Digitalis / Foxglove 'Red Skin'

garystpaul(4)October 7, 2013

Anyone grow this? I have some small plants, started from seed, that I intend to overwinter in a cold frame, but I suspect they're not hardy in my z4. Would love to hear from any who have tried this one.

Thanks,
Gary

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gardenweed_z6a

Even in ideal conditions (i.e., organic sandy loam, adequate moisture, part sun), foxglove didn't survive its first winter in my Z6 garden. They were grown from seed via the winter sowing method which normally translates to very robust specimens. I don't have experience with the 'Red Skin' cultivar you named--am speaking generically of what I've observed with other cultivars.

Best of luck to you!

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 8:06PM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

You'll probably want to try one or two out in the open since its supposed to be a perennial type and you probably won't want to cold frame them every winter! Who knows, it might be an easy winter and you'll get lucky.... Just mulch well with a nice loose cover.
I saw some pictures and want one of these now too! It's one of the first of these hybrids that I've seen that will set and grow from seeds. Cool!

I have better luck with reg foxgloves if the seeds are started in the summer. Seedlings started indoors or outdoors over the winter don't do as well for me since they get too big and lush and end up rotting over the winter. I'm borderline zone 5/6

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 11:31AM
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aachenelf z5 Mpls

"I have better luck with reg foxgloves if the seeds are started in the summer. Seedlings started indoors or outdoors over the winter don't do as well for me since they get too big and lush and end up rotting over the winter."

That's very interesting kato and maybe the reason I've failed miserably with foxglove 99% of the time. I think in all the years I started these from seed, I got maybe 1 or 2 plants to survive past their first year outside and actually bloom. They grew beautifully their first summer and by the next spring, they were rotten messes. In all those years of trying, I started them early under lights inside, so the plants were nice and big by the time I set them out. Maybe that's the reason I failed?

Kevin

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 11:54AM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

I would think thats the reason. It's really sad since usually the nicest plants are the ones most likely to rot. Maybe the stems are too thick and juicy and when they freeze all that moisture causes the stems to burst open.... They always seem to die from the center out, not from the edges in as you might think from too much cold.
My best plants usually self seed around August, depending on when they get enough rain to germinate.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 6:39PM
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garystpaul(4)

I just took off the thick but loose layer of shredded dry leaves I used to cover plants in my cold frame and I was surprised to see that all of the 'Red Skin' digitalis survived our unusually bitter winter. Now, whether I can plant them out and bring them into bloom is another matter, but I'm optimistic.

Being something of a foxglove fanatic, I'm constantly trying them. Many is the time I've had the experience of others up North, that the overwintered plants either don't make it or rot during the first weeks of spring, even when overwintered in a cold frame. This year, I kept the covers on, onto which I'd piled evergreen boughs, and just now got around to removing the boughs and the mulch. I suspect my momentary success has to do with the careful watering in fall (not too much) and holding them until now.

We'll see.

Thank you for your responses last year.

Gary

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 1:28PM
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