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How to collect and sow foxglove seed


Foxgloves self-sow easily, so you'll always have them popping up in your borders from year to year. However you can also harvest and sow foxglove seed in summer in order to raise new plants in pots. These can be planted out later exactly where you want them to grow.

Foxglove seed ripens in late summer. Cut down the flower stalks before the seed is shed if you don't want unwanted seedlings popping up in your borders, or if you want to save the seed.

Sow the seed as soon as you collect it, so that it's fresh and seedlings are well-developed before winter. Sow in pots of pre-watered seed-sowing compost and keep the pots in a cold frame.

How to do it

Cut off flower spike


Cut off the flower spikes with secateurs as the seed capsules turn brown.

Shake the seed capsules


Shake the capsules and catch the seed that falls. Make sure your hands are dry to stop the seed sticking.

Sow the seeds


Sprinkle the seed evenly over the compost. The seeds need light to germinate, so leave them uncovered.

Discuss this project

Talkback: How to collect and sow foxglove seed
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Elizabeth Bridger 31/07/2014 at 16:51

One of my foxgloves grew more over 8ft with a flower head of 4ft
is this normal? Liz Bridger

philippa smith2 31/07/2014 at 16:59

Elizabeth.........depending what type you have, I wouldn't say it is abnormal.

The basic  ones can certainly reach the size you mention without too much trouble

hogweed 31/07/2014 at 18:53

The wild pink ones in my garden grow anything from 3 to 8 feet.

hutchman 01/08/2014 at 20:26

I don't know if anyone else does this but I cut the flower spikes as above, then I lay them straight onto a seed tray filled with compost, so when the seeds fall out from the seed heads straight into the tray, germinate and then prick out into pots to 'over winter'.
When all done all I have to do is remove the withered stems onto the compost to recycle.

Works every time. Hope this helps others.

Best regards.

Fishy65 01/08/2014 at 22:34

Well I should find out next summer cos I've got foxgloves coming out of my ears right now 

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