The most used species is Digitalis purpurea, also known as Common Foxglove, Purple Foxglove or Lady’s Glove. It is a herbaceous biennial plant grown as an ornamental plant because of its showy, tubular, pendent, flowers, that range in color from purples through to whites, with variable marks and spotting inside bottom of the tubes. In the first year of growth they form a tight rosette at ground level and in the second year the flowering stem develops. After flowering the fruits are developed and they are capsules, which splits open at maturity to release the numerous tiny seeds and if you don’t collect those seeds or dead-head the plant after flowering to prevent the seeds to form, foxglove readily self-sows and multiplies.
It can thrive in siliceous or loam soil and needs very little soil to survive and flourish. It can be found growing in extremely dry areas and can even grow in cracks of brick and granite walls. Foxglove is an easy to grow and wonderful plant for the shade garden as it lives quite comfortably in the shade. It will also live in the sunny garden too if kept decently watered but it prefers the semi-shade to full shade place. Select a place with moist but well-drained soil.
Set plants out in spring or fall, but before you plant them, prepare the garden bed by using a garden fork to loosen the soil then mix in a layer of compost. Dig a hole twice the diameter of the container the plant is in, then carefully remove the plant from its container and place it in the hole so the top of the root ball is at the same level with the soil surface. Carefully fill in around the root ball and firm the soil gently. Water thoroughly. Apply a thin layer of compost each spring, followed by a second layer of mulch to retain moisture and control weeds. Water plants during the summer if the weather is hot and rain doesn’t occur. On more exposed sites, stake tall varieties to keep them upright. Remove the central flower spike after flowering to encourage side shoots to form and produce more flowers.
To obtain new plants, you can sow seed in containers in a cold frame in late spring or just let them self-sow.