Looking for a plant suggestion!

Michaela .:. thegarden@902 .:. (Zone 5b - Iowa)July 15, 2014

Hi there. I am looking for a suggestion for something similar to foxglove that is a true perennial. My husband loves the flowers and I'd love to grow them but I am not big on biennels because I heavily mulch my garden so I won't see much reseeding if any.

I was considering just purchasing them every spring and treating it as an annual and if any somehow self seed then wonderful but was thinking maybe there is something similar in appearance I could grow.

Does anyone have any suggestions for something that is tall and has similar bell shaped flowers? I was thinking maybe some type of campanula would look similar?

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There are some perennial foxgloves but I think they tend to be fairly short lived as well. You could probably direct sow some of the biennial seeds each year-pull back some mulch and scratch in some seed and keep them going every year. I start them from seed most years in flats to guarantee good plants each year. This year I wintersowed them for the first time and the plants are now big and healthy-but I don't expect them to bloom until next year.

You could try penstemon, delphiniums, campanulas.
Even some salvias and agastache have the pendant flower look. Hollyhocks have different shaped flowers but they also grow tall spires..oh realized they are biennial too.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 6:50PM
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My first thought was campanula but would second phlowerpower's suggestion re: penstemon and delphinium. I don't have much luck with delphs but penstemon and campanula both have been reliable perennials in my garden beds. There's a photo of penstemon at the link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Penstemon

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 7:07PM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT


I do have perennial foxgloves and I absolutely love them. However, they are not as spectacular as the biennials. But they have their place in my garden.

They are shorter, and the flowers are smaller, but they bloom for quite a long time, and I do love the soft yellow color. They do spread, but not overly aggressively IMO. I cut off most of the seed heads to control them. And I've had my original ones for almost 10 years.

Here is a quite old photo.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 9:12PM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

I love them with my hosta Regal Splendor

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 9:16PM
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Campanula UK Z8

yep, d.lutea or d.grandiflora are good....but you could look out for the polkadot foxglove hybrids which are proving long-lived, long flowering (being sterile), well behaved and reliable. They also bloom for months, as will penstemons while campanulas, although they can be induced to keep going, tend to be more fleeting. Delphiniums - lovely but tricky (and snailbait).

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 6:39AM
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Michaela .:. thegarden@902 .:. (Zone 5b - Iowa)

phlowerpower: Thanks for your feedback! I do have red riding hood penstemon but it's only supposed to get 24" tall. I love delphiniums but I guess I thought those were biennials as well?? I better look into that. Any campanulas you suggest? I love hollyhocks but I just don't enjoy biennels. Too much work. :P

Gardenweed: What type of campanulas do you have? I also love delphinium but I guess I was under the assumption they were biennials. I am going to do some research though.

diggerdee: I will look into lupines! Thanks for the suggestion! Those are very pretty but I was looking for something taller like the biennials! I still might have to get some because I love that pale yellow.

Campanula: Thanks I will look into those. I feel like I saw the polka dot foxgloves somewhere. Now I can't remember where. Since your username is campanula... do you have any suggestions on a great campanula to grow? I may try delphiniums again... they are very pretty.

Thank you all for your suggestions!

This post was edited by thegardenat902 on Fri, Jul 18, 14 at 10:02

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 10:00AM
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