How To Fix Foxtailing

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How To Fix Foxtailing


If your cannabis plants start foxtailing, it may be caused by something as simple as genetics. Unfortunately, it may also be the result of environmental stress caused by bad growing practices. Here is our guide on how to fix foxtailing.

Foxtailing sounds like a very strange term when referring to a cannabis plant, so what on earth is this phenomenon and how is it caused? Foxtailing describes the odd structures that cannabis flowers form when they are subject to certain variables. Smokers and growers are most familiar with tight and compact nuggets formed by bunched calyces.

Foxtailing occurs when these calyces grow on top on each other to form towers, instead of typical bundles. This gives off the appearance of a big brush or "foxtail." Although this process seems very strange and may give the impression that something is going wrong, it is only negative in some circumstances. Foxtailing has numerous causes.

Why Do Buds Foxtail, And What Can You Do About It?

GENETICS

Cannabis Genetics

One of the primary causes of foxtailing is the genetics of a plant. Some strains are genetically predisposed to form flowers that are composed of stacked calyces. These strains have an unusual appearance and can even resemble an entirely different species of plant.

They certainly do not feature the typical look of a cannabis plant. If a plant’s genetics cause it to foxtail, then there is no cause for concern. It will still be perfectly healthy and produce a high-quality and potent yield.

TEMPERATURE

Temperature And Lights

Away from genetics, another reason that cannabis plants start foxtailing is because they are subject to environmental stressors. Temperature plays a large role in this process. If a plant is subject to very high temperatures in the form of bright, hot lights placed too close to the uppermost flowers, this can be enough to cause it to foxtail.

In this instance, it may seem as though your flowers are exploding in growth and producing a magnificent yield. Unfortunately, this is not the case. If your plants do start to foxtail and become top-heavy, you should adjust temperature levels.

Although it might seem like more bud is being produced, damage is being done and potency is being reduced. Hot lights too close to plants can also cause burns.

LIGHTS

Lights play an important part in initiating foxtailing. As well as giving off heat, having light too close to the upper flowers can cause serious damage and bleach the leaves. Light that is either too strong or too frequent can cause enough stress for foxtailing to manifest.

HOW TO FIX FOXTAILING?

So, how should you go about fixing a case of foxtailing? Well, if you have determined that it is indeed the genetics of your crop causing this to happen, then nothing needs to be done. If you have discovered that your growing practices have caused some damage and stress, then there are a few things you will need to adjust.

LIMIT ENVIRONMENTAL STRESS

Limit Environmental Stress

A good place to start would be to monitor the temperature of your grow space. This can be done by incorporating a simple thermometer. Ideally, your grow space should be at a temperature of 23 degrees Celsius during periods when the lights are on. When the lights are off, the temperature should be reduced by about 5 degrees.

Temperatures can be controlled using air conditioning and ventilation. Using LED lights is also recommended as they give off far less heat and won’t manipulate the temperature of the grow space as much.

When it comes to lighting, don’t get too excited and place the light source closer to your plants than it has to be. Doing so will increase the amount of stress that plants are subject to and boost the chances of foxtailing.

If you are using regular, high-intensity discharge lights, aim for a distance of around 24 inches between the light source and the tops of your plants. If you are using LED lights to grow your weed, then aim for a distance of 15 inches.

The spectrum of light used is also important to prevent foxtailing, especially in sativa varieties. Because sativas evolved close to the equator, too much red light during the flowering phase of the grow cycle can initiate stress and produce unwanted foxtailing.

Luke Sumpter

Written by: Luke Sumpter
Luke Sumpter is a journalist based in the United Kingdom, specialising in health, alternative medicine, herbs and psychedelic healing. He has written for outlets such as Reset.me, Medical Daily and The Mind Unleashed, covering these and other areas.

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