Foxglove, also known as digitalis, are gorgeous woodland plants that attract birds, bees and hummingbirds to the garden while also being deer and rabbit resistant. These showy plants feature tall stalks of distinctive bell shaped flowers in late spring to mid summer. Digitalis makes a wonderful addition to any garden by adding eye-catching height and color.
Biennials vs. Perennials
It is important to note that some varieties of foxglove are considered biennials while others are true perennials. A biennial plant has a lifespan of two years, whereas perennials can live for more than two years. Here at Hook’s we offer three varieties of foxglove, Camelot Rose Cream, Dalmatian Purple, and Dalmatian Rose. Camelot Rose is considered a biennial while the Dalmatian series varieties are perennials.
Varieties of Digitalis
Camelot Rose quickly grows to a height 1’ and reaches 3-4’ with its flowering stalk. This variety grows 20-30” wide and features tall stalks of rose-pink bell-shaped flowers with white rimmed speckles late spring to midsummer. The Dalmatian series varieties grow 16-20” tall and 12-18” wide. We carry Dalmatian Purple and Dalmatian Rose varieties which feature deep purple flowers and rose-pink flowers respectively. Their bloom season is from late spring to midsummer.
Digitalis requires 3-4 hours of sun, but need protection from the hot afternoon sun. These heavy feeding plants prefer moist, well-draining, neutral to acidic soil. We recommend adding peat moss or compost to help improve drainage. Additionally, peat moss increases soil acidity. We recommend planting foxglove in clumps with about 12” of spacing between plants. With its impressive height digitalis may require staking in exposed windy locations. We recommend using a soft material to loosely tie flower stalk to the stake to avoid harming the plant.
For best performance we recommend fertilizing with a bloom boosting fertilizer multiple times throughout the season, after planting, after first flowers fade, post blooming and when new spring growth appears. Mulching helps suppress weed growth and retain moisture. Trimming back damaged foliage promotes the growth of new foliage. Similarly, deadheading when first blooms begin to fade helps promote the growth of a second bloom. After blooming season is over cut back and cover with 3-5” of mulch. This layer of mulch helps to insulate the plant and retain moisture over the winter. Removing debris around foxglove after frosts can also help prevent disease and pest problems. Keep in mind that digitalis is a toxic plant. Avoid ingestion and take precautions to keep away from children and pets.
Here at Hook’s we offer digitalis and other summer perennials in 2 gallon pots for $12.99. Stop by the greenhouse today to browse our selection of summer perennials. If you have any questions, our friendly staff are happy to help!