How come we see foxgloves growing wild everywhere? Do they self-seed? let’s have a look and find out.
Do Foxgloves Self Seed?
Many gardeners, especially those who like the cottage garden style, will leave foxgloves to their own devices and let them happily self-seed in the border.
Once you have some foxgloves growing staggered, one lot one year old and happily growing, and some two years old and flowering then you can leave them to self-seed.
This will mean the cycle is always renewed and you have some foxgloves in bloom every year.
How To Ensure Your Foxgloves Self Seed
While nothing is 100% there is one thing I like to do to just make sure my foxgloves will self-seed.
That is waiting until the seeds are nice and ready and then cutting the flowers down. I then turn them upside down and give them a really good shake all over the patch that I want them to grow.
This just helps to make sure that plenty of seeds end up in the area you want and makes it almost certain they will self-seed and grow next year.
If you want to have a little control over the number of foxgloves appearing in your garden year after year then you can do a little deadheading.
Deadheading is a good idea with foxgloves anyway as it often produces a second flush of flowers. Not only that but you can control the number of flowers that you let turn to seed.
this will obviously reduce the number of foxglove seedlings you see coming up next year, giving you a bit more control over their numbers.
Save The Seed
You can also save the seed from your foxgloves when you remove the spent flowers. This is great if you plan on growing some fresh plants from seed to grow in a different area of your garden.
What to do With Deadheaded Flowers
You will see many people online telling you not to put dead foxglove flower heads in your compost heap as the seeds will stay there and you will then spread them around your garden.
While this is technically true it only matters if you cold compost. If you use hot composting methods then the heat will be enough to kill the seeds, as it does with all weed seeds.
This is why hot composting is such a good idea, and it’s not hard to do. You just need to make a big heap, use a mix of brown and green materials and turn it regularly.
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.
As most people are aware foxgloves are poisonous if digested. The active ingredient in foxgloves that makes them poisonous also works as a medicine as 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.
There have also been numerous reports 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!