Why Your Foxglove Won’t Bloom Next Year


Submitted a year ago
Created by
Henry Homeyer

It's Not Your Fault!

If you bought a foxglove this year and it is blooming now – or has earlier – it won’t bloom next year. In fact, it will be dead. Sorry. Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) is a biennial. That means it blooms in its second year of life, then dies. Nothing you can do about that. It’s not your fault that it will die.

Foxgloves bloom from bottom to top of the flower spike over a period of weeks.

So what can you do? When the blossoms have died and seed pods are brown, cut off the tall stem, and shake it like a fairy wand over a spot where the soil has been freed of weeds and loosened. The seeds, which are tiny, will fall in crevices and a few will grow next spring.

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All you have to do is recognize them as foxgloves, and NOT pull them out as weeds. Study the color and feel the texture of the foliage. Try to remember it. Maybe put a plant tag in the ground where you scattered seeds.

The first year the plants will stay low, but develop a good root system. The following year, they will send up a flower stalk and bloom! Once you have the system down, you can have blossoms every year.

Yellow foxglove (Digitalis lutea) is a perennial

By the way, there are other species of foxglove that are perennial – yellow and tan ones. But I love the pinky-purple ones best. And a cultivar named 'Foxy' will bloom the first year if you plant seeds indoors in early spring, and move them outside in May. 

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