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Questions about foxgloves

Posted by julie79 z5/6 MA (My Page) on
Mon, Oct 4, 04 at 13:26

I grew foxgloves from seed this year and, much to my amazement, now have to figure out where in my garden to put a dozen or more plants. But I have no idea when or how long these are likely to bloom, where in the border they should go, and (most importantly) what they look good with!

I think I read that foxgloves are best suited for partial shade, but much sun is too much? How many plants should I put in a clump, and how far apart should I space them?

I don't have the seed packet handy, but I think they were an Excelsior hybrid from T-M, in shades of cream and light pinks/purples. IMHO, the foliage is pretty ugly, and I'm pretty sure I won't want to see it after the flowers are spent.

Thanks in advance,
Julie in Massachusetts


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Questions about foxgloves

aaaahhhh foxgloves < smiles > such a curious family of flowers. you are lucky to get such a bumper crop of seedlings!! just plant them about 8 - 10 inches apart so you have a rather thick drift of them going.
i would give them partial shade.... meaning a little more sun than shade all day. divide your seedlings into 2 groups one 5 count and maybe one 7 if you have enough .... another smaller group if you have more.
'one trick to keeping foxgloves. hollyhocks and other biennials is to deadhead the plant before the spent flower stalk goes to seed. take it off at the base of the plant in the basal foliage clump. the mother plant freaks out and thinks ohhh noooooooo there goes my babies!!! drat!! now i have to come back next year and do all this all over so i can leave some babies as that is my mission in life to fulfill!!! so the plant comes backs and does the 2 yr cycle again in the hopes of making babies for posterity.
< smiles > you can fool the poor little darlings up to 7 or 8 yrs this way.

they look good with ligularias and with hardy geranium sanguineums like new england hampshires or claridge druce
or hostas or kirengishoma palmatum ( yellow wax bells),
aconitums, ferns, wood poppies, heucheras, epimediums and all kinds of shade plants!
there are some perennial varieties of foxglove too that are not as tall or as showy but are still very pretty plants.


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RE: Questions about foxgloves

If you take off the big spire once the foxies have flowered, then the plant will often send out side shoots and keep flowering over the summer.

The seed pods ripen lower on the stem while the top is still flowering (on the 'common' variety) and open to shed seed whenever the wind blows. Usually into pots of something delicate that doesn't like disturbance.

If you find you like a particular colour, it pays to take out all those not pleasing so you end up with a more uniform patch.

They'll definitely grow in sunshine but not so tall as they do in open, light shade. A good mulch that holds moisture over the drier months ensures you get the 5-6 foot spires.
Bumble bees really enjoy them.

Do remind small people who might want to use the flowers as finger puppets that Digitalis is poisonous. Please wash hands after playing with the flowers.


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RE: Questions about foxgloves

The flowers on my foxgloves have not developed into the long tubular flowers that they are supposed to --- we've had a very dry spring in zone 6, could the lack of moisture cause this? They get dappled sun throughout the day.... The plants are very tall and abundant, had to pull some out as they were smothering my siberian iris. However, I'm disappointedd that do not have the beautiful spikes, with tubular flowers.

Any help is much appreciated.


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RE: Questions about foxgloves

wildgardener, is it the first year? foxgloves are biennial. the leaves develop the first year & the flower-spires appear the next year.

gosh. i feel so cool for actually being able to toss off a tidbit of hopefully-useful info here among all the knowledgable garden folk :0)


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RE: Questions about foxgloves

marie of roumania

it is the second year and there are droopy spires of flowers, not tall and spiked like they are supposed to be.
:-)
wildgardener


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RE: Questions about foxgloves

Found something neat about foxgloves. They wintersow very nicely. I did just two milk jugs and got lots of beautiful seedlings. Thanks for the tip on deadheading. Now I know why it didn't return. Figured if I just let those seeds fall I'd get more in the spring-didn't happen.


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RE: Questions about foxgloves

I have removed a foxglove plant from a large pot and want to plant something else in the pot. DO I need to remove all the soil and refill the pot? I thought the Foxglove might contaminate the soil.


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RE: Questions about foxgloves

If the foxglove had been there for a while (months) and had flourished, then it's probably wise to at least refresh the potting mix. After a while potting mix starts to break down into finer humus and the drainage becomes less efficient so it definitely pays to replace the soil for a new planting.

You might also find in a big pot that, if the roots of the foxglove didn't spread all through, some of the mix lower down in the pot will be quite compacted and even sour. Not worth taking a chance with, IMO.


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Sick foxglove

Help. I planted a foxglove in the spring where it gets full sun in the afternoon and it is doing terribly. I followed the planting instructions and it looked fine until a heavy rain. It fell over, so I staked it up, but it never recovered. It is stringy and dry looking. It grows along the ground so the flowers are at the soil level. It isn't mulched. I was watering it regularly but stopped when I thought it was getting too MUCH water. Not enough water now? Could it be something else?


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RE: Questions about foxgloves

Foxgloves like to face north into an open, sunny area with shade at their back, and like soil on the rocky, dryish side. Some plants are just losers and some are magnificent. I like to let the good ones go to seed and I spread them around.

Sounds like your plant had too much sun, PEBlood.


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