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hi everyone, i hope this isnt a silly question, i planted some foxgloves in september, i dont know what type they are, but they have long pointed leaves and the slugs loved them, but i managed to save them (out at night with a torch ha ha) my question is, they have new shoots coming from the middle that look nice and healthy, but the ouside leaves are lying on the soil and dont look verry happy, they look like they are rotting, do i cut them off or leave them, i have always wanted to grow foxgloves, i would hate to loose them, i also have the other type with more rounded leaves, they seem fine, any advice would be appreciated, thanks


The foxgloves will die right down over the winter - they may almost disappear, but all being well they'll reappear in the spring and you'll have glorious spires of flowers in the summer.  

As the leaves die down and rot this autumn and winter you can remove them (cutting them off if necessary) and add them to your compost heap.


thankyou dovefromabove, i wont worry about them now


The outside leaves of foxgloves always look a bit rough, the pointed leaved ones especially. I have, among others, Digitalis lutea and D. ferruginea, their older leaves are quite black now but they always cheer up in the spring and put on a good show in summer. 


flowering rose

I sowed some seeds in June and have planted out dozens upon dozens of fox glove plants and still have more to find spaces for.I took the seed from the previous plants and they have all taken and grown well.The slugs don't seem to care for them but my collie dog is in the dog house for digging up some I planted earlier.They are so easy to grow and look fantastic in groups .



I have some in the greenhouse about 4 inches tall, is it best to leave them there till spring or should I plant them out now.

nodlisab wrote (see)

I have some in the greenhouse about 4 inches tall, is it best to leave them there till spring or should I plant them out now.

Judgement call really-either way they will stop putting on much growth now-if it is a cold greenhouse they will be ok or you could move them to a cold frame or somewhere sheltered outside

At least in a greenhouse a hungry slug can't get to them


Slugs and Snails normally leave 2nd year Foxgloves alone if that helps. Caterpillars can be a problem though, so you still need to look out.



i cant wait to see them in flower, i know this seems silly, i have always loved them, but only found out this year what they where called, i grew the round leaf one's from seed and the pointed leaf one's from TM

Lynne24 it may be wise to mark the foxgloves with small canes or sticks when you cut them down or clear away,the decaying leaves.
flowering rose

I plant mine out their OK,its their natural environment and you will need to stake them later on.sow lots ,have lots to replace if need be.


thanks all you guys for the advice, i dont know what i would without this site, you are all so knowledgeable


Lynne24, believe me, there is no such thing as a silly question - we all start somewhere and somewhen, and we all learn from each other on here -  so keep asking and asnwering and we will all do well for each other. 


thanks bookertoo, your comment means a lot


i love foxgloves and grow them every year.. mine are still in green house will palnt htem after xmas...

i have found to keep slugs off plants if you dont want to use pellets.. is to lay all your ol lettuce leaves and cabbage etc round the plants.. t hey eat these instead.. by time get to end of them they are full.. i have been doing that for that last few months and it seems to be working.. and it saves it goin in food waste bin.. but the composter misses them..

but it is worth the loss to keep my plants safe.



I ordered mixed digitalis plugs (24) from jparker and they arrived today, about 3" high and lots of dead leaves some green too, but I can see the roots and they look ok.  Just worried its still frozen outside and snow is just receeding, just wondering when I shoould plant them.  They are in utility room now and trying best to keep them moist, or should I put them into green house, maybe equally cold, not sure what to do with them, I hope they won't die, I was hoping that they deliver them in March or April (yet true to thier word 28 days;)

The other thing I should say we are quiet exposed and the soil is heavy and not very good drainage, but I try to get over that by making a big hole and filling lots of compost, would that work for digitalis?  I've seen them growing in the forest nearby.  Many thanks



I would pot them up and grow them on in the greenhouse for a bit-but they are hardy plants so dont want it too warm-then when things dry up a bit outside plant them in the garden-say in around 4/6weeks or so?

Depends how big they are-might need to grow a bit bigger.

hollie hock

Hi Deena, I agree I wouldn't plant them straight into frozen ground. They are hardy plants,but as they are small would benefit from a peroid of hardening off. I do think they do need to be outside. If it were me I would cut off the dead leaves put them in greenhouse and plant out in a few weeks.

I wouldn't worry too much about the soil conditions. I tend to treat them as woodland plants, so I think they will grow in poor soil. The roots system in flowering foxgloves are very shallow. I don't think you need to enrich the planting hole with compost. They are biennual plants so from what you have said I don't think they are going to flower this year.........but next  year you will have a great show and loads of seeds for the future





If you bought them as plugs now, that means they were grown last year, which means they will flower this year, if you dont get them in they ground  October, its best to overwinter in a cold greenhouse and plant them in mid March. 

Cheers guys, many thanks I am off to put them out into green house now.  Many thanks again