Foxgloves are easy to grow and have attractive, distinctive flowers. They’re often used as a cut flower for vases and bowls, and their cheerful blossoms brighten up many a window box and sunny corner of the yard. In this article, we’ll introduce you to several common kinds of foxglove, along with tips for growing them and using their flowers.
Small but full of color, Apricot Beauty (Digitalis x cantabrigiensis) is one of the most popular foxgloves. This variety features saucer-shaped, deep apricot flowers atop stems that reach about 2 feet tall.
Although this may be true, the ‘Apricot Beauty’ cultivar is also sold under other names, such as ‘Sugar Splash’ and ‘Apricot Delight.’ Regardless of the name, these plants still have beautiful flowers and are easy to grow. They prefer full sun and average soil conditions.
Nor should you fertilize them excessively; frequent feeding actually stunts growth. Instead, apply a balanced fertilizer once or twice per year, according to the package instructions. Grow ‘Apricot Beauty’ in a well-drained spot in average soil. Space plants at least 1 foot apart.
Also known as ‘Old Maid’s Cloak’ (not to be confused with the poisonous plant of the same name), Camelot Rose (Digitalis lanata) has thick, glossy green leaves that remain attractive throughout the season. The showy, pink flowers appear in midsummer atop stems that reach about 2 feet tall.
Then, later in the season, colorful fall foliage appears on the lower branches. This plant is more cold hardy than Apricot Beauty, and it grows best in average soil with afternoon shade. It prefers a fertile, well-drained site and is somewhat drought tolerant once established. If possible, give it some morning sun and afternoon shade.
Café Creme (Digitalis lanata)
This is a native of South America, but has been used extensively for cut flowers. It has large, bright yellow blooms on 2-foot-tall plants. It is easily grown in any well-drained, fertile soil.
Unquestionably, this is one of the very best early-blooming digitalis for cutting. It has an 8-week bloom period. Lastly, give it morning sun and afternoon shade.
Café Creme has slightly smaller flowers than most of the others we’ve discussed. However, it has a more lasting perfume. In fact, it has a sweet, lightly musky fragrance. This makes it especially good for cutting because it will last longer in the vase.
This particular variety is a beautiful shade of lavender. It is a dramatic flower. It also has a lovely scent that is a bit more potent than its peers. That makes it suitable for cutting, and it will stay in the vase for a while.
First-class cut flowers are very important. They make the bouquet look much more professional and expensive. As with all other cut flowers, water these plants during the day, but not at night. Keep the foliage dry at all times.
And finally, don’t fertilize these plants unless necessary. They like average, well-drained soil. If the soil is rich, the foliage may become leggy. Then, you’ll have to thin the plants out or they won’t be able to bloom. Lavender, of course, is one of the favorites for potpourri and sachets. The dried flowers are used in so many ways.
This is one of the newer varieties of foxgloves. The odor of this variety is very strong. It is a soft, lovely color and holds its color well. It grows to about 3 feet. This plant does best in full sun and well-drained soil. It is also perfect for cutting for arrangements.
This variety is easy to grow from seed and self-seeds abundantly. It is a good choice for bringing new life to tired, worn out areas of the garden. This plant tolerates drought but does not like wet feet.
It is an excellent choice for a rock garden or similar location that requires little water. This is one of the few foxgloves that will tolerate some foot traffic. It is also fine if you want to use it as a cut flower. It has a long bloom period and can be forced by artificial means into early flowering. The flowers last about a week in water. They are very fragrant.
This is a good plant to grow if you live in a dry climate. It will not die back in the winter but will stop blooming until spring. Once it starts to bloom again it will continue to do so until fall.
Also known as ‘Blushing Bride’ and ‘Fairy Maiden,’ this digitalis is an easy-to-grow perennial that has attractive pink flowers over a long season. The glossy green leaves remain attractive throughout the growing season.
Digitalis grandiflora is a good plant for a sunny border or for rock gardens. It does not like to be planted in wet soils but will grow in almost any soil as long as it gets six hours of direct sunlight per day. This plant is deer resistant and can tolerate light foot traffic.
This white foxglove variety produces yellow flowers. It is a native plant that prefers dry, rocky, or sandy soil that is well drained. It is deer resistant and can be used as an edging plant or for massing.
Because of its drought tolerance, it is often used as a cut flower. The flowers last about a week in water.’ As one of the first perennials to bloom in the spring, this plant attracts early butterflies and bees. The leaves remain attractive throughout the growing season.
Dalmatian Crème Hybrid
It has white-and-yellow flowers in late spring. It grows about 18 inches tall and is deer resistant. It should be grown in full sun or partial shade and prefers moist, acidic soil.
It can be used as a cut flower or as filler for bouquets. The foliage can be cooked and eaten like asparagus. It’s also an attractive houseplant. This plant is sometimes called Easter Cactus, Banana Plant or Yellow Cactus.
These are all hardy species. If you are growing them as annuals, divide the clumps every year in the spring. If you are growing them as perennials, you can let them go to seed each fall and divide them the following spring. Either way, they will self-seed and multiply very quickly!
Dalmatian Peach Hybrid
Just plant the tubers in a sunny or part-shaded spot and they will quickly reward you with beautiful flowers. They will bloom continuously for about 3 months and then stop, waiting for the next spring. When they do flower again, they will be loaded with pollen and set off a chain reaction of hybridization that results in an almost endless variety of new blooms.
Digiplexis “Illumination Flame”
The digiplexis is a cross between an African violet and a begonia. The flowers of the digiplexis are small and resemble those of the African violet. The leaves of the digiplexis resemble those of the begonia.
In other words, it has the flowers of a violets and the foliage of a begonias. It will tolerate some neglect better than any other flower we grow. If you leave it outside in the rain for just an hour or so, it will recover and be fine. But don’t do that over and over or else it will become diseased.
Don’t even think about using a plastic baggie to cover it up. That will cause it to die. The digiplexis needs sun and air. It does not like to sit in a dark closet with no ventilation. The digiplexis is one of those “let ‘er rip” flowers. If you water it enough and fertilize it enough, it will bloom all summer long and sometimes into the fall.
Digitalis x mertonensis
These foxgloves can grow to 3 feet tall. The 4-inch-wide flowers are a nearly perfect purple. The foliage is a shiny, dark green, and the leaves are arranged alternately up the stem.
Meanwhile, lower down on the same plant, you will find smaller flowers with white or yellowish petals. These are perfect for edging beds and pathways. In fact, they make an excellent cutting flower. Just snip the blooms and set them aside in a vase.
They’ll last forever that way. This plant is deer resistant but is not particular about where it grows. It will spread by underground rhizomes, forming colonies. It tolerates shade, full sun, and even some drought.
If you’re looking for a short-lived perennial that packs a lot of punch, you can’t beat this. It’s a member of the foxglove family, native to Europe. The flowers are a soft yellow, and they bloom from mid- to late spring.
It’ll climb as high as 12 feet tall depending on the conditions. It has thick, fleshy roots and deep green leaves. The leaves are somewhere in the middle of the spectrum in terms of toughness. They have a leathery feel to them when you first touch them, but they soon toughen up considerably. The foliage turns a beautiful orange-red in fall.
This is a plant that doesn’t need much care. If you do choose to give it some attention, go easy on the fertilizer. Use a low nitrogen rate, and feed it every other month or so.
It has yellow flowers and gray-green leaves. It blooms in spring. The foliage doesn’t die back at the end of summer, so you get some year-round color. This makes it a great addition to a border or rock garden. It does well in sun or part shade. It needs moist, well-drained soil. It will tolerate average to poor soils.
It can be bought from most good garden centers. One package will plant about 1/2 cup of holes. It’s a favorite of butterflies and hummingbirds.
It has a common name that means “black seed” in English. The flowers have a strong, aromatic smell that is very attractive to many kinds of insects. When the flowers are freshly open, they give off a strong, pleasant odor. As the flower fades, the odor quickly disappears. This plant is used as an insect repellent by the Hausa people of northern Nigeria.
Giant Yellow Herod (Digitalis ferruginea)
Unlike the native species, this tall-growing variety has a more upright habit and does not spread out as much. Its large yellow flowers are very showy and can be easily seen from a distance. This plant is a must for large formal areas in which native plants simply do not work.
It is also useful for rock gardens, hanging baskets, window boxes and containers in general. The dark green foliage provides excellent background color for other plants. It has an extremely long bloom period and will continue to bloom well into mid-winter. In fact, some of the plants we have for sale in our catalogue have already started to bloom! This hardy, heat-loving annual is easy to grow and requires average care.
Milk Chocolate (Digitalis parviflora)
It is a small-flowered, tender perennial growing to a height of 24-30 inches. It has a rosette of dark green leaves on a short, slender stem, and the brownish-purple flowers sport a red-orange blotch on each petal.
This plant is indigenous to China and Japan and has been used as a traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. The root of this plant has potent cardiovascular and diuretic properties and is used to treat hypertension, edema, and heart disease.
Are foxglove flowers toxic?
It is the seeds, not the flowers, which are toxic. If you eat the flowers, they will probably not make you ill, but you probably would not want to eat them in any great quantity either.
The seeds contain a poison called ricin. It’s one of the most poisonous substances known to man. A single seed has enough poison in it to kill an entire army.
Why are foxglove flowers called Digitalis?
Digitalis means fingerlike in Latin. The flowers of foxglove look like the finger of a glove.
How fast do foxglove flowers grow?
Foxglove flowers grow about one foot per year. That means a plant that is 3 feet tall will be 24 inches taller in its first year than it was the previous year. By the second year, it will be 48 inches taller. And so on. By the way, you should never pick the foxglove flowers unless you are going to use them right away.
Foxgloves are one of the most attractive plants in the world. They have a unique and very special shape which gives them their name. There are many species of foxgloves and each of them has its own characteristics.
There are many different uses for foxgloves. They are used as food and as medicine. They are also used as ornamental plants. And last but not least, they are used as a source of natural dye.
Hope you enjoy reading this article!