swollen calyx or hermie

Swollen Calyx Or Hermie: Recognize Easily & Correctly

Choosing the right time for harvesting is always tricky in cannabis. Most of the growers rely on the formation of swollen calyx to start the harvesting process. 

But things get complex due to the hermie of the plants. As, hermie has a lot of similarities with the swollen calyx. 

To decide if it is a swollen calyx or hermie, you’ve to take a systematic approach. Only then you can determine it easily.

To decide about swollen calyx or hermie check the time of appearance of the swelling. Then make sure if the plant is female or male. Also, check the appearances. All these factors differ for the swollen calyx and hermie. They have different significance and you have to take action according to that.

To save your time we’ll provide you with both short and extended comparisons. Give some of your valuable time and let’s start!

Short Comparison 

A lot of similarities make the swollen calyx and hermie look alike. But the function and significance of these two are completely different. So there is no scope of taking the matter lightly. 

We have made a table for you to make the complex work of distinguishing simple. You will find all the prime factors that you will need to check up in the table below.

FactorsSwollen Calyx Hermie 
Appearance Time Starting of Flowering PhaseAnytime 
GenderOnly in Female PlantsBoth Male & Female Plants 
Appearance StyleSmall Leaves Arranged in Fibonacci SpiralLooks Like Pollen Sacks
After effectProvides Protection to New FlowerHas Negative Impact on The Plant
Significance to The HarvestersSignals The Time of HarvestingSignals to Check on The Circumstances
Cause Behind FormationReproduction Stress of Plants 
Necessary Action HarvestingSeparating The Affected Plant 

You can take actions very fast by following this factor table. However, you might want to know details about all these factors. We will not disappoint you. We have discussed everything in detail in the following sections.

Detailed Comparison 

Swollen calyx and hermie confusion can cause problems just like the white hair problem of cannabis. So, we should go through the particulars. This will describe swollen calyx in flower and hermie weed plants more precisely.

Appearance Time 

This is an important factor that you can look up before making a decision. Swollen calyx happens only at particular times. But there is no such certainty for hermie in cannabis. 

The swollen calyx indicates the flowering period of cannabis has started. So there should be no question like are swollen calyx good or not. Only during this flowering phase, the calyx will swell up like the following.

Source: 420 Magazine

Anyway, this is not the case with hermie. They can happen anytime. So you can calculate the time of flowering to ensure hermie and swelling of the calyx.

Gender of the Plant

If you know the gender where the calyx swells up the work will become easier for you. Because the incident of the swollen calyx is only seen in particular sex. In other sex, calyx swelling is not possible and that can be declared as hermie.

As mentioned earlier swollen calyx happens during the time of flowering. And this phenomenon happens only in female plants. If the plant you’re investigating is male, you can cancel the possibility of the swollen calyx. 

On the other hand, hermie can happen to both male and female plants. But don’t get tense thinking about what to do with a hermie plant. We will talk about that in the latter part of our discussion. 

Cause of Appearance 

Now let’s see what causes swollen calyx and hermie. The reason behind their formation makes them different. One of them is a biological process, while the other is a circumstantial process.

The swollen calyx occurs for the sole purpose of reproduction. So, swollen calyx is a very important stage for both the plant and the harvester. This is a biological process of the plant.

The hermie happens for a completely different reason. Whenever the cannabis plant goes through stress, hermie can happen. This shows that the plant is going through stress due to any negative factor.

Source: Weedmaps

Appearance Style 

The styles and looks of hermie and swollen calyx are different but hard to identify. So you have to be careful while checking on the appearances of these two.

So, what does a swollen calyx look like? Well, it is a spiral of leaves arranged in the Fibonacci series. These series of leaves protect new flowers from external forces. 

For good production of cannabis, the temperature and humidity of the room must be maintained. The temperature should be kept between 70-80 °F (21-27 °C) in presence of daylight. This range is reduced by 5-10 degrees at night.

Get yourself one of these thermometers/ hygrometers and you’ll be good to go. 

You will surely love these products once you use them!

And what does a hermie bud look like? They feel like pollen sacks. Hermies take over the space of the calyx. They also grow inside the flower and make the work of choosing harder. These are the signs of hermie plant that you have to look for.

Necessary Action 

Specific actions must be taken upon the presence of swollen calyx and hermie. But the actions are very dissimilar. So you should have proper knowledge of the hermie and calyx. 

The actions for swollen calyxes are very simple. Just harvest the cannabis once you notice swollen calyx. But the actions for Hermie are not so simple. There are a lot of things to be done to handle a hermie plant.

Hermie means the plant is under stress. So you have to find out the exact reasons behind the stress and then eliminate the reasons. Quality bud sweeteners often help in reducing plant stress.

Another important thing is to separate the hermie plant. Because hermie can spread from one plant to another. As a grower, you will not want hermie in all of your plants. With a garden full of hermie plants you will not get the expected harvest.

After Effects

There are specific aftereffects of swollen calyx and hermie. The main function of the calyx is to provide support to the new flowers. They save the new weak flower from various attacks. 

On the contrary, the aftermath of Hermie is quite negative. They don’t have any beneficial impact on the plant. Rather they decrease the resin productivity of the cannabis plant. Hermie increases the weight of the flower and takes up space.

Significance for The Harvester

The hermie and swollen calyx have different significance for the harvester. Both of them signal the harvester to take certain necessary actions for better results.

How to get swollen calyx? You have to get to the flowering period of the plant for the swollen calyx. The presence of swollen calyx means it is time to harvest. The growers can take this as the optimum time and start harvesting.

Let’s check the significance of the hermie. The plant can go through stress due to adverse conditions. The hermie makes this thing clear to the grower. Then the grower can take the necessary steps to save the plant. Now you can decide- are hermie plants any good or not.

Final Opinion

The swollen calyx and hermie have very similarities in between them. So it can become complex for a newbie grower to differentiate. But with proper techniques, you can easily distinguish them.

The most important factor to check is the gender of the plant. If the plant is male there is no chance of the swollen calyx. First, check the gender and then go for other symptoms. 

You’ve to give special attention to the time when the swelling is taking place. This will help you to identify the swelling. Also, look at the appearances. See if the leaves with Fibonacci Spiral are present or not. Then make your decision.


How Do You Tell If Your Plant is a Hermaphrodite? 

To tell if your plant is a hermaphrodite you have to check the buds. The buds should not have seeds without the presence of male plants. If there are seeds, it is a possible case of hermaphrodite. Otherwise, it can be a normal case. Check other symptoms to become completely sure.

What Does the Calyx Look Like? 

The calyx looks like a covering. It is made of structures that are separate and look like leaves. These are known as sepals. The function of these sepals is to protect the new flowers. The calyx is very necessary to secure the reproduction of the plant.

How Do You Tell If a Female Plant has been Pollinated?

To tell if a female plant has been pollinated take a pair of tweezers. Break them up and observe. A pollinated plant will have immature seeds inside the tweezer. On the other hand, a non-pollinated plant will not have seeds. In this way, you can decide if a female plant has been pollinated or not.


We think that now you can distinguish between swollen calyx or hermie. We have supplied you with every detail for this task.

Keep your growing place well ventilated. Also enough air and light are necessary for the plants. This environment will help the plants to avoid hermie.

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