No announcement yet.

Is this plant male or female?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Is this plant male or female?

    Cannabis plants can be either male or female, but only female cannabis plants make buds. Most growers want to get rid of male cannabis plants right away so they don't accidentally pollinate your female plants and cause seedy buds. If you start with feminized seeds or a clone, you know that you're growing a female plant. But for other growers starting with regular on unknown seeds, you need to be able to identify if the plant is male or female.

    You can tell the gender of most plants when they are 3-6 weeks old from seed. You may have to look all over the plant as the pre-flowers may appear in just one or two places.

    Male plants tend to show around 3-4 weeks, and female plants usually show a week or two later. Here's what to look for:

    Male Cannabis Plants

    Male cannabis plants grow pollen sacs. These eventually start stacking on each other like a bunch of grapes.

    Male cannabis pre-flowers tend to be shaped like a "spade"

    Sometimes a male pre-flower will look like it has a little stem

    You want to get male plants away from your female plants before they spill their pollen! Luckily you have a few weeks from when you first see pollen sacs forming

    Female Cannabis Plants

    If you see a wispy white pistil/ hair, you know for certain it's a female cannabis plant. Male plants do not grow pistils.

    Female pre-flowers usually have a white pistil/hair, but before they grow their pistil it can be confused with a male pre-flower. The female pre-flowers look more long and thin than male flowers. If it's a female plant the pistil will appear within just a few days. If it's a male plant, it will keep growing more spade shaped pre-flowers without any white pistils.

    These are all female pre-flowers (calyxes) that haven't grown their first pistil yet:

    Give it a few more days and you should start seeing white pistils!

    A few weeks later the buds look like a bunch of white hairs without any substance. I think of these as "budlets"

    Buds start to thicken as those calyxes (the non-hair part of the preflower) fatten up and stack on top of each other.

    The white hairs/pistils begin to darken and curl in as the plant approaches harvest/maturity

    By the time the plant is ready to harvest nearly all the pistils will have darkened and curled in

    Mixed Gender Flowers (Hermies & Bananas)

    Sometimes you have a plant that grows a mix of male and female flowers. These are usually called "hermies" (short for hermaphrodite). Hermies should generally be removed as soon as you spot them, just like male plants, so they don't pollinate your female plants.

    Sometimes hermies are caused by stress (uneven light cycles, light during the dark period, high heat, plant problems, etc). Other times they're caused by genetics (especially when you see full pollen sacs forming all over the plant) and they would have herm'ed no matter what you did as a grower.

    The seeds resulting from a hermie will all end up being female plants, but they're much more likely to end up being hermies themselves since its in their genes.

    Hermie - Mix of Female Buds & Male Pollen Sacs (Bad!)

    "Bananas" (stamens) are what would normally grow inside male pollen sacs. These are what produce pollen. When your plant is stressed, it may start producing bananas on its buds, and these can pollinate buds just like pollen sacs. They don't even need to open up! These are often the result of stress, and also often appear when plants have "gone long" and are getting towards the end of the harvest window.

    Remove (or harvest) hermies immediately, just like a male plant, or they'll make seeds!

    That being said, if it's just a few spots and especially if it's the only plant in the grow room, some growers will pick off bananas and pollen sacs, to try to minimize pollination before harvest.

    Besides taking good care of your plants, the best thing you can do to avoid hermies is to start with good genetics! Seeds you "find" (bag seed) are often the result of hermie pollination, and are more likely to become hermies themselves!

    Here's the full article about pre-flowers and here's one about hermies, let us know what you think!
    Learn how to use pre-flowers to determine the gender of your plant when it's only 3-6 weeks old from seed. Lots of pics!
    Last edited by NebulaHaze; 09-26-2016, 08:13 PM.

    First time grower here, mostly for medicinal purposes for my husband. (crohn's disease and trying to wean from oxicontin)..

    Sprouted some bag seeds mid July. Some plants big and bushy, others tall and skinny. I switched light cycle to 12/12 Sept 1st. About one week later sex showing on most and eliminated all known males. Females moving along just swell, then bam, several seemed to have been pollinated.

    Question. Hubby is extremely anxious for some smokable pot. Should I cut my loses on the pollinated buds, cure and get to smoking? Will it have any potency at all?

    I have removed these from my grow tent. The other females seem to be developing much slower. Like I said, hubby is very anxious for anything smokable that will help him with the pain.

    P.S. - we live in a non marijuana U.S. state and he can no longer travel due to health reasons to get his pot from a relative.


      I forgot to add, that 4 days ago he ordered some feminized seeds from your seed bank link. Hopefully we will not have this problem next grow.


        Don't worry, even if your buds get a few seeds they'll still be good bud and be potent. Did you figure what caused the pollination? Was it a male plant you missed, or did you get pollen sacs or "bananas" on your buds? If you're keeping an eye on the plants and have gotten rid of the offending pollinators I wouldn't pull them at this point! Just watch out for more males/hermies and try to give your plant TLC until harvest


          Thanks neb. I told him he needs to be patient and give those pollinated buds at least 2 more weeks to fill out a bit more. There are a fair amount of white hairs amongst the growing seeds.

          Not sure how this happened other than they were bag seeds and could have been prone to hermie. Or we missed a male. Or, and most likely, sufferend some stress Hubby has been a smoker for 40 years but never a grower. I have been relying on internet info and photos to guide me along. As soon as I would see a white hair, we'd be so excited we had a girl.

          Unfortunately, we did let them get root bound. Day before the change to 12/12 I transplanted from 2 gal buckets to 5 gal buckets. I could not believe the massive root ball on some of them. Also, we were growing them in basement up until flowering because we didn't have our tent yet. Once in the tent, temps and humidity were different until we got them under control. I'm thinking stress from the whole transfer made some of them hermie.

          I'll try to loads some pics for you. Thanks again!


            I'll have to forget loading pics for now until I figure out how to make smaller. Every one I tried to download said file size too big.


              Naughty girl.


                One of my other healthy (I hope) girls.


                  Originally posted by insomniaczzz View Post
                  I'll have to forget loading pics for now until I figure out how to make smaller. Every one I tried to download said file size too big.
                  It should allow you to upload much larger pics now! ...also, we need to get more/better emojis. These are not good!


                    Originally posted by insomniaczzz View Post
                    Naughty girl.
                    *Ahem* That's definitely naughty a girl! Yeeeeeeeeeaahhhh!!!!


                      Originally posted by insomniaczzz View Post
                      Naughty girl.
                      I think that is a hermie (plant with both male and female parts) If you have other plants in there, you might consider pulling that one out because it doesn't look like it's making a whole lot of usable bud unfortunately, and it can pollinate your other plants if those pollen sacs open.

                      Edit: I added a section about hermies in the main post, I hope it helps!
                      Last edited by NebulaHaze; 09-18-2016, 11:02 PM. Reason: Added hermie section to main article


                        There were two hermies. I got them out of grow tent guick. I still have them. Was hoping that top bud may still fill out so hubby has something to cure and get smoking. Maybe I'll get rid of it once and for all, which I know is what is advised.

                        The five other girls in the grow tent are all looking great. Maturing rather slow, but without knowing what strain or anything about them, maybe this is normal.

                        I did go and read your section on hermies.


                          If you are new to growing, the first time you see the balls, you'll never forget the sight. You will know M-F from that point on.


                            Yep, the little balls are a dead giveaway. I had one pop open overnight while the plants were still vegging. Got it out right away...... Boo


                              The seed for this was sown 13 days ago. When should I start to see the sex glands?
                              First grow Bagseed and Acid Dough:

                              First grow Acid Dough:

                              Second grow Monster Cropped Acid Dough:

                              1000w HPS. (4) 136w LEDs. 48x96x80" flower tent. (1) 136w LED. (6) 13w cfls. 2x2x4' clone tent. DWC. House and Garden nutes: Aqua Flakes + supplements per HG DWC feeding schedule. Hydroguard.


                              Check out our new growing community forum! (still in beta)

                              Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter!