Foxglove Plant: How To Care For Digitalis Purpurea

blooming foxglove plant

The Foxglove Plant (Digitalis purpurea), one remarkable, distinctive flower reminiscent of our earlier childhood years. Seeing the foxglove brings us back to memories of summers long past spent in cottage gardens.

Digitalis purpurea, goes by lots of names besides the foxglove plant:

  • Fairy Thimbles
  • Folk’s Glove
  • Fairy Caps
  • Virgin’s Glove
  • Gloves of Our Lady
  • Witches’ Gloves
  • Fairy’s Glove

Commercially grown for its powerful heart-healing properties, then distilled to make Digitalin. The extract helps regulate heartbeats and strengthening its overall condition.

Then used to treat heart issues the extract helps regulate heartbeats and strengthening its overall condition.

Once you see a Foxglove flower, you’ll never forget it!

Physically unique, with its tall, majestic spires resplendent with beautiful, tubular flowers. They usually bloom mid-summer, starting from a circle of lance-shaped foliage and rising up to a height of 6 foot tall.

The Foxglove’s stature makes it an excellent backdrop in your garden, providing a frame for shorter plants flowering in front.

The Digitalis purpurea’s vertical attribute makes the landscape a bit bigger and sometimes, the plant steals the show because of its bell-shaped flowers! Owners of the plant will surely love the attention it can draw and the lovely flowers it pushes out. Read on to learn more about foxglove care.

How To Care For Foxglove

How to plant foxglove for optimal growth?

Grow common foxglove in partial shade to full shade, depending on the region’s summer heat. It thrives in locations where the amount of sunlight varies as the day moves.

Foxgloves grows in USDA Hardiness Zones 4 – 10, and prefers the afternoon and midday shade. The general rule of thumb – the hotter the sun, the more shade it needs. Just like us!

The Digitalis purpurea can grow with little maintenance. Plant in a rich, well-drained soil, keep the soil moist, especially during the warmer months.

Keep pets and small children away from the Foxglove. Due to its known toxicity components if pets or kids decide to eat them. Rabbits and deer avoid eating the Foxglove, indicating it shouldn’t be consumed.

Throughout gardening communities Foxglove plants are considered one of the most poisonous plants in the flowering landscape.

However, birds aappear unaffected and Hummingbirds simply loves the tasty nectar the Foxglove flowers produce! As a preventive measure, include Foxglove’s plants in the back of a garden or a flower bed.

Growing quite tall grandiflora “blesses” the garden with small and colorful trumpet-like blooms.

If you like “trumpet blooms” check out Brugmansia.

Considered very hardy and needing little maintenance, summertime brings in unwanted powdery mildew. When the weather is hot and humid foxglove can experience crown rot.

Adequate air circulation helps combat powerdy mildew disease and leaf spots. Don’t plant them too close to one another.

Propagation Of Digitalis Flowers

As biennial plants, digitalis plants concentrate on growing foxglove leaves on their first year, flower and produce seeds the next.

Plant owners who have small garden spaces may still grow Foxglove in one area. However, with the added maintenance of cutting spent flowers and trimming fox gloves after blooming season ends.

  • Start foxglove from collected seed.
  • Sow seeds immediately after collecting them.
  • Prepare a flat with a light well draining potting media.
  • Broadcast the tiny seeds right on top of the frmed potting media.
  • The optimal temperature for growing is at 70 degrees F; germination happens within 15 to 20 days.
  • Thin seedlings after they germinate.
  • Pot seedings in individual pots and care for them until winter passes, then plant them the following early spring.
  • Transplant them to their permanent location about 20 inches apart in the garden during in spring.
  • This allows adequate space and promotes optimal growth for full-colored blooms.

When allowed to self seed Foxglove may become troublesome, surprising owners new plants spring from out of nowhere and ruin the careful arrangement of your landscape.

Foxglove Plant Varieties

The narrow, special tubular blooms grow in clusters and sport different striking hues – deep purple, lavender, rosy red, pretty pink, bright yellow and classic white.

With the right type of soil and location, the Foxglove can grow and produce 5-foot spikes of blushing, two-lipped flowers.

A few notable varieties of the Foxglove plant include:

  • The Alba species grows to a maximum of 4 feet and show off purely white flowers.
  • Apricot grows up to 5 feet and bears pastel-like peach colors with small, purple spots inside.
  • The Excelsior hybrid produces different-colored blooms in yellow, white, pink and purple.
  • “Giant Shirley” produces very noticeable flowers grows up to 3 feet, sporting colorful pale pink, rose or white blooms with brown spottings.
  • Gloxiniodes may grow up to 6 feet producing attractive flowers of salmon, yellow, white, pink or purple with speckling and ruffled margins.
  • Primrose Carousel and the Foxy hybrids are smaller varieties reaching 3 feet tall, with creamy white blossoms sporting wine-colored spots in the interior, or pink, purple, white and yellow for the latter variety.
  • Dwarf varieties: Dwarf Sensation grows to 4 feet and Dwarf Temple Bells only about 1.5 feet tall, providing dense blooms and lengthy flowering periods.

Foxglove flowers provide excellent vertical beauty as additions to the flower garden planted safely in the  “background.” Plant and enjoy!