LAA668984(z4/5 ny)June 13, 2005

I started some perennial/biennal seed in May, with the idea of planting them out in the fall. I figured, that way, all the plants that normally wouldn't bloom the first year for me, will bloom next spring. I've read different things about foxgloves, ( I started the excelsior type) some say they are very winter hardy, others say they should be kept in a coldframe for the winter. I don't have one, and would like to plant them right in the ground in Sept. I could always put them in my garage for the winter, but space is a problem. Will they make it through a NY winter outside?

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They're hardy and if you plant them out in early September, they should have a chance to get established before really cold weather.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2005 at 11:23AM
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blackcat333(z6 NY)

Last year (winter 2003/04)I sowed foxgloves in covered containers outside. They started sprouting when the weather warmed up, and I put them in the ground when they were quite small. They bloomed this spring and look great! I wouldn't even wait for fall to plant them out. They'll do fine.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2005 at 5:35PM
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robbiezone5(z5 HudsonValley)

i get confused by foxgloves. if we allow them to flower, do their seeds drop to the ground and grow? will they spread on their own? i don't think this happened for us from any that were planted last year. does biennial mean that it flowers every other year -- so would it make sense, then, to plant a mix of some that bloom this year, along with some that will bloom the next?


    Bookmark   June 16, 2005 at 1:00PM
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Robbie, biennial means they put out a rosette of leaves the first year and then send up a bloom stalk the second year, make seed, and die. Once in a while foxglove plants will bloom a second year.

I have always thrown the seed of ripe foxglove around in late summer. They put out leaves by fall, and bloom the next spring.

I have also started foxgloves almost every year indoors, just in case nothing survives the winter, which is rare. I've kept them in their small cell paks all summer and planted them out and they do fine. Like they said above, plant them anytime. They're really tough plants, really hardy, and deer don't eat them.

They are picky about where they will continue to bloom around my house, though. In my yard, they love rocky soil (the gravel driveway especially) in part shade, well drained.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2005 at 5:56PM
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blackcat333(z6 NY)

I'm going to sow some every year now so I always have some in bloom. They are so pretty! I am really enjoying the white ones I have, and I'd like to move it to my moon garden, but I think they have a long taproot.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2005 at 8:21PM
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klavier(Z7 Baltimore)

There are some true perennial types that live on after blooming. These tend to be not quite as appealing, but still very pretty. The leaves also tend to be more green and narrow. I have two that come back every year from Northern Dutchess Botanicals- you have to ask which ones are not the biennial type. Another I got at a garage sale that is very much like the big showy ones you get at stores, but it blooms up a storm every year and seeds like crazy. I will post pictures and names tomorrow.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2005 at 10:59PM
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robbiezone5(z5 HudsonValley)

thanks susanzone5 -- that's a big help! we've been buying new ones all the time at the nursery each spring. nice to know that we needn't do that. i wonder if we could have inadvertently weeded some new sprouts in the past... but thanks for the info --- this is good to know!


    Bookmark   June 21, 2005 at 9:10AM
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I grow digitalis ambigua - smaller plant with pale yellow flowers but it is a reliable perennial that also self-sows. I got a start of it from Caroline Ferriday's garden in Connecticut many years ago and it's flowered for me ever since. But I visited a friend in Pawling last week who has foxgloves self-sowing all over - very effective in a woodland setting. I might try it out in back away from the ambigua so they don't cross-pollinate.
This is one plant that is guaranteed deerproof. It's not only bitter but a deadly poison (extract used as a heart medication). So I think maybe I'll try some on the OUTSIDE of the deer fence.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2005 at 6:34PM
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