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foxglove not growing any larger

Posted by misobento z 5 (My Page) on
Sat, Jun 4, 11 at 9:53

Hi all, I have a question about some foxgloves I bought and planted in the back yard in early May. I got them at a local nursery and purposely bought the small ones and not the large blooming ones as it was way too early in the season and I wanted plants that were the same size as everything else in my garden.

Anyhow, I swear they have not grown even a millimeter...they are exactly the same size as when I planted then (about 2 inches x 2 inches). Any thoughts? Should I try and move them to a different location?


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: foxglove not growing any larger

When I see a plant not thriving, I have to think that maybe it was stressed at the time of planting. If so, the only thing to do is to allow it to recover. Some weak fertilizer can help.

However it may be possible it's not at it's ideal location. If it's being crowded out by larger plants with large root systems then it should be moved. But move it only in a way that it doesn't affect the roots otherwise it would be a set back to that plant.

RE: foxglove not growing any larger

One of the factors in plants not thriving can be that they are root-bound when planted and the roots not released. Did you check the roots before planting? You might dig up a plant and check the condition of the roots.

If no problems can be identified I would speak with the manager/owner of the local nursery. Those plants could have been inadvertently sprayed with something that has inhibited their growth. Even if the soil or location are not ideal there should have been some growth by now.

RE: foxglove not growing any larger

Definitely not an expert (rarely have luck with biennial digitalis surviving more than a year in my garden), but 2"x2" is VERY small. Perhaps most of the energy is going into getting their roots established and the foliage will start to take off soon. I wouldn't expect any flowers this year, though.

RE: foxglove not growing any larger

I think this might be typical of the foxglove as a biennial. Last year I started many foxglove from seed and they were only a few inches tall by the time winter started. I wasn't sure if they would survive. But, they all over wintered and stayed pretty low most of the spring until they quickly sent out flower stalks and started blooming.

This year I started some Camelot foxglove, which is supposed to flower the first year from seed, inside in April. The seedlings are still about 2 inches tall. Foxy is another cultivar that is supposed to bloom first year. From what I have read, they need to be started inside by Feb. in order to bloom the first year. So, I think I started mine too late. Yours might suddenly strart a growth spurt, or you may get flowers next year.

From wikipedia on foxglove:
The first year of growth of the Common Foxglove produces only the stem with its long, basal leaves. During the second year of the plant's life, a long leafy stem from 50 to 200 centimeters tall grows atop the roots of healthy plants.

Good luck, they are worth the wait. :)

RE: foxglove not growing any larger


Are you saying that absolutely nothing has happened to them, or have you noticed the outer leaves dying out and the inner leaves growing? The latter is pretty common in my garden with first-year foxgloves. They get stressed out from planting and wilt over, then the outer leaves get mushy from being sprayed with water and laying on the ground. Eventually they get over it and achieve overall growth. If it's the former, I'm having that problem with some obedient plant that I planted too close to a maple tree (I heard that they will grow anywhere and was perhaps overly optimistic). If nothing is happening, maybe root competition is the problem? I'm going to move my obedient plant, at least the ones that survived (poor babies!) just as soon as this heat wave abates (so maybe never!).

RE: foxglove not growing any larger

Thanks for the feedback and thoughts. The plants were purchased at a local Steins and at the time they were the same size as everything else that was growing in my garden. Well, everything else has shot up in height and the poor foxglove looks the same.

Perhaps it is too crowded? I have never grown them before so I just find it odd that it seems stunted in comparison to everything else.... Maybe I will dig it up and check the roots... *sigh* :)


RE: foxglove not growing any larger

Well, on the plus side, the foliage looks very nice. Maybe a little compost to help it along?

RE: foxglove not growing any larger

Looks as if there are at least 3 plants there. Maybe separate them? But they look perfectly healthy to me.

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