How to Protect Common Foxglove

Protect Foxglove from pests and freeze. image by ~~wv~~(Mary)/


Common foxglove or Digitalis purpurea is a perennial/biennial that can grow up to 6 feet tall. It thrives in sun to partial shade and blooms in numerous colors and varieties including pale pink, purple, yellow, apricot and white. It's a majestic-looking plant, with flowers growing out of each tall stalk. Foxglove is hardy and can survive through cold winters but will thrive even more with protection from freezing temperatures and pests.

Step 1

Plant common foxglove outside in the late spring or early summer if you live in a climate with cold winters. This will give it time to become strong enough to survive winter. If you live in a mild climate, plant foxglove in the fall.

Step 2

Loosen the soil with a garden tool such as a hoe to plant seeds. Place seeds about a 1/4 inch deep into the planting bed and cover with soil. Don't pack the soil down too tightly because seeds need the sunlight to germinate and become strong enough to survive cold winters.

Step 3

Touch the soil daily to check the moisture content. Soil should be kept moist to keep foxglove from drying out and dying. Add water if it feels like it's drying out, which should be about every two to three days.

Step 4

Add a layer of mulch or straw to the bed to protect the plants from freezing temperatures. Concentrate the straw or mulch around the crowns of the plants.

Step 5

Look for ragged holes in the flowers and leaves. This indicates slugs or snails. Place shallow saucers of beer out to attract and drown the pests. If you prefer, wait until twilight and pick off the pests by hand.

Tips and Warnings

  • Common foxglove flowers, seeds and leaves are poisonous. Ingestion may cause diarrhea, tremors, convulsions, vomiting, stomach pain, nausea, severe headache, a change in vision or irregular and slow pulse.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden hoe
  • Seeds
  • Soil
  • Water
  • Mulch or straw
  • Saucers
  • Beer


  • Estabrook's
  • Witch's Brew
  • Dave's Garden
Keywords: Foxglove, Digitalis purpurea, protect

About this Author

Based in New York State, Kelly Shetsky started writing in 1999. She is a broadcast journalist-turned Director of Marketing and Public Relations and has experience researching, writing, producing and reporting. She writes for several websites, specializing in gardening, medical, health and fitness, entertainment and travel. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Marist College.

Photo by: ~~wv~~(Mary)/