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What to do with Foxgloves now?

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by Selleri, Jul 9, 2021.

  1. Selleri

    Selleri Koala

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    I have tall Foxglove "Alba" that are now past their best flowers and are starting to look tatty. This is their second summer after sown from seed in August the year before.

    Some plants flowered already last summer but this has been their year of pride.

    Should I cut them all back, leave some leaves, pull them out or what? I have been shaking the seedheads in hope of self seeding.

    There are some Gladioli growing through, I'd like to see the foliage even if they have been competed to no flowers.

    I have never (intentionally) grown Foxgloves so any advise is much appreciated.:)
     
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    • Logan

      Logan Total Gardener

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      I just cut the flower stalks off and see if they survive, sometimes they just die off because some varieties are biennial.
       
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        Last edited: Jul 9, 2021
      • NigelJ

        NigelJ Total Gardener

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        You will be unlucky not to have an over abundance of foxgloves next year. I don't shake the seedheads and still have plenty to weed out in spring.
         
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        • noisette47

          noisette47 Total Gardener

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          Definitely an 'ongoing' plant. Once they get into a routine, you'll have baby foxgloves coming on alongside 1 year-old plants ready to flower the following summer. So you can pull out the old, tatty plants :) IME Digitalis purpurea doesn't flower again, although some other species are supposed to be short-lived perennials. You can also select babies for white flowers....they're all pale green whereas purple or apricot ones will be tinged with pink/purple.
           
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          • NigelJ

            NigelJ Total Gardener

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            I have a number of short lived perennial species including Digitalis lutea, D ferruginea, D parviflora and D grandiflora. Popular with bees, but less showy than D purpurea. had some for 4 to 5 years.
             
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            • Jack Sparrow

              Jack Sparrow Total Gardener

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              I was going to ask something similar. My foxglove is still in a pot as I haven't got round to clearing the space. I will hopefully try to to do it in the autumn. I assumed that I could just transplant it and it would reproduce. Is this the case ?

              G.
               
            • noisette47

              noisette47 Total Gardener

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              If you've got seed pods on it, G, shake them wherever you want foxgloves to grow. Nature will do the rest. Once they've flowered, it's unlikely that they'll be worth transplanting. If the space isn't available yet, shake the seed pods over a sheet of paper and decant the results into a paper bag or pill bottle/small jar. Keep cool, dark and dry until you're ready to sow them. Autumn-sown seed probably won't germinate until next spring and won't flower until the following one.
               
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              • Scrungee

                Scrungee Well known for it

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                Make sure it doesn't have a hole in it!

                My daughter gave me a small paper bag containing Foxglove seeds (and a hole) which I passed over the top of a tray of compost when I was sowing other stuff.

                I now have 155 Foxglove plants.
                 
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                • Selleri

                  Selleri Koala

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                  Thank you all, good to hear that I can pretty much do what I please with the lot and still expect flowers in years to come. My kind of a plant obviously. :biggrin:


                  They are incredibly prolific from seeds. My batch was from a pack of free seeds with a magazine (yes, I still strongly believe they are "free" :heehee:) that I sew too late in august just to see if they would germinate. They all did, and to my surprise, all of the approximately 90 seedlings survived the winter. Fitting dozens of large plants into a space that can comfortably host perhaps three was a bit of a challenge but I managed about 20. Overplanting is trendy! :dbgrtmb:
                   
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                  • noisette47

                    noisette47 Total Gardener

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                    Strange....tried to PM a discreet tip re. the English language, in a spirit of helpfulness, but it was blocked :scratch: So..
                    Purely in a spirit of helpfulness, not criticism, you 'sowed' too late in August :blue thumb: You really wouldn't believe how many Brits write 'sew' (couture, needles) when they mean 'sow' (scatter seed in a wild abandon of optimism) :biggrin: English is full of traps for the unwary ;)
                     
                  • Selleri

                    Selleri Koala

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                    D-oh, I knew I was wrong there. And me boasting with my impeccable irregular verbs learnt as a foreign language... Thank you @noisette47 :blue thumb:

                    Off topic, there are words that I just can't pronounce. "Regulatory" is one of them, which is rather unfortunate in my job. I once had to give a presentation with a Powerpoint not made by me, and the first slide had the word "regulatory" three times.

                    In the end it was a bit of an icebreaker when I told the audience about my personal problem with the word and promised them a drink every time I mispronounce it. The audience loved it, my boss who paid for the drinks, didn't. :biggrin:
                     
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                    • CanadianLori

                      CanadianLori Total Gardener

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                      Me, I don't care about spelling. As a fourth carreer and the best one, I make custom soft home furnishings. Drapery, etc.

                      So, @Selleri I guess I sow and sew.... :rolleyespink: I have a horrible time pronouncing words with an R and no letters following. Part of not figuring out how to do it after a throat operation. I can say automobile but car comes out like a crow cawing.

                      And I still think potato and tomato should have an e on the end! :biggrin:
                       
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                      • Stuart Fawcett

                        Stuart Fawcett Gardener

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                        I leave mine to go tatty and allow seeds to form - then shake the dried seeds around the garden for get more. :)
                         
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