How to Plant Foxgloves

Overview

Foxgloves (Digitalis purpurea) are also known as fairy's thimbles, gloves of our lady and witches' gloves. Depending on the growing region, foxgloves can be biennials and will even self-sow if flowers are left to go to seed. Foxgloves are easy to recognize thanks to their robust spike-like 3- to 5-foot stalks with tubular 2-inch flowers that range in color from lavender, white, pink, cream and even yellow. Foxgloves grow best in cool temperatures and in rich, moist soil.

Planting Foxglove Seeds

Step 1

Fill up seed-starting trays to within 1/4 inch of the top with a quality seed starting potting mix. Do this approximately 4 to 6 weeks before the last anticipated frost date in your growing region.

Step 2

Pack the germinating media down firmly in each of the tray's cells using your fingers, or the back of a metal spoon.

Step 3

Pour enough water into the tray to saturate the germinating media. Pour out all excess water once the cells are moistened.

Step 4

Scatter the foxgloves seeds thinly in each of the cells in the planting packs. Plant approximately a small pinch-full of seeds, 4 to 6 per cell, or use a pair of tweezers to pick up the seeds.

Step 5

Sprinkle no more than an 1/8 inch of seed starting mix over the foxglove seeds.

Step 6

Place the tray of seeds where they will receive the most light (though not direct sunlight) each day and where the temperature will stay between 60 and 70 degrees F. Mist the surface of the soil in the tray as often as needed to keep the soil moist. Foxglove seedlings will begin appearing in two to three weeks.

Step 7

Transplant the foxglove seedlings outdoors after all chance of frost has passed and they are approximately 3 to 4 inches tall.

Transplanting Foxglove Seedlings

Step 1

Select a planting site in your garden that will provide foxgloves with partial shade, particularly around the middle of the day, advises to Cornell University Extension.

Step 2

Turn over the soil in the planting location to a depth of between 8 and 10 inches and mix into the soil a 3- to 4-inch layer of aged manure, dehydrated compost, sphagnum peat moss, or other like material. Foxgloves grow best in soil that is rich in organic matter, according to online gardening reference Floridata.

Step 3

Dig planting holes spaced at 18 to 24 inches apart. Dig each hole the approximate size and depth of each of the cells in the planting tray.

Step 4

Pop out a foxglove seedling (still in its soil) from a cell in the planting tray.

Step 5

Plant the foxglove seedling into one of the previously dug planting holes. Hold the seedling level and straight in the planting hole while you scoop in soil using your trowel to fill the hole full.

Step 6

Firm the soil down around the foxglove seedling.

Step 7

Water each of the foxglove seedlings using a starter fertilizer made especially for flowers. Provide each seedling with approximately 1 to 2 cups of the fertilizer and water solution.

Things You'll Need

  • Foxglove seed or plants
  • Seed-starting potting mix
  • Seed-starting trays
  • Metal spoon.
  • Watering tray
  • Tweezers
  • Spray bottle
  • Shovel
  • Aged manure, dehydrated compost, sphagnum peat moss
  • Trowel
  • Starter fertilizer

References

  • Floridata: Information on Foxglvoes
  • Cornell University Extension: Foxgloves

Who Can Help

  • Farmer's Almanac: Spring Frost Dates
Keywords: planting foxglove seeds, planting digitalis purpurea, growing finger flowers

About this Author

Katelyn Lynn is a certified holistic health practitioner who specializes in orthomolecular medicine and preventative modalities. She also has extensive experience in botany and horticulture. Lynn has been writing articles for various websites relating to health and wellness since 2007. She has been published on gardenguides.com. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in alternative medicine from Everglades University.