Foxtailing Strains 2022. With Pictures and Statistics

Article Highlights

  • The tendency to foxtail is most common among tropical sativas
  • Some varieties, like the Trainwreck family, are notorious foxtailers
  • Some of the “purple” or “blue” genetics may tend to foxtail
  • Even if a strain is prone to foxtailing, not every phenotype will foxtail on you
  • Even “normal” strains may foxtail as a response to heat/light stress
  • The 11/13 light cycle increases the expression of foxtailing genes, too
cannabis flowers with calyces looking like a string of pearls
This Devil Cream Auto is an example of extreme foxtailing.

In a separate article, we talked about the reasons your buds may foxtail. The usual suspects are heat and light stress. It means that either your plant tops are too close to the lights or there’s been a heatwave that raised the temperature in your growing space.

In yet another post, we also mentioned that keeping your photoperiod strains under 11/13 in flower may result in foxtailing. It’s because foxtailing is a sativa trait and the 11/13 light cycle leads to the expression of sativa traits.

And sometimes you have absolutely no control over foxtailing because it’s genetic. So, if you hate to see your buds foxtail, avoid the strains in the list below. And if you want to grow foxtailing weed, prepare to be patient. When growing cannabis from seeds, you’ll see several phenotypes in the same strain and not all of them will foxtail.

I have personally seen foxtailing in my grow room on a few occasions, but for this post, I needed a bigger sample. So I did a thorough search through the Growdiaries community to find marijuana strains that foxtail more often than others.

Foxtailing in Sativa Strains

You have bigger odds of seeing foxtailing if you grow strains that are pure sativas or have a very high percentage of sativa genes in them. A good example is any strain with “Haze” in its name.

Mature flowers of Dr Grinspoon looking like strings of pearls
A close up of a Super Lemon Haze bud with a spire on top and bullet-shaped calyces on the sides
A view of a grow tent with huge foxtailing colas and a closeup of a cola with many spires
Thin tapering tops of very frosty buds
Two Acapulco Gold buds: an indoor and outdoor one, both showing mild foxtailing
Mature swollen buds with signs of foxtailing
Closeups of cannabis buds with huge swollen calyces
A gloved hand holding a huge, mildly foxtailing marijuana cola
Very mild foxtailing on fat and dense marijuana buds

Dr. Grinspoon (Barney's Farm) © Growdiaries

Super Lemon Haze (Green House Seeds) © Growdiaries

G13 Haze (Green House Seeds) © Growdiaries

Hawaiian Snow (Green House Seeds) © Growdiaries

Acapulco Gold (Barney's Farm) © Growdiaries

Laughing Buddha (Barney's Farm) © Growdiaries

A.M.S. (Green House Seeds) © Growdiaries

Tangerine Dream (Barney's Farm) © Growdiaries

Neville's Haze (Green House Seeds) © Growdiaries

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Swipe to see all images in the gallery.

Frankly, it’s not always clear if sativa buds are foxtailing or not. Sativas often have thin, spear-like colas. Or the buds may explode in every direction, become very fat but remain spongy at the same time. So, there were quite a few borderline cases, but I tried to do my best. Here are the results.

Strain, Sativa/Indica
None Mild Strong Extreme
Dr. Grinspoon, 100/0
Barney’s Farm
1 6 9 2
Super Lemon Haze, 70/30
Green House Seeds
16 6 4
G13 Haze, 80/20
Barney’s Farm
8 4 1
Hawaiian Snow, 80/20
Green House Seeds
3 1
Acapulco Gold, 70/30
Barney’s Farm
13 3
Laughing Buddha, 80/20
Barney’s Farm
19 3
Super Silver Haze, 70/30
Green House Seeds
4 2
A.M.S., 40/60
Green House Seeds
1 2
Tangerine Dream, 60/40
Barney’s Farm
20 2
Neville’s Haze, 90/10
Green House Seeds
Pineapple Haze, 30/70
Barney’s Farm
2 1
Arjan’s Haze #3, 70/30
Green House Seeds
4 1

The Trainwreck Line

Whenever people start to discuss foxtailing genetics, the name “Trainwreck” pops up every time. Indeed, I managed to find a couple of examples where Trainwreck buds foxtail in a big way.

Extremely long spires on Train Wreck autoflower
Many protruding shoots on K-Train colas
Long spear-like marijuana bud with many white pistils

Train Wreck Auto (King Crop Seeds) © Growdiaries

K-Train (Green House Seeds) © Growdiaries

Dark Ghost Train (Rare Dankness) © Growdiaries

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Unfortunately, I only found a few grows, so the sample is very small. Anyway, these are the results:

Strain, Sativa/Indica
None Mild Strong Extreme
Train Wreck Auto, 60/30/10
King Crop Seeds
2 1 1
Green House Seeds
1 1
Dark Ghost Train
Rare Dankness
1 1
Trainwreck Auto, 55/45
8 1

Purple or Blue Genetics

When I was searching for foxtailing strains on Growdiaries and on different forums, I was surprised to see foxtailing in such varieties as Blue Cheese, Critical Purple Auto, and Devil Cream Auto. All these strains don’t have much sativa in their DNA, but they’re all purple.

Then I asked myself what comes to mind when I think of purple buds. Well, I picture them either bloated and loose, or with huge dense calyces that shoot in every direction and almost resemble bullets. And sometimes purple buds look like a bunch of grapes or even a string of pearls.

Buds looking like a bunch of frosty pearls
A purple weed bud with many fat tapering offshoots
A weed bud untrimmed and displaying very strong foxtailing and the same bud trimmed
Two different foxtailing colas: one with several side spikes, the other with a spear-like top
Big and lumpy purple buds before harvest

Devil Cream Auto (Sweet Seeds) © Growdiaries

Dark Devil Auto (Sweet Seeds) © Growdiaries

Black Cream Auto (Sweet Seeds) © Growdiaries

Blue Cheese (Royal Queen Seeds) © Growdiaries

Purple Punch (Barney's Farm) © Growdiaries

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Well, it’s just a theory of mine that many purple genetics tend to foxtail. You can check it yourself, and below, you can find a few examples. Please note that Sweet Seeds Devil Cream Auto turned out to be the second most foxtailing strain in our review. And both of its parents—Dark Devil Auto and Black Cream Auto—have this tendency, too.

Strain, Sativa/Indica
None Mild Strong Extreme
Devil Cream Auto, 20/80
Sweet Seeds
10 5 2 3
Dark Devil Auto, 60/40
Sweet Seeds
9 7 1
Black Cream Auto, 5/95
Sweet Seeds
11 5 1
Blue Cheese, 40/60
Royal Queen Seeds
5 4 1
Critical Purple Auto, 0/100
Growers Choice Seeds
14 2
Purple Punch, 10/90
Barney’s Farm
29 4

That’s it for now. Later, I may add other genetics to this list. And if you have encountered foxtailing strains in your grows, please share in the comments.

Foxtailing Buds: Good or Bad? Causes, Fixes, and More

Foxtailing buds have their fair share of fans. It’s evidenced by the fact that some growers look specifically for foxtailing strains when they shop for cannabis seeds. However, this is a niche demand, and most of you prefer their buds to be compact and dense, and not elongated, wispy, and airy. Unfortunately, this is exactly what foxtailing in weed leads to.

Foxtailing buds can be due to either genetics or stress, usually heat and light stress. While you can’t fight genetic foxtailing, you can and should do your best to reduce environmental stresses. It’s not just about the bag appeal of your buds, but about their weight, potency, and aroma as well.

What is Foxtailing in Plants?

We say that buds are foxtailing when they begin to elongate uncontrollably at the tip or grow a lot of tapering side shoots. The cola assumes a strange frilly shape that is not to everyone’s liking.

pointy buds on Green Crack Auto
This huge and high-yielding Green Crack Auto has very pointy buds © Growdiaries © Hawkbo

But let’s start with how cannabis buds normally develop. Flower clusters in cannabis consist of many calyces. A calyx is where the seed develops if the buds catch some male pollen. Calyces usually stack up very close to each other, forming those compact fat colas that we love so much.

However, if you happen to grow some naturally foxtailing Sativa or it’s too hot in your garden, calyces may grow far apart, with noticeable spaces in between. Then the cola may indeed remind you of a fox’s tail. (Interestingly, cola means ‘tail’ in Spanish.)

In the most severe cases, each calyx may grow on its own separate ‘stick’, but mostly a string of calyces just grow on top of each other, forming thin tapering spires.

harvested and trimmed foxtailing buds in a glass bowl
This Zkittlez Auto was flowering during a heatwave, hence the foxtailing. © Growdiaries © Treighfunky

Quite often, you will also see a lot of small, roundish, deep-green, and not very sugary-looking ‘sugar leaves’ growing between the calyces of a foxtailing plant. They look like the plant has second thoughts of reverting back to veg. In short, foxtailing weed is something you can’t miss.

sugar leaves on foxtailing buds
‘Sugar leaves’ on foxtailing buds have a strange shape and color. © Growdiaries © Treighfunky

What Causes Foxtailing Buds?

There are two main foxtailing causes — the plant’s genetic makeup and its specific reaction to environmental conditions. We’d say these two are closely related, and we’ll shortly explain why.

Let’s start with the second one. Why does foxtailing happen if nothing in its genes makes it particularly prone to this issue? Most marijuana growers agree that what causes foxtailing in weed is usually heat stress. Frankly, we couldn’t find any research linking bud foxtailing to heat stress in cannabis, but the issue was studied in other species.

There is the example of heads of cabbage not forming in the tropics. Tropical heat turns a cabbage plant into a tall stick with every leaf on it growing separately. At least, that’s what they told us in school. The same thing happens when people try to grow temperate-zone pines in the tropics. Individual shoots may each become several feet long without any side branching.

In cannabis, this reaction to heat may be a defense mechanism. In the tropics, heat goes hand in hand with high humidity which may spoil the buds if they are too solid. That’s why Sativa buds are generally airier than Indica buds. And foxtailing is one way to achieve that. This would explain why tropical Sativas have more predisposition toward foxtailing.

Related Post  Autoflower Temp and Humidity: With Real-Life Examples

Is Foxtailing on Weed Bad?

The answer depends on genetics. If your strain of weed has genes that tell it to foxtail, you may not like the looks of the buds, but they may turn out to be outstanding in every other respect. The potency, the character of the high, as well as the aroma and the flavor may be like nothing you’ve ever experienced.

In this case, foxtailing isn’t good or bad per se. It’s just the strain’s feature, and you’ll have to accept it. Or choose another strain for the next time and move on.

The Dr Grinspoon strain is a perfect example of genetic foxtailing
The Dr Grinspoon strain is a perfect example of genetic foxtailing. © Growdiaries © DreamCatcher

But if foxtailing is not genetic, treat it as a sign of trouble and adjust your environment accordingly. People often wonder: “Does foxtailing affect potency?” Foxtailing itself doesn’t, but its UNDERLYING cause—be it heat stress or light stress—certainly does. Excessive heat also leads to the evaporation of terpenes, making your buds less aromatic and flavorful. And yields may also suffer.

So, while foxtailing weed isn’t bad, it’s also not the best bud you can hope to grow. It’s blander, less potent, to say nothing of its reduced bag appeal.

How to Fix Foxtailing Buds?

More often than not, the cause of foxtailing on buds indoors is the wrong distance of lights from the plants. You can tell that this is the case if all of the fox tailing is on the tops closest to the light. So, to stop foxtailing, simply raise the light.

Devil Cream Auto foxtailing in week 9 from seed
Devil Cream Auto foxtailing in a bad way in week 9 from seed. © Growdiaries © scotch_egg

For traditional HPS bulbs, try the back-of-your-hand test. Place your hand under the lights on the level of plant tops, palm down. If you feel a burning sensation on the back of your hand, the light is too close. It means that the buds receive too much heat radiation, and this indeed may be the reason why they foxtail.

LED lights can cause foxtailing on weed, too, but testing the distance with the back of your hand may not work. However, most LED lights worth using in a cannabis garden come with instructions. Follow them and watch how your plants react. If the distance is too short or the light operates at full power, you will see symptoms of light stress and heat stress. If the light is too far off or dimmed too much, you may see an unusual amount of stretch. Try to find the ‘Goldilocks zone’ and stay within it.

The Importance of Ventilation

Sometimes, heat radiating from the light affects not just the top buds but causes the temperature to increase throughout the tent. It happens a lot in summer, especially during a heatwave. In this case, you may see the foxtailing affect not only the tops but the middle and lower bud sites, too. A good extractor fan may help the matter, but using an oscillating fan is also important. By constantly moving the air inside the grow space, it will make sure there are no heat pockets.

stacked calyxes on the Auto Kaya 47 bud
For this Auto Kaya 47, the temperature was quite low in flower. So, the foxtailing is probably genetic. © Growdiaries © Marquise_ao_Sul

How to Stop Foxtailing Outdoors

A heatwave can wreak havoc on your outdoor garden, too. In a greenhouse, you can also use fans to lower the temps inside it, but outside, the only way you can help your weed plants deal with the heat is to shade them from the sun during the hottest hours.

If you live in the desert, your best option might be to plant your garden in a spot where trees or structures shade it from the afternoon sun. Or you may span the semi-transparent shade cloth over your plants.

Related Post  Outdoor Marijuana Temperature Range: Ideal, Okay, Extreme

Can Foxtailing be Reversed?

If you have caught foxtailing early on in flower, odds are that you can still get normal-looking buds at harvest. The plant simply has enough weeks of flowering to grow a bunch of normal flower clusters on top of those that were initially foxtailing.

But if the problem persists till late in flower, and buds keep foxtailing near harvest, there’s nothing you can do to change their looks for the better. So be proactive and don’t postpone resolving the issue till the end of flower.

When to Harvest Foxtailing Buds?

In contrast to normal flowers, foxtailing buds have this unfortunate feature: they take forever to mature. You just see more and more calyces forming, with more and more white pistils on them. And when you watch the trichomes on this new growth, they are clear, meaning not ready for harvest. This is another reason to not let your buds foxtail.

Zkittlez Auto foxtailing before the harvest
It may not look it, but this foxtailing bud has actually been 8 weeks in flower. © Growdiaries © Treighfunky

Other than that, the general rule applies. Harvest foxtailing buds when the majority of the trichomes or all of them are milky and some are starting to turn amber. And if you don’t have a magnifying glass to inspect the trichs, wait at least until all of the pistils (female hairs) wither and turn brown. In either case, the constant emergence of fresh growth on your foxtailing buds will try your patience.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The bottom line is that fox tailing weed can be a good thing if it’s a genetic feature of some exotic tropical Sativa. But it’s bad if the foxtailing is due to stress.

Stress can do so much more damage to your cannabis than simply spoiling the appearance of your buds. It can negatively affect yields, flowering time, potency, smell, and taste. So, if you see any sign of stress—whether the foxtailing or anything else—act quickly and try to create for your weed the optimal conditions it deserves.


Autoflower Clones: Don’t Try to Find Them for Sale. Here’s Why

Cloning cannabis is a very convenient way of plant propagation. And buying clones, where it’s legal, is probably the easiest way to start a grow. The other thing that makes the life of an amateur grower so much easier is using autoflowering genetics. You put two and two together, you want autoflower clones. But does anyone sell them?

While autoflowers CAN be cloned, what you can’t do is keep them from flowering. Autoflower clones may begin to flower even before they have rooted. And, once in flower, you can’t revert them back to veg. As a result, autoflowering clones will stay small and yield very little.

autoflowering clones: a very small autoflower in a pot right before harvest and a dry resinous bud held between fingers
This is what your harvest will look like if you grow your weed from autoflowering clones. © GrowDiaries

So your best bet is to grow autos from seeds. Luckily there are enough online vendors that will deliver them right to your door. Click this link if you want a reliable seed shop that has shipped close to a million orders to practically all the countries in the world, including the U.S. and the UK.

Why Buying Autoflower Clones is Virtually Impossible

The reason is that you want two mutually exclusive things from these autoflowering cuttings:

  • you want them to flower automatically,
  • you DON’T want them to flower automatically, at least not till they’re big enough for your needs.

Autoflowers are a special kind of cannabis. The presence of Ruderalis genes in their DNA makes them ignore the light cycle. It doesn’t matter if you’ve planted them in spring or summer or fall. They simply don’t care for how long the days or the nights are.

And indoors, they don’t care for the light schedule. Whether 12/12 or 18/6 or even 24/0 or anything in between, it doesn’t change their timeline. They come up out of the soil, have short but vigorous veg, and then enter the flowering stage which doesn’t last very long either.

And when you take cuttings and root them as autoflower clones, the transition to flowering doesn’t slow down. Well, maybe for a couple of days compared to the main plant. So your autoflowering clone will be nothing but a rather small branch with a handful of flowers on it. It will never have a chance to develop into a large multi-branch bush.

a small flowering weed plant in a plastic pot and its trimmed buds on the scales
Another example of a small autoflower with very little yield. © GrowDiaries

Compare this with the results of a most unremarkable, run-of-the-mill Gorilla Glue Autoflower grow. You simply don’t want to purchase clones if you can buy seeds like these.

Cloning Early Versions and Fast Versions

When browsing seed shops, you may come across varieties that have ‘fast version’ or ‘early version’ added to their names. These strains are photoperiod-dependent, but they have enough autoflowering genes in them to start and finish flowering (outdoors) a couple of weeks earlier than normal photoperiod strains. A very handy feature for climates with short summers. You CAN clone these genetics and keep them in veg indefinitely. We’d say offering fast/early version clones for sale would make sense.

Taking Autoflowering Cuttings from Superautos

Superautos isn’t an official term or anything. These plants are supposed to be normal autoflowers, but, for some reason, they don’t start to flower automatically. When dealing with a superauto, the grower may need to change the light schedule to 16/8, 14/6, or even 12/12 before the plant transitions to the flowering stage. You can clone such genetics, too.

Well, that wraps it up. Stop looking for autoflowering clones. Nobody sells them. Or if they do, they shouldn’t. Autoflowers are a kind of genetics that are only grown from seeds, not clones.

All images in this post were taken from GrowDiaries, the world’s largest weed-growing community.


Can Autoflowering Plants be Cloned? Is It Worth It?

Cloning feminized seeds is a quite simple procedure, and many growers know how to do it. But what about autoflowers? Can autoflowering plants be cloned?

Technically, autoflowers can be cloned. You just choose a side branch that is long enough to take as a cutting and then root it. But the clone will start flowering soon after, so you can’t make it big and productive. And you can’t turn it into a mother plant.

Related Post  Autoflower Clones: Don’t Try to Find Them for Sale. Here’s Why

All this makes cloning an autoflower rather impractical. Why take a cutting if you can get better results just leaving the branch on the plant? Well, if you have extra room and some small containers to spare, you can try cloning an autoflowering plant in the following two scenarios:

  1. Your autoflower is too bushy, and you have to prune some of the branches. You can just throw them away, or you can root and grow them next to the main plant.
  2. You have accidentally topped an autoflower while training it. It will certainly put a dent in your final yield, but, if you make the cutting root and flower, you may redeem a few grams.

Can Autoflowering Plants be Cloned? This Grow Says They Can

A grower from the Growdiaries community who calls himself StickyFingah420 kindly shared his experience of cloning an autoflower. He resorted to this technique because he had accidentally broken a branch on his FatsBuds Zkittlez Auto.

In his case, the result was spectacular. But most probably, his overall yield would be better if not for this accident. Just check out this Gorilla Glue Autoflower grow journal to see how modern autoflowering genetics perform if nothing goes wrong.

So, the grower fimmed his Zkittlez Autoflower in week 3 from seed. This resulted in 8 potential side shoots from the main stem. The accident happened in week 5 from seed as the grower put too much strain on one of the branches in the second pair and it snapped. So instead of 8 potential side shoots, only seven remained on the main stalk.

zkittlez auto fimmed in week 3
zkittlez auto growing 6-8 side branches in week 4
Can Autoflowering Plants be Cloned: The site of the accidental topping in week 5
zrittlez auto getting dense and bushy in week 7
zkittlez auto pre- and post-harvest

Fimming in the third week. 4 side shoots are there, another 4 have yet to develop.

The 4th week. 6 bigger branches and 2 mangled and tiny (in the center).

Week 5. Out of three shoots (left, central, and right) at the 2nd node, the right one broke off.

Week 7. A lot of secondary branches and a very dense canopy.

Zkittlez Auto in week 11 and after the wet trim. (Click here to buy these seeds.)

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Swipe to see all images in the gallery. © Growdiaries

The plant recovered from the stress, grew many more side shoots, got dense and fat, and produced 42.7 g (1.51 oz) of dry bud. Now let’s look at how the cutting was doing.

The Cutting

The grower put the cutting into a yogurt cup filled with soil. He cut the fan leaves in half to reduce their evaporation area. Zkittlez Auto seems to have very strong genetics because not every strain would root in soil.

Can Autoflowering Plants be Cloned: Zkittlez Auto clone in week 6, rooted and repotted
can autoflowering plants be cloned: zkittlez auto clone starts filling out in week 8
Can autoflowering plants be cloned: Zkittlez Auto clone at harvest in week 11

Week 6. The clone rooted and transplanted into a bigger pot.

Week 8. The buds are starting to form.

Week 11. The Zkittlez Auto clone at harvest. (Click here to buy these seeds.)

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Swipe to see all images in the gallery. © Growdiaries

When it became evident that the clone was alive, it was transplanted into a 2.5-3-liter plastic pot and kept in the same grow tent as the main plant. It was in the pre-flower mode soon after re-potting and then began to flower and finished just a few days later than the main plant.

The grower didn’t say what the yield was, but you can guess it by just looking at those fat and seemingly dense flowers. The broken branch certainly didn’t go to waste.

To Recap

This is for those of you who like to scroll down to the end of the post to see the bottom line.

Can autoflowering plants be cloned? Yes, they can. Just don’t do it on purpose. Because it won’t increase the yield. And there’s no way you can keep the autoflower genetics you liked by taking a clone and making it into a mother plant. Autoflowers simply don’t work that way. You’ll need feminized seeds for this.