What Causes Bananas (“Nanners”) on Cannabis Buds?
These structures are unwanted by most home growers because they can release pollen, which will end up filling your buds with seeds, now, a couple of “nanners” won’t produce a lot of seeds but multiple bananas may end up ruining your harvest so here’s everything you need to know about “nanners”.
1. What Are Bananas (“Nanners”)?
As you may know, female cannabis produce buds while male cannabis plants produce pollen sacs.
Bananas or “nanners” (however you want to call them) are basically the inner side of the male cannabis flower or stamen (aka pollen sac). Normally a male plant grows a pollen sac that holds all the pollen, and eventually releases it when the pollen sac is fully mature, once the pollen sacs open, you’ll see a banana-shaped structure inside; These are the stamens (aka bananas or “nanners”).
Unlike pollen sacs, “nanners” don’t need to open up to release the pollen because they’re the inside structure of the pollen sacs, so the pollen grains are directly exposed to the buds; Which means that as soon as the bananas appear, they immediately start pollinating the buds and nearby plants.
Now, this isn’t always the case; Sometimes the bananas don’t develop properly so they can end up being sterile and won’t pollinate the buds but it’s very rare so it’s better to avoid them. So if you see a couple of yellow spots on the buds, look closer, it might be a couple of bananas starting to appear.
2. Hermaphrodites vs Bananas?
Even though most growers refer to all plants that grow bananas or pollen sacs as hermaphrodites, there are actually two different kinds: mixed-sex plants and mixed-sex buds. As mentioned in the table, a “true” hermie will grow the male and female parts separately while the bananas will grow in the middle of the buds as you can see in the image below.
Difference between hermaphrodite cannabis plants and bananas
Even though stress is the main trigger for both hermies and bananas, mixed-sex plants are usually more dependant on genetics, meaning that they’re a natural trait of that plant’s genetics while the appearance of bananas is more dependant on growing conditions. This means that, for example, if a certain strain tends to turn hermie when it’s extremely cold, it will (probably) turn hermie every time it’s exposed to extremely cold temperatures. Whereas, if a plant grows “nanners” in extremely cold temperatures, it will usually grow “nanners” when exposed to the same conditions but they will not always appear.
There really isn’t the need to differentiate both but because both will result in seeded buds, depending on why and how they grow but hermaphrodites are more predictable because you will see the development of the male pollen sacs since the beginning while bananas will grow in just 1-2 days in some cases.
3. What Causes Bananas (“Nanners”)?
Genetics is responsible for the appearance of bananas, some strains are more susceptible and others less, but in most cases, the growing conditions are what triggers them. Some strains can withstand a lot of stress and others will develop bananas as soon as they’re stressed, this is related to genetics; If you’re growing good-quality genetics, it will take at least 5-7 days under stress for the ”nanners” to appear, but if you’re growing doubtful genetics, it’s most likely that the “nanners” appear even just 1-2 days after being stressed.
Now, bananas are not only a sign of bad genetics; It’s possible that your female plants grow bananas even if you’re top-quality genetics. This happens because some strains will grow bananas if you let them live sometime after they’re ready for harvest so in the last attempt to produce seeds and perpetuate the species they will grow bananas and try to self-pollinate (aka rodelization). Rodelization isn’t as bad as your plant turning hermaphrodite because the buds are long past the ideal moment for pollination, so it’s most likely that there won’t be a lot of seeds but you’ll have to remove the bananas when harvesting.
What can trigger bananas?
As said above, genetics plays a big role in the tendency of a certain strain to grow bananas. Some strains will never grow bananas even if left too long after they’re completely mature or even in the most stressful conditions while others will grow bananas with minimum stress.
It’s impossible to say if your plant will grow bananas or turn hermaphrodite before maturing so if you want to avoid it, make sure to pay attention to the following things:
- Light leaks and inconsistent light cycles
The most common factor attributed to hermies or bananas is when photoperiodic strains are exposed to light during the dark period or if they don’t get light at the same time each day.
Extremely hot or freezing cold temperatures often trigger the appearance of nanners and, with some strains, your plants might turn hermaphrodites.
Just like with the temperatures, light stress can also trigger bananas; Usually, this happens when the light fixture is too close to the canopy and often happens after you see signs of light burn.
Apart from the problems mentioned above, hermies and/or bananas may appear when your plants are suffering from nutrient deficiencies, root rot, pH problems, light burn, nutrient burn caused by overfeeding serious bug or mold infestation, and aggressive defoliation.
This happens because some growers use self-pollinated seeds to produce feminized seeds and these seeds end up having a tendency to produce bananas even in normal conditions, this is why it’s recommended to buy seeds from trusted seed banks.
4. What Should I Do If My Plant Grows Bananas?
Just like when one of your regular seeds ends up being a male, you should remove the plants that are showing bananas as soon as possible because, as mentioned before, bananas do not open like pollen sacs and they will pollinate the buds immediately.
If the bananas appear in normal growing conditions (not extreme) while the buds are still in the early stages with lots of white hairs and have not taken form yet, remove the plant from the grow room because it will only get worse due to the bananas being triggered by normal conditions.
Remember that the earlier the bananas appear in the flowering stage, the more time they get to pollinate the buds and the more seeds your buds will have so if you have a major “nanners” problem, harvest the plants immediately or get rid of them to minimize the losses.
5. In Conclusion
Despite not being exactly the same as hermaphrodites, “nanners” are definitely not wanted because, just like hermies, they will pollinate the buds, resulting in seeded buds. If you want to avoid bananas at any cost, make sure your growing conditions are on point and that you avoid any stress.
If you have experienced “nanners” and have an infallible tactic to get rid of them, please share your tips and tricks in the comment section below!
Nanner Hunt !
Harvesting my last ICE & sure wish I could find 1 of them damn nanners everyone eles seems to come across. I would love to get a fist full of these seeds, hell I would even sprinkle a bit on my pineapple expess that’s in week 4 of flower or my Black Russian that will start flowering next week.
You should have been over feeding the shit out of your plants.
That is how most people get nanners.
If you really want pollen, try colloidal silver.
Well I guess I gave them one hell of a look cuz I found a bunch of nanners & 3 seeds just sitting atop of a large bud of my pineapple express going into her 5th week of flower.
I’m cool with the nanners cuz I’ve been wanting to try to produce my own fem seeds with the same said plant that produced the nanners as well as any others on hand & I just happen to have a “Black Russian” & a “Royal Flush” I’m about to put into flower.
Next for me is finding all info on collecting & storing this pollen as well as when to collect it, so if anyone has any info or can direct me to a thread or site with info on this id appreciate it thanx
From another post:
ATTENTION. ALWAYS ORDER SEPARATELY FROM TWO DIFFERENT SOURCES. YOU HAVE BEEN NOTIFIED
The following is a safe, inexpensive, and successful method for reversing the sex of female cannabis plants. Individual plant responses may vary based upon strain, but I can verify that this process is fully effective in stimulating profuse staminate flower production.
This process can be used to:
A: create new feminized seeds from solitary prize mothers that you currently have
B: create interesting feminized-seed hybrids from different prize strains that you currently have
C: create feminized seeds for optimum outdoor use
D: accelerate the “interview” phase of cultivation, in searching for interesting new clone-mothers
E: reduce total plant numbers- great for medical users with severe plant number restrictions
F: increase variety, by helping to create stable feminized seedlines to be used as an alternative to clones
At the bottom of this post are some specific details about the chemicals used, their safety, their cost, and where to get them.
It is important to educate yourself about cannabis breeding theory and technique prior to using a method like this one. Here is a link to Robert Clarke’s “marijuana Botany”, which is a very good reference.
It is also important to use basic safety precautions when mixing and handling these chemicals, so read the safety data links provided. The risk is similar to mixing and handling chemical fertilizers, and similar handling procedures are sufficient.
Remember: nothing will ever replace good genetics, and some of your bounty should always go back towards the professional cannabis breeders out there. the ones who have worked for many generations to come up with their true-breeding F1 masterpieces. Support professional breeders by buying their seeds. Also, order from Heaven’s Stairway. Not that they need a plug from me, but they are very professional and provide very fast service worldwide.
Preparation of STS:
First, a stock solution is made. It consists of two parts (A and B) that are initially mixed separately, then blended together. Part A is ALWAYS mixed into part B while stirring rapidly. Use distilled water; tap water may cause precipitates to form.
Wear gloves while mixing and using these chemicals, and mix and use in a properly ventilated area. A mask will prevent the breathing of any dust, which is caustic. STS is colorless and odorless, and poses minimal health risks if used as described here. (See material safety data sheet links below). Note that silver nitrate and STS can cause brown stains upon drying, so spray over newspaper and avoid spilling.
Part A: 0.5 gram silver nitrate stirred into 500ml distilled water
Part B: 2.5 grams sodium thiosulfate (anhydrous) stirred into 500ml distilled water
The silver nitrate dissolves within 15 seconds. The sodium thiosulfate takes 30-45 seconds to dissolve.
The silver nitrate solution (A) is then mixed into the sodium thiosulfate solution (B) while stirring rapidly. The resulting blend is stock silver thiosulfate solution (STS).
This stock solution is then diluted at a ratio of 1:9 to make a working solution. For example, 100ml of stock STS is added to 900ml of distilled water. This is then sprayed on select female plants.
Both the stock STS and the working solution should be refrigerated after use, as well as the powdered chemicals, to avoid activity loss. Excess working solution can be safely poured down the drain after use (with ample running water) with negligible environmental impact. It’s pretty cheap.
Each liter of stock STS will make ten 1-liter batches of working solution of STS. With the minimum amount of base chemicals ordered from Photographer’s Formulary (see link below), this means that each 1-liter bottle of working solution STS costs less than 9 cents, and can treat 15-20 mid-sized plants. That’s 200 1-liter batches of STS for $18. Note that the distilled water costs far more than the chemicals.
The STS working solution is sprayed on select female plants until runoff. Do the spraying over newspaper in a separate area from the flower room. You probably won’t smell anything, but ventilate anyway. You now have what I call a “F>M plant”; a female plant that will produce male flowers.
After the F>M plant dries move it into 12/12 immediately. This is usually done three to four weeks prior to the date that the target (to be pollinated) plants will be ready to pollinate. Response times may vary slightly depending upon the strain. More specific times can be determined by trial with your own individual strains. In my trials it took 26 days for the first pollen. 30-35 days seems optimum for planning purposes.
So, assuming that a target plant needs 3-4 weeks to produce fully mature seeds, a strain that takes 8 weeks to mature should be moved into flower at about the same time as the female>male plant. A target plant that finishes flowering in 6 weeks needs to be moved into flower later (10 days or so) so that it doesn’t finish before the seeds can fully mature.
A seeded individual branch can be left to mature on a plant for a bit longer, while harvesting the other seedless buds if they finish first. Just leave enough leaves on for the plant for it to stay healthy.
Within days I noticed a yellowing of the leaves on the F>M plants. This effect persisted for two weeks or so; after this they became green again, except for a few of the larger fans. The plants otherwise seemed healthy. No burning was observed. Growth stopped dead for the first ten days, and then resumed slowly. No stretch was ever seen. After two weeks the F>M plants were obviously forming male flower clusters. Not just a few clusters of balls, but complete male flower tops. One plant still formed some pistillate flowers, but overall it was predominantly male.
It is strange indeed to see an old girlfriend that you know like the back of your hand go through a sex change. I’ll admit that things were awkward between us at first.
When the F>M plants look like they may soon open and release pollen, ( 3-1/2 to 4 weeks) move them from the main flower room into another unventilated room or closet with lighting on a 12/12 timer. Don’t worry too much about watts per square foot; it will only be temporary.
When the pollen flies, move your target plants into the closet and pollinate.
A more controlled approach is to isolate the F>M plants in a third remote closet (no light is necessary in this one, as they are releasing pollen now and are nearly finished anyway). In this remote other closet the pollen is very carefully collected in a plastic produce bag or newspaper sleeve and then brought back to the lighted closet, where the target plants are now located. If this is done, be careful to not mix pollen types by letting the F>Ms dust each other. Avoid movement, or use yet another closet.
Take special care to not let pollen gather on the outside of this bag- a static charge is sometimes present. Drop small open clusters of blooms inside and then close the bag at the mouth and shake. Important: next, step outside and slowly release the excess air from the bag, collapsing it completely, so that pollen doesn’t get released accidently. Point downwind; don’t let it get on your hands or clothes.
This collapsed pollinated bag is now very carefully slipped over only one branch and is then tied off tightly at the mouth around the branch stem with a twist tie or tape, sealing the pollen inside. Let the bag inflate slightly with air again before sealing it off, so the branch can breathe. This technique keeps the entire plant from seeding. Agitate the bag a bit after tying it off to distribute the pollen. Don’t forget to label the branch so you know which seeds are which. Other branches on this same plant can be hit with different pollen sources.
If no lighted closet is available, the plant can be moved back into the main room, but- be very carefulollen is sneaky. After 4-5 days, the bag is gently removed and the plant completes it’s flowering cycle.
Yet another method has worked well for me. I position the target plants in a non-ventilated lighted closet, and then I collect pollen on a piece of mirror or glass. This is then carefully applied to the pistils of one pre-labeled branch by using a very fine watercolor paintbrush. Care is taken to not agitate the branch or the pollen. No sneezing. The plant needs to be in place first; moving it after pollination can shake pollen free and blow this technique.
Regardless of technique, at completion you will have feminized seeds. Let them dry for 2-4 weeks.
About the chemicals:
Silver nitrate is a white crystalline light-sensitive chemical that is commonly used in photography. It is also used in babies’ eyes at birth to prevent blindness. It can cause mild skin irritation, and it stains brown. Avoid breathing. I didn’t notice any smell or fumes, but ventilation is recommended. Be sure to wash the spray bottle well before you use it elsewhere; better yet: devote a bottle to STS use. A half gram is a surprisingly small amount; it would fit inside a gel capsule.
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.preparation of silver thiosulfate (sts) solution
silver thiosulfate (sts) is commonly used to block the action of ethylene in plant cell cultures. Ethylene is a hormone that is present in the gaseous state. Ethylene increases during senescence and ripening, and has been shown to increase in plant cell cultures due to wounding or the presence of auxins. Silver nitrate may be used alone to block the action of ethylene but it is not transported as well as sts thus is seldom used alone.
Prepare a 0.1 m sodium thiosulfate (sts) stock solution by dissolving 1.58 g of sodium thiosulfate (product no. S 620) into 100 ml of water. Prepare a 0.1 m silver nitrate stock solution by dissolving 1.7 g of silver nitrate (product no. S 169) into 100 ml of water. Store the stock solution in the dark until needed to prepare the sts.
The sts solution is prepared with a molar ratio between silver and thiosulfate of 1:4, respectively. Nearly all of the silver present in the solution is in the form of [ag (s2o3)2]3-, the active complex for ethylene effect inhibition.
Prepare a 0.02 m sts by slowly pouring 20 ml of 0.1 m silver nitrate stock solution into 80 ml of 0.1 m sodium thiosulfate stock solution. The sts can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a month. However, preparation of the sts just prior to use is recommended.
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