When To Cut Back Foxgloves?

When To Cut Back Foxgloves?

When foxgloves have finished flowering should you start to think about cutting them back? let’s have a look at when is the best time to cut back foxgloves.

When To Cut Back Foxgloves?
When To Cut Back Foxgloves?

When To Cut Back Foxgloves?

If you are going for more of a natural, or cottage garden feel, then you do not need to cut back foxgloves at all. You can let them self seed around your border before dying back naturally in winter.

One thing you always need to be careful of when cutting back foxgloves is that you don’t accidentally remove plants that were going to flower next year.

Foxgloves are biennial, which means they grow for one year, and go dormant over winter, before coming back the next year and flowering. Then after flowering, they die off completely.

So if you are letting your foxgloves self seed and grow naturally then you may well have both first-year and second-year foxgloves growing in your garden. make sure you don’t accidentally remove first-year foxgloves that you thought had finished flowering already!

Remove Foxgloves After Flowering

As we now know that foxgloves are biennial this means that once they have finished flowering they can be dug up and removed from the garden as they won’t be back next year.

You can let them self-seed first to keep the cycle of foxgloves coming or grow some new ones by hand from seed.

Once you have deadheaded them and got your second bloom it is time to get into your border, spade in hand, and dig them all up. At this point, they are just taking up space that could go to other plants.

Save Foxglove Seeds

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.

More On Foxgloves

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

Most foxgloves grown in the UK are biennial and as such wont come back every year, but do live for two years.

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!