Digitalis purpurea attributes


70 – 90 cm (h) x 30 – 60 cm (w)


Spring – Summer

Growth Rate





Caring for Digitalis purpurea

When to plant

Sow in autumn for spring flowering.

How to plant

Till an entire bed and cover with 5cm layer of compost with well-rotted manure. Include a sprinkling of 2:3:2 fertiliser and mix well.

Sow seed and do not cover with more soil than twice its own thickness of soil.

Plant seedlings 30cm apart if you selected to buy seedlings from a garden centre.

When to transplant

Transplant Foxgloves on a cool or cloudy day, or in the late afternoon.

How to transplant

Water the soil the day before to loosen the roots and surrounding dirt.

Dig a hole twice as wide as the plants to help the roots spread. Prepare the soil by combining compost and well-rotten manure.


Spring throughout Summer


White, purple, pink, and mauve.

Deadhead spent blooms after flowering to encourage a second flowering, or allow the Foxgloves to self seed for the next season.

If you’ve prepared the soil before planting, no additional feeding is required until the next season.

If you allow your Foxgloves to self-seed, apply a 5cm layer of compost mixed with well-rotted manure and a 2:3:2 fertiliser in Autumn for the next generation of plants to flourish.

Foxgloves are not particular about the soil pH and can be grown between 4.5 and 8.3 pH. The plant does prefer a cool, semi-shaded spot with deep, rich, well-composted soil.

Water frequently during hot and dry spells to keep soil moist, but not soaked.

Propagating Digitalis purpurea

Foxgloves can be propagated by seed. See “Planting” tab under Care section.

Troubleshooting Digitalis purpurea problems

Because Foxgloves are grown in shady spots with moist soil they are susceptible to a host of pests and diseases, including crown rot, leaf spot, and aphids.

To preventĀ fungalĀ problems, careful watering is recommended.

Treat aphids with a pesticide, control with natural or organic sprays like a soap-and-water mixture, neem oil, or essential oils. Or employ natural predators like ladybugs, green lacewings, and birds.

Benefits and uses of Digitalis purpurea

  • Foxgloves flower where few other plants can
  • They add a vertical dimension to flower beds and shade gardens.


  • 1982, Keith Kirsten’s Down to Earth Garden Book
  • 1989, Reader’s Digest, Your Gardening Questions Answered