteristics.
Although growers will refer to all mixed-sex plants as “hermies,” there are technically two different kinds: hermaphrodite cannabis plants, and mixed-sex buds (like buds with nanners). The only reason I bother to differentiate between the two is that true hermaphrodite plants are more predictable. With a “true” hermaphrodite plant, the male and female parts will grow on different parts of the plant. They won’t grow together in the same spot such as when nanners appear in the middle of buds. Here is an example of a true hermaphrodite plant – notice how this hermie has both female pistils and fully formed male pollen sacs. Stress can trigger this type of hermaphroditism, but unlike bananas, this particular type of mixed-sex plant seems to be a little bit more stable based on the plant’s genetics. It usually doesn’t take stress to cause these to appear. A clone of a true hermaphrodite plant will often also turn into a hermaphrodite, and offspring will often show the same traits even under perfect environmental conditions. It is recommended to never breed a plant that shows hermaphrodite traits since this is a highly inheritable genetic trait. A good “breeding stock” mother will not show signs of hermaphroditism even when subjected to stress. It is recommended that you remove hermaphrodite plants from your grow room or grow area as soon as possible to prevent accidental pollination of the buds. If pollen from a pollen sac is allowed to make contact with your buds, those buds will stop focusing on making more buds and will turn all their “effort” into making seeds. Unlike bananas, hermaphrodite plants tend to be more predictable. Though it’s not advisable, a grower who watches very closely can carefully pluck all pollen sacs before they’ve burst. However, this should only be done if it’s the only plant you have! Don’t do this if you have other female plants that can be pollinated! Remember, while these pollen sacs can start appearing early, they may continue to appear throughout the flowering stage so stay vigilant! The following type of hermaphrodite plant has mixed male and female parts, referred to in botany as “bisexual” flowers. With mixed-sex buds you will see plants that grow a mix of pistils and pollen sacs together, like this… Bananas (“Nanners”) Another common type of mixed-sex buds is the type that produces “bananas” (sometimes called “nanners”) which grow from the middle of female buds. Example of a “Banana” or “Nanner” growing among buds. Bananas are rarely round and they don’t look like a normal pollen sac. Instead, they’re often elongated and yellow, which is where they get the nickname “banana”.
They also often grow together in bunches that can look like a bunch of bananas. Occasionally they appear more lime green than yellow. Sometimes a banana appears lime green instead of yellow. These can be a lot more difficult to control than actual pollen sacs, since they may start pollinating everything in the area as soon as they appear.
A few bananas won’t do much damage, but if you have a big banana problem it may be best to harvest the plants immediately and cut your losses. Seeds take some time to develop, so if a plant starts herming right around harvest time, it’s less likely you’ll end up with seeds.