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Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea)

Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea)

Digitalis purpurea

Long available only as a biennial or perennial that did not flower in the first year of growth, new perennial varieties of foxglove have been developed that flower in year one.


  • Plants are grown from seeds, transplanted as seedlings from trays.
  • Seeds should be sown uncovered in 72 to 128 cell trays in temperatures of about 70 F.
  • Seedling duration until transplanting is about 6 weeks in recommended temperatures of 60-65 F.


  • Plants develop well at a 12 x 12 in. spacing, flowering in 10 weeks from transplanting.
  • In a cool growing season, flowering can continue throughout the summer until frost.
  • In a warmer season, white plastic mulch and light shade (30%) may be advantageous for productivity.
  • Keeping the plants for a second year of growth is advisable for increased stem length and yield.


  • The first variety to flower in the year of sowing was ‘Foxy’, but more recently, the ‘Camelot’ series has joined the list. The latter is offered in flower colors ranging from white to cream, rose and lavender.

Postharvest Handling:

  • Digitalis flowers last about a week in a vase at room temperature, but floret drop begins in about 5 days.
  • Floret drop is caused by ethylene and can be inhibited by use of ethylene inhibitors such as silver thiosulfate or 1-MCP

For more information, see: Armitage, A.M. and J.M. Laushman. 2003. Specialty Cut Flowers, 2nd Edition. Timber Press, 586 pp. Available through ASCFG.

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