How to tell if a Marijuana Plant is Female

How to sex a marijuana plant.


Difference between Male and Female Marijuana Plants

Marijuana plants can be classified as either being male or female. Both male and female plants are important for growers who are hoping to increase the plant population. While both types of plants will grow flowers, there are some distinct differences between the two sexes of the same species. Here is what you need to know:

The Most Significant Difference

Female plants tend to be of greater importance when the focus is on harvesting marijuana. This is because they are the only plants that produce the buds that can be smoked or ingested. Male plants don’t produce buds. Instead, they produce pollen that is meant to fertilize the female plants.

Female plants that are pollinated will begin to produce seeds. Those that don’t have access to pollen, however, will have increased resin production and a greater number of trichomes as well. These are the elements that are responsible for the medicinal and psychoactive effects of marijuana.

It is also important to note that female plants have a higher percentage of THC than the male plants, although the actual range can vary.

Variations in Appearance

One of the easiest ways to differentiate between a female plant and a male is by looking at the flowers. A female flower will have white or dark orange hairs known as pistils. You will also be able to see a thick layer of resin covering the female plants. The male plants, on the other hand, have pollen sacks which will later blossom into flowers. The flowers are typically white or light green in color.

These are the important differences that exist between male and female marijuana plants.

When Do Marijuana Plants Reveal Their Gender?

It is not always possible to visually detect the gender of marijuana plants when they are still seedlings. For growers who are uncertain about the sex of their plant, they will need to wait until each of the plants begin showing distinct features. Here are some of the signs to look out for:

How Long Does it Take?

The time that it takes for marijuana plants to reveal their gender can vary. In some cases, growers may be able to see distinguishable elements about six weeks after the seed has been planted. In other instances, the growers will have to wait until the plants have officially begun the flowering stage. Female plants, in particular, can be difficult to identify before this stage has been fully established.

What Do the Gender Features Look Like

Growers typically can tell whether a plant is male or female by looking at their pre-flowers. The simplest way to classify a plant as female is to look for white, wispy hair-like structures. These can be found where the main stem meets the nodes.

With males, you will be able to notice grape-like sacks on the plant. Although these can resemble the buds found on female plants, these ones are much rounder. They are filled with pollen and will eventually burst open to spill their pollen if they are left to grow.

To be completely certain about whether a marijuana plant is female or male, you will have to wait until the flowering stage has been firmly established.


How to Determine the Gender of a Cannabis Plant

Cannabis plants have three genders: male, female, and hermaphrodite. All three genders are fertile, but growers prefer female plants. Only female plants can produce buds or flowers that contain psychoactive chemicals. Hermaphrodite plants, which are plants that are both male and female, produce only seedy buds that are useless.

Plants show signs of gender at about 6 weeks of age. During this age, the plants will show signs of “pre flowers” that growers can use to determine gender. Growers can also wait until the plants begin to flower to know for sure which is male, female, or both. However, some growers prefer to remove males or hermies early.

How to Know if a Plant is Female

Only female marijuana plants produce the flowers that contain THC. Female plants should be spotted soon before flowering and kept separate from male or hermie plants to avoid fertilization. If a female plant gets fertilized, then the plant will produce seeds and stop flowering, leading to lower harvests.

It’s possible to determine a female plant during the pre-flowering state during the vegetative stage. Female plants have white pistils that are visible between the joints of the stalk. These pistils are like translucent hairs. Female marijuana plants also have more leaves, and are “bushier.”

How to Know if a Plant is Male

Male plants tend to have fewer leaves than female plants, but thicker stems that allow them to grow taller than the females. Male plants also have pollen sacs between the joints of stems, which makes them easy to identify as males. Male plants do not produce flowers and should be removed from a growth area to avoid fertilization with female plants. Fertilized female plants will stop producing THC and flowers, and focus all efforts on producing seeds.

How to Determine a Hermaphrodite Plant

Hermaphrodite plants have both male pollen sacs and female pistils. These plants are not desired in stocks. Hermie plants can fertilize female plants in a growth area, which could result in hermie children. Hermie plants sometimes flower, but also self-pollinate resulting in useless seedy buds. The trait is highly genetically inherited. Hermie plants should be spotted early and removed.

All About Hermaphrodite Cannabis Plants

Marijuana plants are typically considered to be either “male” or “female” depending on reproductive capabilities. A plant nursery must have both male and female plants to flower and breed the next generation. Frequent growers, however, may occasionally run into plants that show both male and female characteristics. These plants are commonly referred to by growers as hermaphrodites or “hermies.” Hermie plants are not infertile. They can mostly self-pollinate or pollinate fully female plants. However, experienced growers advise against breeding hermie plants because offspring of these plants have a higher chance of being hermie like the parent plant.

Hermaphrodite and Mixed Gender Cannabis Plants

There are actually two types of hermie plants. Hermie plants and another variety that has mixed gender buds called “bananas” or “nanners.” A “real” hermaphrodite cannabis plant would have both male and female parts, often growing on different sections of the same plant. These gendered parts won’t grow in the same place, which is what happens with the nanners.

To spot a true hermaphrodite plant, look for the white pistils that indicate a female plant growing in one part, and for pollen sacs that determine males present in other parts. The pollen sacs of plants appear quite early, so these should be watched out for.

What’s Wrong with Hermie Plants?

Hermie plants make seedy buds, which reduce yields. Pollen from the sacs of hermie plants don’t make more flowers and typically tend to make seeds. So the resulting harvest would be quite disappointing.

What Causes Hermaphrodite Plants?

There could be different reasons for hermaphroditism in cannabis plants. Once often noticed trigger is stress. Even a little amount of stress can result in hermies.

What to Do if Hermies are Present in a Nursery?

It’s highly recommended to remove hermie plants from a growth room or an area to avoid cross pollination. Hermaphroditism can be passed down from parent plant to child in very high percentages. Plants grown from clones of hermie plants have a very high chance of turning into hermies that show similar traits as the original. Breeding a true male or female plant with a hermie will very likely result in hermie children as well. Plants that show no signs of hermie traits are considered good for breeding other plants.

As pollen sacs of hermie plants appear early, it’s important to spot those and pluck them before the sacs burst. Pollen sacs of hermie plants can appear throughout the flowering phase and cause problems for the harvest later.

How to Prevent Hermie Plants in a Stock

There are several methods to try to prevent hermie plants and avoid the painful process of removing them later. Mainly, it’s strongly advised to provide all plants with consistent lights on a strict schedule. Avoid light leaks and inconsistent light distribution. Make sure plants are grown in a tightly controlled room. For example, outdoor street lights should not flood some plants and not others. Plants should also have at least 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness each day.

When the flowering stage arises, the growth area must have a proper temperature as well. A comfortable temperature to maintain is between 65-85°F (18-30°C). Avoid causing plants stress. Stress can be caused by too many nutrients, pests, and leaf loss due to things like too much defoliation. It generally takes a high amount of stress for the plant to become hermie, but providing as stress free of an environment is a general good practice.

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