A good test to see whether the bracts have swollen is to take a pair of tweezers, grab one bract, and open it up. If there is a seed inside, you have a pollinated plant.
HOW TO TELL THAT A FEMALE PLANT HAS BEEN POLLINATED
Pollination of your female cannabis plants will make them produce seeds and spend less energy on producing quality buds. But when you recognise the signs of pollination early, you can avoid putting time and resources into a poor harvest.
Among the early signs that your female has been pollinated is that her bracts become larger. Bracts are small, leaf-like structures that protect the female’s reproductive parts. These are the sites from which the flowering buds appear. Do not confuse the bracts with calyxes.
To determine the sex of your cannabis plants, you will have to wait until the pre-flowering stage when plants begin to put their energy into reproduction. Female cannabis plants show their gender signs later than males. At the location where they will soon grow their buds (the nodes between the stalk and the stem), females will show wispy white hairs.
Let’s take a deeper look into male and female cannabis plants. From there, we’ll see what causes some specimens to develop both male and female reproductive organs.
Even if you have all of these bases covered, plants can still pollinate themselves due to poor genetics. Plants with a bad genetic history and too much genetic variation are prone to becoming hermaphrodites. For this reason, it’s important to shop with reputable companies that offer high-quality seeds with stable genetics.
HERMAPHRODITES: WHEN CANNABIS PLANTS BECOME MONOECIOUS
The ability to determine plant sex as early as possible is a critical skill for cannabis growers. Know as “Sexing Cannabis”, as you develop this eye for identifying plant sex, you will be able to prevent any accidental pollination.
A guide to differentiating between male, female, and hermaphrodite cannabis plants.
Hermaphroditism stems from two major driving factors: stress and genetics. In regards to stress, hermaphroditism serves as a survival mechanism. If a plant experiences damage, heat, disease, or nutrient deficiencies, they start to freak out. Essentially, plants get the impression that their time is up. In a last-ditch attempt to reproduce, they decide to stop waiting around for a male and get the job done themselves.
Bagseed plants are notorious for self-pollinating (hermiphrodite) late in flowering. Generally, the outdoor commercial weed isn’t pollinated with males (which are culled), but by hermi-females that are harder to see. This results in hermi-seeds. It’s very hard to find a reliable female from bagseed.
Your germination problems are also due to the fact that they were bagseed. It’s usually compressed and stored in a way that kills the seed. Seeds need to be stored in a cool, dry place to stay viable.
There’s nothing wrong with growing some bagseed. Hopefully you got some decent smoke and learned a lot. In the future, any seeds you buy from a breeder are going to seem like a breeze!