The Q&A Archives: Starting Foxgloves From Seed Indoors

Question: I am starting foxgloves from seed indoors. They have
germinated after only 5 days. I have them in soilless
mix in flats on a workbench in an unheated part of the
house. The packette said grow at 60 degrees F and now
that they have sprouted, should I put them under lights?
Please advise care from now until hardening off. Will
they bloom first year?

Answer: The seedlings should be placed under lights as soon as they germinate. A fluorescent shop light with one warm bulb and one cool bulb will do if you keep the foliage just an inch or so below the bulbs. As soon as they have true leaves and are large enough to handle, make sure to thin and/or transplant them as needed to avoid crowding; these seeds can be hard to plant thinly so you may need to thin almost immediately as well. Once they have true leaves begin fertilizing with a weak solution of water soluble fertilizer and pot them up as needed until the weather begins to settle. They are quite cold hardy and can go out in the cold frame fairly early to be hardened off. In most cases they will probably not bloom the first year unless you are growing the type called "Foxy" and started them very early, say in January.

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