Digitalis or Foxglove are showstoppers in a garden with their spectacular panicles of flowers and tall stature. In addition to their height and colorful flowers, Foxgloves are deer resistant and attract all kinds of pollinators. These plants are heavy feeders that prefer neutral to acidic soil and at least 3-4 hours of sunlight. Well drained soil is a must for these guys so we recommend amending poor draining soil with peat moss or compost. Staking may be required in unprotected or high wind areas.
Overwintering Digitalis can be tricky. Here are a couple of Hook’s tips to help your plants make it through the cold months. One way to help your Foxgloves make it through the winter is to add an insulating layer of mulch to help shelter it from the cold and aid in moisture retention. Removing debris around plant is also recommended to prevent insects from overwintering near your foxglove and to prevent diseases. Digitalis plants can be considered either biennials (lifespan of 2 years) or short-lived perennials (living between 2-4 years). At the end of the blooming season you can either allow your foxglove to go to seed or deadhead it before it goes to seed. Deadheading the plant before it goes to seed saves the energy that would have been used to produce seeds for overwintering. For biennials we recommend deadheading them the first year and let them go to seed the second while short-lived perennials we recommend allowing them to go to seed. You can either collect and save these seeds to sow yourself next year or let them self sow in the garden. Any plants that sprout in inconvenient locations can be dug up and moved later. collecting and planting the seeds will keep your population of short-lived foxgloves going for years to come.
Here at Hook’s we love the Dalmatian series foxgloves. This series comes in many vibrant hues including Rose, Lavender, Cream and Purple and bloom from late spring to mid summer. These perennial plants grow to 16-18″ tall and 12-18″ wide and prefer full to part sun/part shade conditions.
We also love the Camelot series foxgloves which feature large panicles of gorgeous rose and purple flowers. The Camelot series is considered a biannual plant, so be sure to save the seeds to sow in later years. Look for these varieties at Hook’s in future years!
Note: digitalis is toxic. Be sure to keep away from children and pets.
Information on Digitalis plants from perennials.com
Images from Walter’s Gardens: https://www.waltersgardens.com/variety.php?ID=DIGCR