Foxgloves are a fine addition to any garden but
are a must have plant for the cottage garden. Very few plants can match the colorful
spires of foxglove for adding stately drama to the perennial bed or border. Plants adorn
themselves with large bell shaped blooms that range in pastel colors of pink, white,
yellow and rose. Plant foxgloves wherever you need a spot of "showy" color.
Most forms of Digitalis are actually classified biennials - meaning they spend the
first season growing leaves and producing a root system and flower in their second year.
The only true perennial form of Digitalis is 'Ambigua'. Even though most foxgloves are
classified as biennials they easily self seed and remain in the garden for years. In fact
one of the things we love the most about them is their ability to spring up in places
through out the garden. Foxgloves begin their colorful show in April and continue blooming
into early June. Heights vary with variety and range from 2 feet up to 7 feet.
Foxgloves prefer filtered shade but we have had great success with plants in full sun as
long as the plants are properly mulched to help retain moisture. Foxgloves are very
undemanding and will grow almost anywhere but for best results amend your soil with plenty
of organic matter such as compost and well rotted manure. Fertilze in very early spring
with a top dressing of composted manure and bone meal. After the plants have finished
flowering remove all but a few stems to set seed. If you have a good stand of plants and
leave all the faded flower stalks to go to seed you can very quickly become overwhelmed
with foxglove seedlings.
Digitalis ( Foxgloves )
Zones: 4 - 9
Problems: powdery mildew - see notes
Notes: the best way to avoid powdery mildew is to make sure the plants do
not get stressed during dry spells. Always provide a good layer of mulch to help the roots
stay cool and moist. Avoid placing mulch against the plants crown as this can cause fungus
problems and invite disease.