Last Updated: August 13, 2018

Definition - What does Dioecious mean?

Dioecious is a term used in botany to describe a plant that has both male and female parts. Separate plants of the same species will exhibit either male or female reproductive systems. Cannabis plants are considered dioecious plants because they are primarily either male or female. However, hermaphrodite plants do sometimes occur.

Both male and female plants produce flowers. However, both male and female marijuana plants have their own unique characteristics that enables growers to tell the male plants from the female.

MaximumYield explains Dioecious

With dioecious plants, both the male and female cannabis plants produce flowers, but one plant has male reproductive characteristics and one has female. In order for pollination of a dioecious plant to occur, there must two separate plants, a male and a female.

Only the female dioecious plants have the ability to bear fruit and they require a male to guarantee fertilization occurs. Marijuana plants are classified as true dioecious plants, so are blueberries and holly plants.

Growers of cannabis plants watch for the sexual characteristics of the plants to develop so they can separate the male plants from the female. Removing the male cannabis plants from the presence of the female plants encourages the female plant to develop excessive resin in an attempt to capture male pollen for fertilization.

The opposite of dioceious in monecious. A monoecious plant is a plant where both the male and female reproductive systems exist on the same plant. Monoecious plants possess some flowers that are female and others that are male.

This definition was written in the context of Cannabis
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