The Q&A Archives: Cycle of Fox Glove

Question: I have always believed that Fox glove is a perennial but I was recently told that they are actually bi-annual can you please clear this up for because i have one and it looks dead but the root base is very large should I leave it in my flower bed or dig it up?

Answer: I wish I could clear up the confusion, but the fact of the matter is - foxgloves (Digitalis) can be either biennial or perennial, depending upon type. The most commonly grown foxglove is biennial. It has purple or white flowers and reaches 4-6' in height. The perennial types of foxglove are generally yellow or cream in color (but there are exceptions!) and usually grows less than 3' tall. Even the biennial types will self-sow if you leave the flower spikes alone and they set seed, so you could have foxgloves of varying maturity in the same garden bed which would assure flowers every year. As for your foxglove, I'd wait another 3-4 weeks to see if it sends out new foliage. If so, enjoy. If not, it's time to replace the plant.

Best wishes with your garden!

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