How to grow Foxglove

How to grow Foxglove

Foxglove (Digitalis)

Foxgloves provide a striking display in the garden with their towering stems adorned with bell-shaped flowers, which make them equally attractive in bouquets. Their tubular blossoms are highly favored by hummingbirds, bees, and other pollinators. Although most foxgloves are biennials, there are now several new varieties that are bred to bloom in their first year.


Plant type: annual/biennial

Height: 24-30”

Site: sun/part shade

Days to maturity: 110-120 days

Plant spacing: 12”

Pinch: not necessary

Kids & Pets: poisonous, resistant to deer

How to Grow:

Transplant (recommended): Start seeds indoors in trays 10-12 weeks before last frost and don’t cover as light is required for germination. Seeds are slow to germinate; bottom water or mist to avoid covering the seed with displaced soil. Harden-off and transplant outside after the last frost. 

Biennial varieties can be planted at the end of the summer and left to overwinter for blooms the following year. 

Direct seed: Sow as soon as soil can be worked, only in areas with long growing seasons. Do not cover seed as light is required for germination. Keep soil moist.

Germination: 14-21 days at 65-70°F (18-21°C).

Where to plant:  Plant in the sun / part shade into moist and well drained soil.

Harvesting/Vase Life:

Harvest when the lower 1/3 of flowers on a spike have opened. The blooms will drop from the stems once they’ve been pollinated. So it’s better to get them early! Expect a vase life of 5-6 days.

In the landscape: remove the blooms as they fade. This will keep them producing more flowers and help control self-seeding.

Leave a comment