Only one of three foxgloves came back

tricia_mnApril 27, 2007

Hi. I'm new to these forums and I hope someone can help explain why my perennials are not coming back. Last year I planted a grouping of 3 foxgloves and this year only one has new shoots on it. The same for my veronica (royal candles). Just seems strange that when you plant them as a group with the same soil that one makes it and the rest don't. What's going on?

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milo_z7(7b)

What kind of foxgloves? Digitalis purpurea is a biennial, or at best a very short-lived perennial.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2007 at 8:55PM
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laceyvail(6A, WV)

And I've never been able to winter over D. mertoniensis, which is supposed to be perennial. Have great luck with D. ferruginea, D. thapsii, and D. lutea, however.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2007 at 6:34AM
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arcy_gw

I am in MN too, and sought out this forum because my foxglove are also showing no sign of coming back. Even if they do not bloom this year, they should show green, should they not? I am wondering how hardy they really are for zn3/4. Here we had very little snow cover this year. That is not great for perennials. I just started last year with this addition to my garden and am very disappointed to find they are that tough to over winter. They were so pretty too. I also started seeds that claimed they would bloom in one season. NOT!. No sign of those plants either. I guess I will cross Foxglove off my list.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2007 at 6:50AM
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nucci60(6 Ma.)

Are any foxgloves true perennials? If so I"m in !

    Bookmark   April 28, 2007 at 7:37AM
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tricia_mn

Foxgloves confuse me. One year I bought them and planted them and they bloomed beautifully a couple of months after I planted them. I was so excited to add them to my garden. The next spring there was NO sign of them whatsoever. So last year I bought 6 more and planted them but they didn't bloom, just grew lots of foliage. So I figured if they were a biennial they would come up this spring and bloom this summer, but only a couple of them show any signs of new growth. Why did the first batch bloom the year I planted them and the second batch didn't?

    Bookmark   April 28, 2007 at 9:36AM
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laceyvail(6A, WV)

Folks, we need to use the Latin names here because we're talking apples and oranges. The most commonly sold foxgloves are biennials. True perennials include Digitalis lutea, D. ferruginea, D. thapsii and a few others. D. mertoniensis is supposed to be a perennial, but I've never been able to overwinter it. D. purpurea is NOT a perennial but a biennial, and it often self sows so new plants keep coming.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2007 at 6:22AM
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Nancy zone 6

Tricia, as laceyvail said, usually those sold are purpurea, biennials. Yours should bloom this season. I'm in a warm end of zone 6, my purpurea stay green all winter, look absolutely awful but start putting out nice growth. Mine are just now starting to look decent & should bloom before too long if I remember right. I have a couple of yellow forms that are perennials, & do well, but I really need to plant more of them. Purpurea are so large that even one plant makes a statement, but the perennials need a grouping. I have always thought they would reseed, but apparently they don't reseed like purpurea. Even purpurea doesn't reseed heavily for me.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2007 at 7:39AM
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ghoghunter

If you bought them at the garden center and they were beinnials then you bought them when they were in their second year ready to send up their bloomstalk. So then they bloomed that year I guess and then they were finished. I also didn't realize some were biennials and some were true perennials. Some of mine didn't return this year either so they were the ones that were biennial and bloomed last year and are now done. They are so gorgeous. Some did set seeds which took and those baby seedlings are what will bloom this year though. I guess I should go buy some more because they are just so beautiful and they also attract hummingbird which I also love.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2007 at 6:55PM
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aachenelf z5 Mpls

I don't think foxgloves like MN. Over the years, I've tried just about every variety and have only had a couple survive our winters and bloom. I don't even bother with them any more, but if you really want some try Foxy. It blooms the first year from seed, but then croaks. They're easy to grow, so it might be worth a shot.

Kevin

    Bookmark   April 29, 2007 at 7:30PM
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oldroser(z5)

I've had D. lutea (a/k/a ambigua) for years, even when this was zone 4, and they did fine as a perennial and modestly reseeded. Still have them. I planted 3 smallish white d. purpurea last summer - one bloomed and I cut it back before it got far - all three seem to be still with me but the one that had tried to bloom is not doing all that great. I know these are biennials but I wanted them to flower this summer and then, hopefully, reseed. Or maybe I'll collect some seed and sow it. I'd love to get these etablished so they maintain themselves as the regular D. purpurea does for a friend.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2007 at 4:25PM
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arcy_gw

Well I cannot do latin names, I have enough trouble remembering common names, but I am a bit frustrated. The rule of thumb is to buy from a green house in your area and you should be safe. My foxglove said perennial, and that it would bloom every other year. I tried seeds also that claimed they would grow and bloom the same year. The seeds did not and I see no sign my foxglove reseeded. If they were as cheap as annuals one could keep re-buying them. Fool me once shame you fool me twice... I am done with them!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 2:51PM
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griz4

Just planted a new garden in backyard yesterday that gets 4 hours morning sun, then shade rest of day. we went to our local garden center and saw the foxgloves and decided they would be a good choice(we are not expert gardeners and had never heard of these) Long story short, just found out from a friend we told of what we planted that these are biennials as we just were picking out flowers out of the garden center's periennial section. i dont have the exact genus name. but the label on the pot says it is 'Camelot Lavender Foxglove" and Digitalis Camelot Lavender. Does anyone have experience with this species? Since it is in full bloom now(why we liked it so much) am i not to expect it to come back next year? will it ever come back- ie if it does not come back next summer, just wait til the following summer for it to bloom again.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2007 at 9:10AM
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vera_eastern_wa(5a-5b)

Well little late now I now, but here's my experience :D

I have D. ambigua (although Parks seed mis-labled them as D. grandiflora) and mine have been back (from the root)now for the 3rd year. Last fall I dug them up and moved them to another location and all 7 of them survived....the clumps have gotten bigger each year, but in flower only grow to about 2'.

Vera

    Bookmark   May 27, 2007 at 1:04PM
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rivka__2007

I will try to clarify the foxglove situation here! I'm in the far north, zone 3/4. Common foxglove -- what most folks think of as foxglove, i.e. digitalis purp. -- is a biennial. It will self seed every year this far north, however three things often keep this from happening. One: if you use mulch, it is unlikely the seeds will get established. Two: If you are a fanatic weeder, you most likely weeded out the baby plants. Three: no deadheading! If any of these apply to you, you'll have to treat them as annuals. There are also perennial digitalis (e.g. dig. grandiflora is hardly to your zone) but I'll bet that's not what you meant. Much less common than the biennials and not nearly as stately. If you forego mulch and leave the seedlings alone, and of course allow the original plant to go to seed you'll have no trouble getting it established. Be warned however that they new seedlings may not come back the same colors due to insect cross-pollination.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2007 at 1:21PM
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rivka__2007

p.s. Everything I said applies to Camelot Rose and other varietals folks have asked about-- these are all digitalis purp. I agree with those who pleaded for latin names.....the common names just add to the confusion because perennial digitalis is completely different. Also sometimes nurseries call biennials "perennials" because the plants do self-sow and they don't want to discourage customers from buying them.

Also biennals do not "come back" every other year. They sow seeds one year, the original plants die, and the new seedlings flower the second year. This is why Camelot Rose may not come back true to color -- it isn't the same plant, but offspring, which may or may not have been subject to cross pollination with other digitalis.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2007 at 2:34PM
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agertz

Lots of good information here about Foxglove!

I'm surrounded by it, it's wild here. It comes back every year without fail - though I'm assuming that they're different plants. It's hard to keep track.

What I can say is that they like very long hours of slightly filtered sun. That's the one variable that seems to be a requirement for ours around here. They go crazy wherever there is filtered sun for most of the day. Anywhere else, they don't thrive.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2007 at 7:07PM
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jennypat Zone 3b NW MN(Zone 3b NW MN)

SO if I understand this right, if I want to get a bed of foxglove going (digitalis purpurea) in NW MN zone 3b. This year I could buy plants at the nursery that might bloom. But I should also spread some seeds for plants to get started for next year.

I have some native seed that I picked up last fall, and forgot about. Does this seed need cold stratification? Or can I sprinkle them out now. HOPEFULLY our cold weather is done for the year!

Jenny P

    Bookmark   May 27, 2007 at 7:39PM
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