How much do you know about foxgloves? I’ll answer some of the questions you may have about this fabulous flowering biennial and what you need to know about growing your own foxgloves in the garden.
Foxgloves are a stunning flowering plant that looks gorgeous in any garden. But how much do you really know about them?
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I’m a self-taught hobby gardener, not a Master Gardener. Everything I share with you on my blog is my personal opinion and things that worked for me along the way.
Last June I was pleasantly surprised when I made a trip to the grocery store and found a display of foxgloves just outside the doors.
I bought every last one of them. They were quite a deal from what I remember.
I had never grown these plants in my garden because I was a bit intimidated by them, especially because I heard they were a biennial which I didn’t know much about.
After bringing the cartload full of foxgloves home with me, I decided to do a bit of research, seeking answers to all the questions I had about growing them in my garden.
There was a lot to learn about this plant.
Answers to Your Questions About Foxgloves
1. Are Foxgloves an Annual, Perennial, or Biennial?
Common foxgloves are biennial plants. This means that the plant takes two years to fully flower before finishing its life cycle. This is different from annuals which only last a single season or a perennial which comes back every year.
These plants live for 2 years. They bloom the second year and then seed freely. So if you plant foxgloves the first year, and then again the second, you should have blooms coming up each year.
2. Do Foxgloves Self-Seed?
Foxgloves do self-seed abundantly by leaving the spent flower blooms as long as possible. If you cut the stalks of a spent foxglove and just lay them down in the garden, they will re-seed on their own.
If flowers are allowed to drop seeds, thin the seedlings next year to about 18 inches apart, which will allow the growing foxgloves room to develop.
Keep in mind that if you use foxgloves for cut flowers it will decrease reseeding.
3. Are Foxgloves Poisonous?
Yes, foxgloves are poisonous to both humans and animals.
Nothing on this plant should be digested including the flowers, leaves, and seeds. It is highly recommended that you wear gloves when handling the plant.
If you do decide to grow foxgloves in your garden, be sure to take precautions.
My dogs have never even gone near foxgloves but I still watch them closely when they are in the gardens where the plants are growing.
Plant foxgloves away from edible garden plantings.
4. What Type of Soil Do Foxgloves Need?
Foxglove plants grow best in rich, moist but well-draining soil. You can encourage the re-growth of foxglove flowers by not allowing the soil to dry out or to get too soggy.
5. When do Foxgloves Bloom?
They bloom for 2-3 months starting in late spring.
6. Are Foxgloves Medicinal Plants?
The foxglove plant is grown commercially for distillation of the heart medicine Digitalis. You can see more information about a group of medicines extracted from foxglove plants HERE.
7. What Light Do Foxgloves Need to Thrive?
Foxgloves will thrive not only in full and part sunlight, but also in the shade depending on the summer heat.
They are hardy in gardening zones 4-10. In hotter areas, foxgloves like more midday and afternoon shade. The hotter the summers, the more shade the plant needs.
8. How Tall Do Foxgloves Get?
Foxglove plants can grow to be up to 6′ tall depending on the variety which makes them perfect for planting towards the back of your garden to add height and interest.
9. What Colors Do Foxgloves Come In?
Foxglove flowers are clusters of tubular-shaped blooms that come in shades of pink, rose, purple, lavender, yellow, white, peach, and even bi-color.
I hope I’ve answered most of the questions you may have about foxgloves. They are complicated flowering plants but if you understand them, they can be fabulous flowers to have in the garden.
Leave a comment below with any comments or questions. I’d love to hear from you.
Until next time,