The Q&A Archives: Transplanting Foxgloves that didn't Bloom

Question: I bought 6" potted foxgloves in the spring at my garden center and planted them in front of my porch which gets hot sun in the afternoon and evening, shaded in the morning.
The foxgloves stayed green and healthy but few bloomed or got as tall as I expected. If I dig them up now (late sept.) and move them to my full sun perrenial garden, will they do better next year?

Answer: Foxgloves can actually take some shade, but it would be best if they had morning sun and some shade from intense afternoon sun, rather than the other way around. Also, plants require phosphorous to bloom. Here?s some basic info on fertilizer and nutrients that plants require. The numbers on a fertilizer bag refer to the percentage of N (nitrogen), P (phosphorous), and K (potassium) in the bag. There are different formulations for different purposes. In general terms, nitrogen produces lush green growth, phosphorous helps strengthen stems and produce flowers, and potassium keeps the root system healthy. If you're applying fertilizer fruiting (e.g., tomatoes) or flowering plants, you're not as interested in the plant developing leaves as you are in it flowers and fruit, so you'd use a formulation lower in nitrogen and higher in phosphorous and potassium, such as a 5-10-10. Miracle-Gro's Plant Food at 15-30-15 is another example. Bone meal is an organic source of phosphorous. Since phosphorous doesn't move as readily through the soil as does nitrogen, it's a good idea to mix a small amount (follow package instructions) into the hole before transplanting, to mix it into the soil before sowing seeds, or to scratch it into the soil along side existing plants.

Finally, foxgloves can be perennial or biennial, meaning they may not bloom the first season and may take a year or two to establish themselves. I'd apply some phosphorous and see how they do next year. If you're still not pleased with the results, then try them in another location. I hope this info helps!

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