Foxglove bears tall, dramatic spikes of tubular flowers with speckled throats. Foxglove blooms in midsummer and adds elegance to a perennial border, woodland area, or shade garden.
About This Plant
Foxglove's low-growing foliage is topped by 2- to 5-foot-tall flower spikes, depending on the variety. Flower colors include pink, red, purple, white, and yellow. Foxgloves are biennials or short-lived perennials. However, although individual plants may be short-lived, foxglove readily self-sows and multiplies. Keep in mind that foxglove leaves contain digitalis, a potent heart medicine, and are considered poisonous.
Select a site with full sun to light shade and moist yet well-drained soil.
Set plants out in spring, spacing plants 1 to 2 feet apart, depending on the variety; sow seeds in early summer. Prepare the garden bed by using a garden fork or tiller to loosen the soil to a depth of 12 to 15 inches, and then mix in a 2- to 4-inch layer of compost. Dig a hole twice the diameter of the pot the plant is in. Carefully remove the plant from its container and place it in the hole so the top of the root ball is level with the soil surface. Carefully fill in around the root ball and firm the soil gently. Water thoroughly.
Apply a thin layer of compost each spring, followed by a 2-inch layer of mulch to retain moisture and control weeds. Water plants during the summer if rainfall is less than 1 inch per week. It is important to stake tall varieties to keep them upright. Remove the central flower spike after flowering to encourage other side shoots to form and produce more flowers. However, if you want the plant to self-sow and multiply, leave the flower spike intact on the plant so seeds can mature and disperse.