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How to Grow Foxglove

By S.F. Heron ; Updated September 21, 2017

Stately and beautiful, the foxglove functions as a mainstay in the typical cottage garden. This stately plant blooms with cup-shaped flowers and tall stems up to three feet tall. Foxglove works well as a rear border plant because of its height. In some climates, foxglove behaves like a perennial for many years. In most cases, foxglove grows as a biennial with two good years of blooms. Foxglove adds a unique flower shape to the garden, with deep green leaves and unique spotted flowers in an array of colors. Foxglove prefers partial shade and well-drained soil.

Select a location with full sun or partial shade. Foxglove requires four to six hours of sun each day for optimum growth. Choose a location that experiences good drainage at all times, since foxglove prefers well-drained soil.

Turn over the soil in a three-foot area around the chosen planting site. Dig down about eight inches and flip the soil; this benefits the plants by stirring up nutrients. It also makes adding soil amendments easier to mix into existing soil.

Chop up the dirt clods and rake the garden smooth. Pour two to three inches of peat onto the garden. Turn over the garden section again, working the peat into the top layers of soil. It's considerably easier to boost the organic content in the soil before planting rather than working around existing plants. Peat also improves soil drainage.

Dig a hole 1 1/2 times the size of the transplant container.

Wrap your hands around the transplant container and squeeze gently to loosen the soil and roots inside the pot. Place your hand over the opening of the pot and tip the plant into your hand. If necessary, cut away the planter pot to remove stubborn, root-bound plants. Work your fingers into the soil that surrounds the roots. Gently push your fingers a few inches into the root ball to free the roots and encourage outward growth.

Place the foxglove plant into the planting hole. Add or remove soil from the hole until the top of the root ball lies one inch below the surrounding soil surface. Fill in around the foxglove, firming the dirt with your hands until level with the surrounding garden.

Mulch around the plant with a three- to four-inch layer of shredded pine or hardwood mulch. Water the foxglove near the base of the plant. Continue watering regularly when the soil becomes dry. Foxgloves prefer evenly damp soil conditions. Plants will bloom in early to mid-summer.


Things You Will Need

  • Shovel
  • Rake
  • Peat Moss
  • Foxglove plant
  • Pruning clippers
  • Mulch