Digitalis Purpurea - Common or Wild Foxglove is a native European woodland plant and is therefore a popular and useful biennial for gardens with full or partial shade. Its tall spikes of beautiful rosy-purple bell shaped flowers look spectacular at the back of borders.
The blooms are extremely attractive to bees, the inside of the tubular flower is sprinkled with distinctive dark spots and provides the bees with their own landing strip.
|When to sow||Sow indoors in March to May or sow directly outdoors in May to June or September to October.|
|Where to sow||Sow indoors on the surface of moist compost filled pots or trays. Do not cover the seeds as they require light for germination. Place in a warm, light position (temperature of 18 to 24°C (64 to 75°F) is ideal).|
|Sow direct outdoors in flowering position in a well prepared seedbed. Sow seed very thinly in drills 30cm (12in) apart. Firm down gently.|
|What to do Next||When seedlings sown indoors are large enough to handle, transplant into 7.5cm (3in) pots or trays and grow on in cooler conditions.|
|When all risk of frost has passed, acclimatise indoor raised seedlings to outdoor conditions over 7 to 10 days. Then transplant into final growing position planting them 45cm (18in) apart.|
|Water well until plants are established.|
|Digitalis purpurea foxgloves are biennial which means that plants establish and grow leaves in the first year, it will send up large spikes, then flower and produce seeds in the second.|
|If you cut the main stem flower this will encourage the plant to go on flowering for longer.|
|Flowering period||May to July (Following year).|
|Companion Planting||Extremely attractive to bees and other pollinating insects.|
|Uses||Cottage garden, perennial borders and cut flowers.|
|Height||60 to 90cm (24-36in).|