Growing Digitalis purpurea & Other Foxglove Plant Species

Purple Foxglove is a Floral Exclamation Point!

Buy Digitalis purpurea seeds and plants. Discover the simplicity of growing biennial common or purple foxglove as well as perennial Digitalis grandiflora. Pictures of a variety of foxglove flowers.

Buy the 1st Upward Facing Foxglove, 'Candy Mountain' at a Bargain Price

In Germany, the common name for foxglove is fingerhut meaning finger hat or thimble.

In 1542 a German botanist named the plant Digitalis in reference to its cultural association with fingers.


Desk Reference to Nature's Medicine

Common purple foxglove is a tall, self-seeding biennial whose yellow, white, or pink spires tend to speak a bit more loudly than the flowers around them and will hog attention in any informal garden design.

Digitalis purpurea is the exclamation point of the plant world!

For best effect, install these 5 foot beauties at the back of a flower border, or let seedlings spring up--devil-may-care style--in cottage garden beds.

They look especially fetching when juxtaposed against lower growing, old-fashioned flowers with mounded shapes like Sweet Williams or Regal geraniums.

Growing Foxglove in Your Garden

Foxgloves and Delphiniums planted in parterres.

Here, Foxgloves and Delphiniums Punctuate Parterres

Flower Power Tip:

Deadheading Digitalis plants will cause them to produce a second flush of blooms and prevent reseeding.

To add height to the garden, stick with Digitalis purpurea cultivars. If you want a more compact plant for the front of the border, try D. grandiflora, the perennial yellow foxglove. Its buttery bloom spikes will only stretch to 3 feet.

Digitalis plants from the Foxy Mixed Colors series (for sale below) are perennials which will bloom from seed the year they are sown and grow to a height of 2-3 feet when in flower.

All are summer bloomers with a distinct preference for part day shade and rich, moisture retaining soil.

Pink foxgloves blooming in a garden.

Given the humus-rich soil it prefers, purple foxglove will seed itself readily and may even naturalize. The seedlings can be dug up and moved to punctuate other areas of the garden.

Most cultivars are recommended for planting in USDA zones 3-9. Give plants growing in the northern end of this range more sun; plants growing in the southern end will need more shade and moisture.

Taller types grown in shade that is too dense may need staking.

Digitalis 'Illumination Pink'

Digitalis 'Illumination Pink', Thompson & Morgan's Plant of the Year for 2012

Digitalis purpurea subsp. heywoodii

White Digitalis purpurea subsp. heywoodii prefers chalky soil.

Apply a water soluble fertilizer to the soil once, while the plants are in bloom.

Perennial types are hardy down to -20 degrees F. and form clumps which should be divided every few years in the spring.

At the coldest end of their growing range, plants should be mulched with shredded leaves or lightweight evergreen boughs after the ground has frozen.

Digitalis Toxicity

Foxglove leaves contain cardiac glycosides which are valuable in controlling heart disease, but which can be fatal if too much is ingested.

The heart medicine digoxin is made from the new leaves of 2 year old Digitalis lantana or D. purpurea plants.

This plant should be used as an herbal remedy only under professional supervision.


The Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine

Buy Foxglove Plants & Seeds Here

"Foxglove, Foxy Mixed Colors 1 Pkt. (100 seeds)"

Foxglove - Foxy Mix Plant

"Foxglove, Pam's Choice 6 Plants"
"Foxglove, Rose Shades 6 Plants"
Foxglove - Candy Mountain Plant

More Tall Plants for the Back of the Flower Border

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