Caring for the foxglove plant requires minimal time and effort and delivers a stunning spring-to-summer show that can last for decades. Foxgloves are tall, with spiky foliage and bell-shaped, pastel-colored flowers in shades of white, yellow, pink and purple. These common plants are easy to find in nurseries or to grow from seed to add an air of tradition and, at a height of 5 feet, a dose of drama to your flower garden.
Plant foxgloves in fertile soil with ample drainage. Acidic and sandy soils are great candidates for the plant. They do well in both sunny and partially shaded spots, but they prefer part-shade. Mulch the flowerbed well with compost, wood chips or inorganic materials to retain moisture and maintain cool roots. Water foxgloves thoroughly after putting them in the ground, but allow them to dry somewhat between waterings so that they can develop a strong root system.
While foxgloves are biennial plants, they may self-seed where they are happy, returning to bloom in alternate years with the first crop planted, thus appearing to be perennials. To encourage multiple periods of blooming, cut off the flower stalks immediately after their blossoms fade.
Foxgloves are resistant to most diseases and pests. Rather than applying unnecessary chemical pesticides or herbicides that may deter beneficial insects and wildlife from your garden, maintain their health by ensuring that they receive adequate drainage, are not overcrowded, and by keeping the rest of the garden in good condition.
Foxgloves make excellent companions with shorter growing flowers along the edge of a woodland border. Try them in containers if you live in an urban setting, to provide a natural screen; however, these plants are especially happy where they can self-seed and spread from year to year.
Make sure that children and animals avoid the leaves of the foxglove, as they are highly poisonous.