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What are Foxtailing Buds?

Foxtailing Buds

Foxtailing buds are on the docket today, but what are they? Here we will look at everything you need to know about foxtail buds.

It takes time and perseverance to grow cannabis, and harvests aren’t always successful. It is because of a combination of factors, including the presence of peculiar yet attractive foxtails on the cannabis plant. Sometimes foxtailing in cannabis occurs for no reason other than genetics, which is not always a negative thing or cause for alarm. True, problems may manifest themselves if environmental stress is the root cause.

What is Foxtailing Weed?

Foxtailing causes cannabis blossoms to take on an abnormal and distorted form. As the name implies, this ruffled and extended form is reminiscent of a fox’s tail. The typical appearance of cannabis flowers is that of a tight, spherical cluster. Depending on their DNA, some plants become tall and skinny yet feel compact and dense.

Foxtailing weed blooms, on the other hand, are tall and thin. Their long, skinny sugar leaves give them a bushy appearance, somewhat dissimilar to the hair of a fox’s tail. Many people feel let down when their flower buds only produce foxtail blossoms. After all, the yield from these buds is probably lower because of their reduced density.

Is foxtailing harmful to cannabis plants?

Those that cultivate cannabis do extensive studies on seed strains, often selecting high-potency varieties that also produce abundant, dense flowers. When expecting massive, tree-splitting yields, finding instead scraggly foxtails might be a letdown.

You may find it attractive that cannabis exhibits foxtailing, and your buddies will likely be similarly charmed. Even if the “buds” contain above-average levels of strength and flavor, most growers would still like to see typical bud development.

What triggers foxtailing in cannabis buds?

Foxtails in cannabis are sometimes referred to as a second internode bloom. Perhaps your plants are giving you one more “hoorah” before you harvest them. If the foxtails are developing on flowers that are already large, late in the blooming stage, yield problems may be negligible. Nothing much to worry about here; ensure your grow room’s temperature and humidity are where they should be, and keep your plants growing until harvest time.

Foxtail Buds

However, there are occasions when the grow room’s atmosphere is less than ideal. It may lead to plant stress, which can induce fox tailing in ordinarily plump buds. Restoring your plants to normal development and minimizing production losses requires prompt intervention.

Light stress

Plants can’t grow in the dark; thus, light is essential for cannabis. Lighting is one of the most important factors in their lives. Because of this, they can generate the vital energy they need to keep going. A word of caution, though: light may cut both ways. Foxtailing may develop if your lights are too bright, too near to your buds, or emit too much heat. You will see the first signs of environmental stress in your plants as they react to their new surroundings. The uppermost leaves and buds will become white from exposure to the lights.

Light stress may also be seen in leaves that have become yellow. In contrast to those that turn yellow from a lack of nitrogen, these leaves will continue to be healthy and will not wilt as quickly. These hue shifts are indicative of early light stress. Over time, if the right conditions and genes are present, your buds may start to foxtail.

Extreme heat

Excessive heat may also be harmful to cannabis plants. When growing, cannabis is happiest when the weather is warm and toasty. High or low temperatures may hurt growth and crop output. The ideal temperature for cannabis plants varies somewhat depending on where they are in their life cycle. Here is a quick primer you may use:

  • Seedling phase: 20-25°C
  • Vegetative stage: 22-28°C
  • Flowering phase: 20-26°C

Foxtailing blooms may develop if the temperatures in your grow space, greenhouse, or garden remain above these levels for a long time.

In a growing space, lights aren’t the primary source of warmth. During a heatwave, interior temperatures may rise dramatically, putting additional stress on your plants. The purpose of greenhouse construction is also to retain heat.

Root zone health

You can’t see how well your plants are doing below; you have to look at them from the surface. Yet there is a great deal happening underneath the visible surface. Things like pH and microbial conflict may damage roots.

Cannabis plants will experience increased stress if one of these conditions gets out of hand. Even if you have the situation above ground under control, foxtailing blooms might appear if conditions deteriorate too much. Look at the leading causes of stress in the root zone compiled below.


For optimal growth, cannabis prefers slightly acidic soil conditions. The ideal pH range for soil is between 6.0 and 7.0. The optimal temperature for nutrition absorption by cannabis roots is within this range.

Slight variations are fine, but roots will not be able to take in nutrients, and “nutrients lockout” will develop if levels fluctuate excessively in the wrong way for too long. Plants may experience stress and develop foxtails as a result of this.

Harmful Microbes

Looking at the soil with the naked eye, you see a soft brown material. But when you put even a little bit of it underneath a microscope, you can see that it is home to millions of tiny organisms.

Bacterial and fungal species, among others, create symbiotic relationships with cannabis roots, facilitating the plant’s nutritional intake. But some of them are downright hostile, and they can wreak havoc if given a chance.

Parasitic nematodes, for example, prefer to gnaw on roots and consume whatever tasty nectar they find within. Unrestrained grazing may cause leaves to become yellow and decay. Weed blossoms may develop foxtails as a result of this stress.


There are hundreds of unique strains of cannabis thanks to the efforts of breeders. Plants with many variants in size, shape, aroma, and impact have been bred by selecting processes.

Some breeders have purposefully generated strains prone to foxtailing, whereas others have avoided this practice. Why? Because they satisfy a need that already exists in the market. Some gardeners are drawn to the unique quality of their plants and enjoy the challenge of cultivating flowers that stand out for their odd appearance and amazing appeal.

Inadvertently acquiring a foxtailing strain leaves you unable to prevent the characteristic from showing up in your offspring. What’s the best course of action? Gather the buds, have a smoke, and try a new kind next time.

How to Control or Remove Cannabis Foxtails

The presence of foxtailing, which is caused by agents that are not native to the plant, is an indication that the crop is not developing properly. If this takes place early on, that is, before the buds’ development, the stress level should be decreased. In this method, you might strive to improve the odds of an appropriate outcome. Here are some suggestions on how to stop it from occurring:

Regularly adjust the lighting

When the plant develops, you will need to lift it, constantly attempting to keep a distance of approximately 40 centimeters when utilizing LED lighting. This is the most recommended kind of lighting since it emits less heat and affects the temperature less. Keep in mind that the range will change depending on the illumination technique.

Assisting in heat dissipation

When summer arrives, the temperature in root cellars and greenhouses rises rapidly. You may invest in a smart thermostat to adapt to the shifting seasons. Additionally, many fans should be installed to help move the hot air throughout the room. A greenhouse with a door or ventilation openings is another option. A dark tarp may help mitigate the sun’s heat for growing cannabis outdoors.

pH monitoring

Once a week, use a pH meter to verify the state of the pH to ensure everything is running well. The pH may be adjusted using a variety of items.

Microbial balance

If nematodes invade, you may use water-purifying microbes to save the plants. With any luck, you’ll be able to track down a variety of mycorrhizal fungus and rhizobacterial strains to include in your planting containers at the outset of your cultivation.

Provide enough room for your plants to grow

Providing sufficient space will allow your cannabis plants to grow without competing with one another and causing root stress.

How to Avoid Foxtail Buds

If you have seen cannabis crops foxtailing in heat waves before, you may wish to avoid planting during the warmest seasons. Grow rooms with air conditioning are a luxury for those who can afford them. As your plants blossom at their ideal temperatures, not only will you see a rise in production and potency, but you’ll also be able to manage the temperatures precisely.

Those who have had issues with fox tails and feel light stress may be a factor may contact the company that made their lights. Better vendors will often have reliable charts that detail the optimal coverage areas and photons per foot of distance (PPFD) at varying hanging heights for various grow room sizes.

When is the best moment to harvest foxtailed buds?

You may still make use of cannabis that produces foxtail flowers. They may still be enjoyed for their flavors and effects, even if you miss the window of opportunity to reverse the process.

First, you should do everything you can to alleviate their stress so that they can maintain a minimum level of functioning. Adjust the lighting, take care of the pH and the bacteria, and find the ideal temperature. When the trichomes on your cannabis plants change from clear to hazy, it is time to start thinking about harvesting.

Picture of Ed Rushford

Ed Rushford

Ed Rushford’s impact on cannabis growing is undeniable. Though he tends to focus primarily on 2 areas, plant training techniques and dealing with disease, pests, and other problems, he has offered many insights into how cannabis plants live and grow. That’s not to say that Ed is unfamiliar with the complete life cycle of cannabis, from seed to harvest, but he uses his widespread knowledge to hone in on the minutia and niche areas of growing cannabis. Ed’s goal is to spread knowledge and allow for everyone to become better growers. About this Author

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