The Q&A Archives: Starting Foxglove from Seed

Question: I have just purchased some seeds of Foxglove "Excelsior" mix and I was given some advice to sow the seed this Fall so that the plants may bloom next year. This is confusing me. As a biennial, shouldn't they just produce the rosettes next year and flower the following year? Also, when would be the best time to set the seed out -- end of August, September or October?

Answer: Foxgloves are biennials and make a rosette of foliage the first year followed by blooms the second. By planting seed in early summer you would mimic the plant's natural cycle and should have blooms the following year. One variety of Foxglove called "Foxy" grows quickly and can sometimes flower the first year if started very early indoors so it might conceivably flower next year if planted in the late summer or early fall. Planting in fall, however, is more often used for plants such as annual poppies and larkspur. I would plant the seed early next spring, but you could always experiment and see which works better in your garden.

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