Do Foxgloves Like Shade

Do Foxgloves Like Shade?

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Wondering if that shady spot in your garden could be the perfect spot to grow some foxgloves? Let’s have a look and find out if foxgloves do in fact like shade.

Do Foxgloves Like Shade
Do Foxgloves Like Shade

Do Foxgloves Like Shade?

This doesn’t mean that they won’t grow in full sun, which they happily will do in the UK, but dappled shade is their preferred spot.

Foxgloves growing among other plants
Foxgloves growing among other plants

This is what makes foxgloves great at growing in busy borders amongst lots of other plants. The other plants provide the partial shade that foxgloves love.

What Soil Conditions Do Foxgloves Like?

Foxgloves like a rich, loamy, well-draining soil. being woodland plants they are used to a soil composed almost entirely of decaying leaves.

This is very nice, light and well-draining soil. To make your soil as ideal for foxgloves as possible you will want to add as much organic matter as possible.

Homemade compost, as well as bags of leafmould, is a really good idea to improve your soil more to their liking.

To find the perfect spot for your foxgloves why not give my Where To Plant Foxgloves article a read?

My Foxgloves Are Just Growing And Not Flowering!

If your plants are in their first year then this is completely expected. Foxgloves are biennial plants, what this means is that they grow and establish themselves in the first year but do not flower.

They then go dormant over winter before returning to growth in the spring and then flowering in the summer. Once they have flowered they die off for good and will not come back again.

How To Get A Foxglove Display Every Year

So if you want flowers every year what do you need to do? The answer is simple but requires a little more work to set up.

Essentially you need to have a staggered system set up, where you have some foxgloves in their first year and some in their second year at all times.

This means you will never be without flowers come summertime, and with the right care your foxgloves will flower all summer long and into autumn.


And the best thing about growing your foxgloves like this is that once it is up and running you can leave the plants to it. They will self-seed every year giving you fresh plants every year.

Then because the flowering is staggered the seeding will be staggered. So you will have a perpetual cycle of young plants not flowering and older plants flowering from now on. It goes without saying that with this method you need to let the plants self-seed, so no overactive deadheading!

More On Foxgloves

Foxgloves (Digitalis) is a flowering plant that actually contains biennials, perennials and shrubs all under the common name foxglove.

These plants are native to Europe and even parts of northern Africa, they are woodland plants and as such love a little bit of shade. They can also get quite tall, another characteristic carried over from being woodland plants no doubt.

As most people are aware foxgloves are poisonous if digested. The active ingredient in foxgloves that makes them poisonous also works as a medicine and as such, numerous drugs are made using foxgloves.

Fatalities are rare from foxgloves but they do occur and for this reason, it is important to take care when gardening with foxglove, wear gloves when handling them and make sure you avoid touching your eyes or mouth after handling them.

Most fatalities actually occur when the plant has been mistaken for something else and digested in large quantities.

Numerous reports have also been of young children dying after drinking the vase water that foxgloves have been in. This is definitely something to think about if you plan on using them as a cut flower and your house has children or grandchildren in it!

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