The Q&A Archives: Foxglove

Question: This past spring I planted a Foxglove plant. I do not know if it is an annual or a perennial I just thought it was pretty and it attracted Hummingbirds. Anyway the plant has been flowering great but the flowering stem is so heavy that it is laying on the ground and the poor plant looks sick. I know next to nothing about gardening as this is my first experience in which I have not killed all the plants. Does this plant need a trellis or some kind of support? When the flowers die am I suppose to trim them off? As you can tell I need all kinds of help. Thank you in advance to your help.


Answer: Foxgloves are biennials; they grow the first year, then flower, set seed, and die the second year. But, they produce lots of seeds and if you allow the seeds to form and spill onto the soil, you'll have lots of new little plants next year. If this happens several years in a row, you'll have foxgloves in all stages of maturity and will generally have flowers every year from your foxglove patch. The plants normally do not need to be caged or staked, although sometimes the flower stalk gets so heavy that it bends down. It is actually bending down toward the earth to drop its seeds, just as sunflowers do. If you find it unattractive, you can certainly stake it upright, or you can simply cut it off the plant. I'd wait until the seedpods are ripe (they'll be hard and brown and attached to the stem where a flower once was). Pop the seedpods open and save the seeds for planting next spring, or simply scatter them on the soil and they will germinate and root later this summer and then begin to grow and flower for you next spring.

Hope this answers all your questions!

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