Can You Save A Hermie Plant?

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If you are growing cannabis, one of the issues that you may be faced with is a hermie plant. In case you don’t a hermie plant is technically a hermaphrodite plant.

Having a hermie plant can significantly reduce yields and THC, and it can cause other nearby plants to turn hermie as well.  Is it doom and gloom, or can they be saved?

It may or may not be possible to save a hermie weed plant. You may be able to cut away the branches that have male features, but it doesn’t always work. Many recommend immediately destroying the plant. 

can you save a hermie plant


What Is A Hermie Weed Plant?

Of course, weed plants can be male or female, with some being hermaphrodites, which means that the have the features of both male and female plants.

As far the strength of your plants in terms of THC, as well as the overall yield, you always want female plants. Female plants are those that produce the biggest and best buds with high THC contents.

Male plants on the other hand, while they do still produce some flowers, don’t have much of the cannabinoids present. Male plants don’t have much or any THC, but what they do have is plenty of seeds.

Therefore, having a hermie plant means that your weed plant, while it will produce buds with low to moderate amounts of THC, won’t be nearly as strong as it should be.

Yields will also be significantly reduced, plus your buds will be full of seeds. When growing weed, for maximum bud yield and THC, you need female plants.

So, what causes hermie plants, what can you do when you have a hermie plant, and what can you do to prevent it from occurring in the first place?

What Causes Hermie Plants?

cannabis plant

The issue with hermie weed plants is that there are many causes. There are many different factors that can cause a weed plant to grow as a hermaphrodite, or even to turn hermie when it was already a female.

The issue here is that it is really all luck of the draw. Sometimes these factors will cause your plant to turn hermie, and other times they will not. So, what are some of these factors?

One of the most common causes of weed plants turning hermie is genetics. If the marijuana seeds you used for growing your plants originated from hermie plants, the chances of your children plants being hermies are quite high. F

or this reason, you always want to get your weed seeds from a reputable source. Moreover, some strains, particularly sativas, are known for being more likely to turn hermie than others.

Stress may also cause a weed plant to turn to hermaphroditism. Usually, it takes a male plant and a female plant to reproduce, one to make seeds and one to pollinate.

However, because a hermie plant has both the seeds and the pollen, it can pollinate itself. In other words, it’s a survival mechanism that some plants use to reproduce when they “fear” that they won’t be pollinated from an outside source.

That said, what causes this stress and fear of dying to occur? There are several stress and growth related factors that can cause a weed plant to turn into a hermie.

These include harvesting the plant too late, very high growth temperatures, breaking roots or branches when pruning, using the wrong pesticides or nutrients, giving plants too much or too little water, and interrupting the necessary period of dark during the growth process.

More or less, anything you do wrong in terms of providing your plant with the proper growth conditions comes with the chance of said planting turning into a hermaphrodite.

Leaving your plant for too long without harvesting is one of the main causes. Female plants will look for one last way to reproduce before they die, which is hermaphroditism.

Can You Stop A Plant From Herming?

Marijuana flower buds

There is never a 100% guarantee that you can stop a plant from turning hermie, but based on what we said above, there are definitely some preventative measures that you can take to reduce the chances of this happening.

Refer to the points below for the best tips on how to stop weed plants from herming.

  • Always buy your seeds from a reputable source. Unreputable sources may sell you seeds without caring about the end result. Some are just in it from the money.
  • Always keep the temperature at the recommended level for the growth state in question. This is especially true in terms of heat. Heat stress is a leading cause of a plant turning hermie. Make sure your plant is never too hot.
  • When you go to water your plant, never use ice cold or even moderately cold water. This kind of temperature difference between the air and water can also cause stress which leads to hermaphroditism.
  • On that same note, never overwater your plants, but also don’t underwater them. Both under and overwatering can in some cases lead to a weed plant turning hermie.
  • Always keep the light cycles in mind. Plants should get 24 hours of light during the veg phase and 12 hours during the flowering phase. If you interrupt the dark cycles, it may cause a plant to turn hermie.
  • Keep in mind that light stress can also cause plants to turn hermaphrodite. Having either too much or too little light, both in terms of quantity and intensity can lead to marijuana plant hermaphroditism.
  • Also keep your nutrients, fertilizers, and pesticides in check. Using too few nutrients usually won’t lead to a hermie plant, but too much definitely can. Sure, big plants need plenty nutrients, but there is such a thing as too much.
  • Always act quickly when you notice any kind of pest or fungal infestation. Stress caused by pests and fungi can also lead to a plant turning hermie.
  • Always be careful when pruning or handling your plants. Damage to the plant or the roots may also cause this issue to arise.

What Do I Do If My Weed Plant Is A Hermaphrodite?

What to do if your weed plant ends up being a hermaphrodite is an age old question, one that has no straightforward answer. The unfortunate reality is that if your weed plant is a hermie, the chances of saving it are not great.

The one thing that you can try doing here is to cut off all of the branches that have male parts on them. This may stop the plant from turning hermie further, and it may help maintain good yields with high THC levels.

That said, if you cut off the branches with male parts, it may actually lead to other branches of the plant growing hermaphrodite appendages.

Cutting off branches can cause stress, which may then cause more hermaphroditism. It’s really a shot in the dark, the luck of the draw, so to speak. Now, many people are going to recommend that you immediately destroy any and all hermaphrodite plants.

If they are near your other female plants, the pollen from the hermaphrodites can very well infect the female plants and cause them to turn hermie as well. Most would recommend getting rid of the plant.

However, if you don’t want to get rid of the plant, you can always take your chances and move it to another space that is completely separate and sealed off from the main grow area.

This will help prevent your other plants from turning hermie while also giving you the chance to deal with the hermie plant.

On that note, if you do want to try to save the plant, always wash your hands thoroughly and change your clothes after handling the hermie.

That pollen can get on your hands and clothes, and if you then handle your female plants, you can still cause them to turn into hermaphrodites.

Can A Hermie Turn Female?

In all honestly, while technically possible, the chances are super unlikely.

If you follow all of the tips we have provided you with, both in terms of handling a hermie plant and preventing it from turning hermie in the first place, you may be able to cause a hermie to revert back to a female state.

However, it is quite unlikely, which is why most people recommend just getting rid of the hermie plants, as they generally are not worth the trouble.

That said, if you manage to get cut away the male parts and get all growth factors under control, a hermie plant may continue to produce mostly female buds as opposed to male appendages with seeds.


Now that you know what causes weed plants to turn hermie, you can do everything in your power to prevent this from occurring. As far as dealing with hermie plants goes, you may be able to get things under control, although quite unlikely.

In all reality, the best course of action is to eliminate the affected plants in order to prevent them from turning the rest of your plants hermie too.


My passion for the sticky icky started nearly a decade ago, and it all began when I first laid my eyes on the beauty that is the marijuana plant.

I cover all aspects of growing from equipment recommendations to plant health/care tips to help both new and experienced growers.