Foxglove Growing Guide

Digitalis purpurea and other Digitalis species and hybrids


Crop Rotation Group



Fertile, well-drained soil enriched with compost, with a neutral to slightly acidic pH.


Full sun to partial shade.

Frost tolerant

Yes, foxglove is a hardy biennial or short-lived perennial. Well-rooted plants are hardy to -30°F (-34°C).


Mulch over the plants’ root zones with rich compost just as the new growth emerges in spring. Too much nitrogen can lead to lush leaves with few flowers.


Single Plants: 11" (30cm) each way (minimum)
Rows: 11" (30cm) with 11" (30cm) row gap (minimum)

Sow and Plant

The easiest way to get a start with this reseeding biennial is to buy a few plants in spring and set them out while the soil is still cool. Foxgloves also can be started from seed sown in a nursery bed in spring or late summer. The natural life cycle of foxglove is to sprout in late summer, grow into a winter-hardy green rosette, and bloom the following summer. Young plants need water when they are actively growing. A surface mulch suppresses weeds while making the plants look more attractive.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalized calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.


Foxglove is poisonous to people and animals, so it is ignored by deer and rabbits. The large leaves make foxglove easy to recognize in the garden, where plants may appear in unexpected places having sprouted from windblown seeds. Foxgloves produce millions of tiny seeds, so once the plants become established in a garden, they typically reseed for many years when given the opportunity.


Gather stems for use in cut arrangements as you need them, when at least half of the flowers on a stem are open. Cutting old blossoms will limit reseeding and stimulate modest reblooming. Bloomed-out plants can be pulled and composted in late summer to improve the appearance of the flower bed and make room for new seedlings.


Powdery mildew can affect foliage present in summer. Aphids are occasionally seen on blooming stems.

Planting and Harvesting Calendar

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Pests which Affect Foxglove