Foxgloves for the cottage garden effect

John Shannon. INLT 13-802-CON
John Shannon. INLT 13-802-CON

Foxgloves – sometimes known as Digitalis – are just about to come into flower in gardens and make a wonderful display.

They vary in height from 60cm to 1.5m and come in a variety of colours (yellow, red, pink, white) and they are very hardy.

Some Foxgloves are biannual, which means you sow in one year and it flowers in the second year. The more modern varieties are perennial, meaning they flower every year but die down in the winter period and come up again in the spring. Not all modern varieties die back, however.

Now is a good time to buy Foxgloves as you can see the colour on them in the garden centre. Although tall, they do not usually need staking as they have a very strong main stem.

After the main stem has finished flowering, cut it down to avoid it seeding everywhere. This will also stimulate flowers lower down the stem.

Foxgloves will attract bumble bees and other pollinating insects into the garden.

Once you have selected your Foxglove, make sure it is well watered before planting. Dig a hole 2 –3 times larger than the root ball,break up the bottom of the hole for good drainage and add Westland Rose Tree & Shrub compost which has a four-month feed. Finally, firm the plant in well and give it a good


Foxgloves rarely give any problems. In the spring, cut back and remove the previous year’s foliage to allow the new-season foliage to come through. You can start feeding with a high potash feed such as phostrogen or tomato fertiliser.

If you are interested in a cottage garden, Foxgloves are an ideal plant.

For more information, contact us at the garden centre.