Understanding “Fox-tailing”

I have recently stumbled across references of “ fox tailing” on some posts to this forum. Could I get a better explanation ( hopefully with pix) of what this means?
I’m confused. Can’t tell whether it good (long buds) or bad “cooked” buds because they are long enough to get too close to the light/heat. That’s my take. Hence the confusion.


top of this amnesia fox tailed
but i think it is in genes on this one because all lower buds look the same.


I’m curious too. It’s something I always assumed was undesirable and/or the result of a problem of some sorts.

My recently harvested plant and now my other flowering plant showed some fox tailing that I believe was a result of being too close to the lights. I have my lights as high as I can take them so I am forced to just cope with it.

Like you I have read some say it’s a “good” thing or not a problem and I have read others who state it is less than ideal. To me I can’t see how it’s a “bad” thing other than visually it look deformed and odd but hey, if those flowers are resin coated, the more the merrier I suppose.


I always thought they were pretty cool when it just happened, and wasn’t because you stressed your plant into them. The colas get huge and shoot your yield through the roof!

A couple of the hassles of foxtails can be a real pain though. Depending on when in the grow you get them, you’re old growth can be about finished when the new growth is just beginning. Also, if they’re fairly tight you’re super prone to mold and bud rot issues. They’re harder to trim and dry as well.

I’ve never frowned on them unless they come with or cause an issue though.


Hmmmm…I’d like to hear more on this topic. What is it? Anyone have some pictures?

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Watching and following along to learn

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Fox-tailing is the formation of elongated bud calix’s usually the result is more stem than bud airy stringy buds. This usually the result of a partial stall resulting in a breif revert to stretch during flower can be an indicator of stress or triggered by nutrient imbalance too much N too wide temp swings. The typical result is lost yields hours of frustration trimming and overall lower grade product much like popcorn buds. Rather than plant compacting and thickening buds it builds stem between calix wasted space and energy.
When dealing with fox tails you need to narrow down posible causes things which could be stressing your plant cracked or split limbs ph temps and yes light range :wink: It can also be a sign you have been flowering too long and overfeeding triggering fresh growth rather than maturation. Topping your buds can halt it 1/8-1/4" off the buds displaying which signals plant to direct energy back to next highest area

Just as warning fox-tails can often pre warn of potential hermi causing conditions


I had one plant foxtail in my first grow. She was an unknown strain that started very indica like (short with large fan leaves) then grew to 5 feet (isn’t that sativa like?) One of her tallest colas foxtailed the most so I think it was light/heat stress. We also may have let her go too long but she never showed amber trichomes. She did, however, hermie and now I know that foxtailing is a warning :+1:

The foxtailing came at the end and the buds didn’t end up being light/airy… I thought it looked cool


I had a Northern Lights plant do that, but the buds just went from smooth to lumpy. The buds got a lot larger, so I was happy. 7 ounces dry buds from a single 4" inside plant. Great smoke!


northern lights does my body good!


This is very interesting, definitely clears up my confusion :+1:


I have a Gold Leaf that looks it’s starting to do it:

It also looks like it’s mostly in one section of the plant:

The above pic is of the tallest cola in the second pic (the top left part of the pic). That back corner seems to have the tops with the apparent issues. Too early to tell how it will end up.

In my case I’ve wrestled with heat, cold, humidity too high or too low, etc. the whole winter grow. I also added lights just after I switched to flower and was running my lights at around 18" from the trellis (so 10" or so from the top I posted above). I raised my lights. I am actually going to try an experiment on one of them that is doing it based on something @donaldj said you could try to do (but probably not recommended). I am going to trim 1/4" off the top of that cola and see what happens. I’ll journal it.


Heres a picture of a bba I actually have going right now
Shes foxtailing but it smells great and is super sticky zoom in and look at the way tbe buds are stacking they aren’t filling out just continue to build on top
This auto was started back in October as well its sister was taken down about a month ago
Shes just not ready so im lettting her do her thing she will be turned into rosin once shes done


She is definitely Foxtailing but seems it only really effects bag appeal unless you wind up hermied or worse. @Countryboyjvd1971

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Fir sure quality isn’t affected in most cases
As i stated @Screwauger ill turn her into rosin she going straight to press lol


My Gold leaf plants fox tailed all over the place on my first grow because I let the temperature get up to between 80 and 90 degrees. The buds were good. Just loose. Fox tailing is due to changes in temperature. Getting too hot.
I make sure the temp doest get over 77, all foxtails disappeared and the buds came out nice and tight.

Photo of Goldleaf grown in too hot temperature. Evidence of foxtails and the buds were loose.
Photo of Goldleaf grown between 68 and 77 degrees. Buds were tight. No foxtails.
Buds that foxtail are not exactly detrimental, but they are not exactly beneficial either. The most glaring setback is that it breaks up the structure of the herb. Instead of growing into a rounder shape, it tends to sprout out in a more elongated way, ultimately leaving less of the plant for you to use. In addition, this process is a common indication that your plants are not properly ripening.

“Bad” foxtailing involves the occurrence of foxtails due to heat and/or light stress. This often manifests in calyces that form spires and make the bud look quite odd.

However, foxtailing is not always an abnormality. There are certain cannabis varieties that feature naturally-occurring foxtails, like in some Purple strains, or the Cole Train strain. This process is more common among sativa plants, specifically buds that were grown in tropical regions such as Colombia or Thailand.


Fox tailing can be caused by temps in my case thi it was not temps but lack of feedings at the right times in veg i was dealing with a sick and dieing mother at the time
My temp dont ever get over 75 in my tents summer or winter

I have had 2 grows, both Gold Leaf from ILGM, that had foxtailing. The foxtailing was all over the plant on both grows, high low left right so I ruled out lighting. The buds turned out great and where thick and dense and where very, very potent. So I just ruled that it was genetics.

Here is a picture of a lower bud. It is a small growth on the bud thas one or two pistils coming out of them. I believe they call them spires when its on a foxtail.

They look cool and it adds weight so you be the judge.
Hope that helps.