Beautiful and unique in its way, tube-shaped foxglove flower will bloom outstandingly in any garden. Foxgloves, also known as witches glove or fairy bells, also have attractive colors that will grab everyone’s attention the minute they lay eyes on them. Having these flowers in your garden is a wise decision, so you need to know the proper way of growing and caring for them.
Foxglove Facts and Characteristics
Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) is originated from Europe and some countries in the northwest region of Africa. It is one of the most popular flower species from the genus Digitalis. The stems of this plant are green and tall, while the purplish flowers line up vertically along them. In general, the foxglove plant can grow up to six feet tall. However, there are several varieties of foxglove that have shorter stems.
The flowers are the focal point of any Digitalis plant. In Digitalis purpurea, the flowers bloom in clusters with tubular shapes. Although purple foxglove is the most common types, some varieties come in different shades, including white, pink, red, yellow, and blue foxglove.
Blooming in the summer, foxglove flower usually grows in warm or slightly hot locations. Wild foxglove can be found in the tropical grassland where it attracts hummingbirds. Meanwhile, in the gardening zones, the plant is usually used as a flower border because of its tall figures.
Some Varieties of Foxglove Flower
Foxglove flower is commonly varied in colors. However, several varieties have distinctive characteristics and special features that make them more noticeable. Here are some foxglove varieties that are considered more popular than the others.
- Foxy Foxglove, a hybrid variety that has a lower height than common foxgloves. Because its height can only reach 2-3 feet, this variety is often chosen for small gardens.
- Rusty Foxglove, the tallest variety of all. Its maximum height can reach up to six feet tall. For this reason, rusty foxglove needs staking when they grow to avoid the bending stems.
- Digitalis x mertonensis, a hybrid variety between Digitalis purpurea and grandiflora. It is characterized by large flowers in coppery pink colors.
- Yellow Foxglove (Digitalis lutea) is a European variety that has yellow blooms. It is also known as straw foxglove or Gold Crest.
- White Foxglove, the third most popular varieties of foxglove after purple and yellow flowers. It is a perfect variety to be included in the moon garden.
Foxglove Meaning and Symbolism
Foxglove symbolism is associated with some positive qualities, from pride and energy to ambition and creativity. The flowers are often used in bouquets for gifts or in floral arrangements for the wedding and home decorations.
Foxglove flower meaning is also closely linked to confidence and productivity. For this reason, you can give a foxglove bouquet to friends or family who need a boost of confidence or simply, to support them during challenging events. Additionally, foxglove bouquets can be presented to those who accomplish amazing things, such as being the winner in a competition.
Foxglove Growing Requirements
There are several conditions that you need to set before growing foxglove flower in the garden. From soil to temperature, here is what you need to know about foxglove growing requirements.
Just like most plants in genus Digitalis, foxglove needs to grow in the well-draining loamy soil which is rich in nutrients and organic matters. Foxglove is classified as a biennial or short-lived perennial. Therefore, such type of soil will allow the flowers to re-grow between its blooming seasons. To support this process, you need to keep the soil moist before planting, but don’t let it clogged or get too soggy.
Light is not a difficult matter for foxglove. This plant can thrive under any kinds of sun exposure, from partial shade to full sun. However, mature or older plants are better to be exposed under partial sun. Long exposure of full sun during the days may shorten the blooming period.
Foxglove thrives better in cooler temperatures, approximately below 90 degrees Fahrenheit. During the germination period, foxglove seeds should be kept in the temperature between 70-80 degrees. Higher temperature may cause the flowers and stems to wilt.
Caring for Foxglove Flowers
The basic rules in foxglove flower care include regular watering and fertilizing. Moreover, as the plant grows taller, pruning should also be done for two main purposes: preventing the stems from bending too low and keeping the flowers at their best state.
Poor drainage may lead to the rot of the foxglove flower crown. Therefore, make sure to keep the plant moist all the time, yet not too soaked. In the summer or dry period, use a drip hose to water the plant once or twice a week. However, in the rainy season, weekly watering is not necessary. You can water the plant when the soil looks dry.
Fertilizing is usually done during spring or in the early season. For encouraging growth, you can add a 1-inch layer of compost to the soil. Also, slow-release fertilizer can be scattered around the plant, but not the foliage.
Note that excessive pruning may impede the reseeding process. For this reason, you only need to prune the parts of the plant when noticing any wilted stem or flower.
A Word of Caution about Foxglove Toxicity
Some types of garden flowers can be poisonous to both animal and human; unfortunately, foxglove is one of them. This flowery plant is toxic if ingested, so you may want to keep it away from children and pets.
Also, the foxglove flower poisonous substance is harmful to bees. For this reason, the flower should never be arranged near other plants that require bee or insect pollination. The presence of foxglove may impede those plants to grow or bloom.
After you learn the basic information about foxglove flower, you can consider growing this plant in your garden. When you care for it properly, foxglove in the garden can bring some advantages. Its unique shapes and natural beauty are the main benefits. Also, the tall figures of foxglove plants can be used to outline the lawn as you arrange a charming setting in the garden.