Foxgloves - Knowledgebase Question

Overland Park, KS
Avatar for Pegtunia
Question by Pegtunia
March 4, 1998
I've grown Foxy Mixed digitalis from seed for the last three springs. The first year they bloomed in September, my second batch the next spring behaved like biennials and had only foliage, they seem to be coming back this spring, can I expect them to bloom in spring or early summer? and why would they behave differently in two different years?

Answer from NGA
March 4, 1998
Most foxgloves are biennials; during the first year of growth, the plant produces a low-growing rosette of leaves only. In the second year it flowers, produces seed and dies. The plant perpetuates itself by self-seeding every other year.

'Foxy' is an annual foxglove. It could be that the first season you had enough warm weather, rain, etc. for the plant to complete it's life cycle, but last summer the plants didn't have all they needed to flower. The plants you see could be last year's plants coming up to flower this year, or they could be from seed dropped by the previous year's flowers.
It is strange that theplant would behave differently. I would first suspect environmental conditions, then consider that maybe some biennial seed was mistakenly sent, instead of the 'Foxy'. Hopefully, whatever is coming up this year will give you some flowers!

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