Everything You Need To Know About Growing Foxglove

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Foxglove is an easy-to-grow plant with beautiful tubular blooms that appear on a spike that can be as tall as four feet tall.

Foxglove is a perennial and annual plant that is native to Western Europe with about 20 different species with tubular blooms that form on a stem that can be as tall as six feet.

They prefer cooler weather and during temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, they may become wilted and recover when temperatures fall in the late afternoon.

PLANTING FOXGLOVE

Foxglove grows best in hardiness zones 4 through 9 with a soil pH range of 5.5 through 6.5.

If the hardiness zone you are living in is lower than 4 you can treat them as an annual and collect the seeds for the next season.

There are several different varieties that have different spacing needs but in general, it is best to plant the about two feet apart.

If growing foxglove from seed then it is suggested to start them in cardboard seed starting containers 3 to 4 weeks before the last frost.

If the seeds are sown straight into the soil then the seed will germinate when temperatures get about 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

For best results, it is recommended to till some compost into the soil before planting which is known as amending the soil.

Amending the soil will provide nutrients and help the soil retain water which will help during the hot summer months.

FOXGLOVE USES

Foxglove does well in flower gardens, cottage gardens, shade gardens, raised garden beds, and potted containers.

FERTILIZING AND WATERING

Foxglove doesn’t require a lot of fertilizing and too much will negatively impact the growth of the blooms.

If the soil is sufficient for growing then they will do just fine but if the soil is poor then a slow-release fertilizer is needed

A good fertilizer mixture is 5-10-5 meaning nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, or a homemade liquid fertilizer can be used.

When applying fertilizer, it is best to apply it between the base of the plant to the tips of the branches. This area of the plant is known as the drip line.

Foxglove requires 1 inch of water per week which works out to watering about the top two inches of soil and letting the soil dry out before the next watering which should take about a week.

During hot, dry, and windy times they will require more water but be careful, overwatering can cause crown rot.

BLOOMS

Floxglove Blooms

Foxglove produces clusters of tubular-shaped blooms that form on a stem that can be as tall as six feet depending on the variety.

Because of the height of the blooms they may need to be supported with a stake or wooden dowel to keep them from being blown over during a strong storm.

Their blooms come in red, purple, pink, yellow, and white with maroon spots on the inside of the blooms that appear in late spring, and will bloom for 2 to 3 months.

Foxgloves blooms attract bees and hummingbirds.

When their blooms become wilted you can remove them which will cause the plant to rebloom.

This is called deadheading and when a plant’s blooms are not able to go to seed then it will rebloom in an attempt to produce seeds.

PRUNING

Foxgloves can be pruned after the blooms are finished in summer by removing any brown or damaged foliage and the stalks that the blooms grow on.

PROPAGATING

Foxglove is normally grown from seed which is ready for harvest in mid to late summer.

They should be divided every 3 to 4 years by digging the plant up, with a spade or small shovel, and dividing the plant into two plants.

One plant is planted back into the garden and the other plant can be planted elsewhere or gifted to friends.

This is done so the plant is kept within its area in the garden.

PESTS

Foxgloves have several pests that can cause a lot of damage and cause them to die due to the amount of destruction to the plant.

With that said they can stunt the growth of plants, and they may also introduce and spread any plant virus that they are carrying, therefore, eliminating them is a must.

DISEASES

Foxgloves that are planted close together can develop mold and mildew issues during times of high humidity.

If this is the case then pruning and preventive measures may need to be taken.

OVERWINTERING

To help protect foxglove during the winter months 3 to 5 inches of mulch or compost should be added.

PERENNIAL VARIETIES

There are many different perennial varieties to choose from with options as tall as six feet and as short as two feet tall.

Perennial plants will return on their own year after year with their beautiful blooms.

ARCTIC FOX ROSE FOXGLOVE

Arctic fox rose foxglove is a hybrid variety that is a bit smaller than other varieties.

  • Plant size – grows to about 2 tall and 1 and a half feet wide.
  • Drought tolerant – yes when established
  • Blooming colors – pink
  • Foliage – large broad spear-shaped green leaves with jagged edges
  • Deer resistant – yes

FOXY FOXGLOVE

Foxy foxglove is a semi-dwarf variety with a mix of blooming colors.

  • Plant size – grows to about 3 tall and 1 foot wide.
  • Drought tolerant – yes when established
  • Blooming colors – reddish-purple, pink, and white with maroon spots
  • Foliage – large broad spear-shaped green leaves with jagged edges
  • Deer resistant – yes

BIENNIAL VARIETIES

Biennial plants will start to bloom only after their second year.

CANDY MOUNTAIN FOXGLOVE

Candy mountain foxglove is the first of its kind to have blooms that face up instead of facing down.

  • Plant size – grows to about 4 tall and 1 and a half feet wide.
  • Drought tolerant – no
  • Blooming colors – soft pink with maroon spots
  • Foliage – large broad spear-shaped green leaves with jagged edges
  • Deer resistant – yes

ANNUAL VARIETIES

Annual plants die off every year and they can only return from seeds of the parent plant or resown.

CAMELOT LAVENDER FOXGLOVE

  • Plant size – grows to about 4 tall and 2 feet wide.
  • Drought tolerant – no
  • Blooming colors – purple with maroon spots
  • Foliage – large broad spear-shaped green leaves with jagged edges
  • Deer resistant – yes

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