Rachel is a passionate plantsperson, YouTuber and author living in Ireland. She grows a wide range of hardy subtropical and tropical plants.
Foxgloves are fantastic plants in the border in June, as they really brighten it up. But by July, the show is over. This is because foxgloves are biennials, meaning that they take two years to complete their growing cycle. They germinate and grow roots and leaves in year one. And in year two, they flower and die.
Once your foxgloves have finished, you can collect seeds to grow them again next year. You could just leave the plants to cast their seed in the border, but then a lot of seed would be wasted and you'd have no control over where plants pop up. I prefer to collect seed and sow in modules.
How to Harvest Foxglove Seeds
- Look for browned seed capsules on the central flower spike of your foxglove.
- Remove a capsule and shake it upside down into your dry hand. You'll see lots of seed. (When seed is properly mature, it comes out easily.)
- Once the seed is removed, discard the foxglove plants.
- Sow your seed immediately.
How to Sow Foxglove Seeds
Use a seed potting mix and either trays or pots to prepare your seedlings.
- Tamp down your mix in your container of choice to create an even surface.
- Place your tray or pots in water and allow to sit until thoroughly wet.
- Remove from the water and surface-sow your seed as thinly as possible.
- Cover the seeds with vermiculite. (Foxglove seeds need light to germinate, so don't cover them with soil. Vermiculite lets light through.)
- Leave your tray in a sheltered spot to germinate, checking daily that the soil remains moist. (The optimal germination temperature is 59–68˚F (15–20˚C).
- Leave for 14 to 21 days or until seedlings grow.
- Prick out seedlings once they've grown nice and strong.
- Plant out when all danger of frost has passed (usually the next spring).
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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Rachel Darlington