marijuana foxtailHere’s a pure Sativa bud with classic marijuana foxtail features!
© Copyright, Gary Anderson

How to Tame Sativa Marijuana Foxtail (Marijuana Foxtailing)

Take a look at the photo with this article– that weird growth pattern is called marijuana foxtail.

Foxtailing is when the bud is NOT growing like a popcorn nug or a fat, thick cone like regular hybrid, Indica, or Kush buds do.

A marijuana foxtail bud has individual, thin spires coming out of it, like you see in the picture.

Foxtailing isn’t beneficial. It breaks up the structure of the bud. Instead of the bud filling in and becoming rounder and thicker, it foxtails.

And foxtailing often indicates that a bud isn’t ripening properly, if at all.

Marijuana foxtail, also called marijuana foxtailing, happens with strains that have lots of Sativa genetics, especially tropical Sativas like Colombian and Thai cannabis strains.

But genetics aren’t all to blame for foxtailing.

Here are causes and fixes for marijuana foxtail:

Grow Room Temperatures Too Hot

Even with C02, pure or near-pure Sativa flowers don’t like heat.

They start to build those skinny additions to their buds when temps are too hot for them to fill in.

Solution: Keep your grow room at 74°F during lights on and 5-7 degrees cooler than that when lights are off. This is achieved by adding air conditioning and/or venting capacity, by using cooled lights, by using LED lighting instead of HPS, etc.

Plant Canopy Too Close to Lights

Solution: Top of plant canopy no closer than 24 inches regular HID (MH or HPS). No closer than 30 inches non-cooled double-ended HPS. No closer than 15 inches LED lighting.

Bad pH in Nutrients Water and/or Root Zone

Marijuana foxtail happens when root zone and nutrients pH are off.

Solution: Use pH Perfect hydroponics base nutrients.

Too Much Nitrogen

Pure Sativa marijuana doesn’t like lots of nitrogen.

Solution: Feed bloom phase fertilizer from the beginning of grow phase all the way to harvest.

Every third feeding, give a low dose containing only P and K such as Big Bud.

Do mini-flushes every 3-4 weeks to get rid of excess nitrogen.

Too Much Fertilizer

Sativa genetics can’t handle lots of ferts, and ferts store in root zones.

Solution: Go half to a quarter of recommended manufacturer nutrients dose, especially in deep water culture. Do mini-flushes every 3-4 weeks, using the Flawless Finish flushing product at reduced strength.

Wrong Light Spectrum

Pure Sativa produces marijuana foxtail when you give too much red (HPS) light in bloom phase. Sativa genetics often originate at the equator where high UV light intensity is present, and Sativas like high UV.

Solution: Add in MH and blue-balanced LED to complement the HPS or even totally replace the HPS with a bulb such as Hortilux Blue. Use Lush LED and Hortilux Power Veg during bloom along with HPS.

Poor Air Movement and Air Exchange

Not enough moving air in the canopy and stale air in the grow op.

Solution: Increase aeration fans and exhaust fan capacity.

Rootbound and Root Stress

Long-season Sativa need big root zones to sustain their long flowering time.

Solution: Grow in larger pots. Put them in at least 10-gallon two weeks before flipping to bloom phase. Use Voodoo Juice, Tarantula, Piranha, and Rhino Skin to strengthen roots. 

General Stress Because Pure Sativa Doesn’t Like Indoor Growing

Pure Sativas want to grow outdoors in Colombia, Africa, Thailand—where they come from.

They feel like they’re in prison when they’re trapped in an indoor grow op.

This can cause hermaphrodites, marijuana foxtail, delayed maturation, delayed resin gland production, small resin glands, lack of terpenoids, airy buds.

Other problems include light leaks, and too long of a daily lights-on cycle.

Pure Sativas should only get about 11.5 hours of light per 24 hours period.

Solution: Feed them B-52 vitamin, anti-stress product. Meet all solution conditions offered above. Give LOTS of space around and above each plant. No crowding. No SCROG.

Genetics Can Cause Marijuana Foxtail

Marijuana foxtail is inevitable if you’re growing pure Sativa especially tropical Sativa indoors.

But using the solutions in this article, you can limit and manage it.

Also know that many commercial Sativa seeds are poorly-bred so they’re prone to marijuana foxtail and hermie problems.

Is it worth it to have spiky marijuana foxtail buds that look weird, and bloom phase that lasts as long as 12-16 weeks?!?

Look for our upcoming articles on the best pure Sativa strains, so you too can experience marijuana foxtail and four month bloom phase.

If you grow out the best pure Sativa strains, harvesting at the right time, and doing a long cure, the high you get will be like LSD or mescaline, so hell yeah, it’s worth it.

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