Our plants are flowering and all of the plants have done well, but we keep getting hermaphrodites. They destroyed the last harvest. Most are from seeds we have ordered. We removed them from the garden but it was too late. They pollinated most of the crop. What should we do? Do we need to sterilize the whole room and start over or just continue with the garden as it is? Will the male pollen stay and keep pollinating future crops? Why are we getting so many hermaphrodites?
Captain ChainSaw,

If you are growing several varieties and the plants from most of them are turning hermaphroditic, the problem is probably environmental rather than genetic. However, if only one or two varieties are growing male flowers then the problem is probably genetic.

There’s not much you can do about plants which are genetically programmed to produce male flowers. If the problem seems to be genetic, eliminate those varieties from your garden.

If the cause is environmental, adjusting your gardening practices may cure the problem. Is the dark period being interrupted with light? Does the light go on and off at the same time each day? Have you been feeding the plants unusual chemicals such as aspirin? Has the temperature had unusual fluctuations or has the watering schedule changed? All of these environmental factors and stresses can cause hermaphroditism.

You don’t have to worry about pollen from your last crop hanging out in the space and pollinating the next crop.

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