Foxglove Biennial – Digitalis – Poisonous but Gorgeous

Foxglove biennial plants are spectacular to view.  The term biennial means that the plant will grow for two years and then mainly die off.  Under favorable conditions, they will last a year or two beyond what their normal biennial classification would warrant. 

Foxglove (digitalis) is a spectacular biennial. Be careful though. All parts of the flower are poisonous.

Foxgloves will re-seed themselves easily, so once you have one plant, you garden is not likely to be without them.  I love the way the flower grows with the bottom petals opening first.The bottom petals of the foxglove open up first.

I purchased one Foxglove plant last year and also planted seeds for three more.  All of them are flowering now. The purchased plant is larger at the base but there is not much difference in the flowers of the ones that I grew from seeds.

How to Grow Foxglove Biennial

Foxglove plants are easy to grow. 

  • They are hardy in zones 4 to 8.foxglove close up
  • They can get quite tall at 2-5 feet in height and 1 -2 feet wide.  This one was in my front garden and got very tall!
  • Tubular flowers bloom on a spike and they open from the bottom to the top.  They flower in spring and summer.  (mine are flowering now in NC – mid May)
  • Foxgloves like partial shade but I have best luck with mine in a garden bed that gets a reasonable amount of sunlight. Harsh full afternoon sun can really scorch them, thogh.
  • They like well drained soil that has been amended with compost or other organic material.
  • Foxgloves bloom in many colors.  They often have a speckled throat to the petals. I have even had two colors growing on one plant, one purple and the other peach!Foxgloves will bloom in a variety of colors.
  • Be sure to give them space.  They do not like to be crowded and are susceptible to problems if you do crowd them too much.
  • Foxgloves are poisonous plants, so do not have them in areas where small children may spend time alone in the yard.  They are also poisonous to cats and dogs.
  • Propagate from seed and also from division in the spring.
  • Because of their height, foxgloves are best in the center of a two sided garden bed, or at the back if the bed is only viewed from the front.  
  • The petals of the plant have a lovely tubular shape which the hummingbirds love.Foxgloves have a tubular shaped petal
  • Foxgloves are biennial. The first year, they produce leaves and the second year the flowers will form.


I have been very lucky with my plant. This is the second year of flowering for it. 
foxglove This is my group of foxglove biennials. The largest plant in the center was purchase last year and this is the second year of blooming.   The smaller ones on the outside were planted as seeds last spring.foxglovesSecond year for these foxglove biennial flowers!

Foxglove biennial plants in full bloomThese foxglove biennial plants are almost as tall and were planted as seeds last spring!

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Have you ever had a problem from the poisonous aspect of this plant?

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission from the sale, but the price is the same for you. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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