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Baby Foxgloves

polbpolb Posts: 198
I sowed foxgloves seed and currently have about 30 little seedlings in pots by a window inside. They've done really well but I think starting to look less healthy and I'd hate for them to not make it because I'm doing something wrong.
I just wondered how/when I should be watering? From below? How often?
Should they be outside now but in pots?
I was going to plant them out in May - is this right?

I appreciate Foxgloves self-seed easily but I just want to get them established in a section of the garden and let them do their thing!

Any advice tips would be much appreciated..


  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 21,565
    I think you’ve been mollycoddling them.

    I’d put them outside where you want them to flower and let them get on with life.  They are native plants and have to put up with what nature throws at them.  They’ll be fine.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,172
    If you don't want to give them a mighty shock, you can move them outside to the shelter of a wall for a week to toughen them up a bit, and then get them in the ground  :)
    I assume that there are roots coming through the bottom of the pots?  How big are they, as when you say seedlings they sound pretty tiny to me, so I'm wondering if the true leaves have formed. 
    Any chance of a photo? 
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 21,002
    They are hardy but they are only babies that have been kept indoors. I would pot them on and put them in a sheltered place outside. Then plant out in early spring. Once upon a time I would have said plant outside after they've hardened off as they are hardy but I've lost hardy baby plants like that so I've changed my mind. It would be different if they had been sown outside to start with, but they germinate better when sown inside.
    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 7,710
    Ditto BL's advice but how you pot them on will depend how big the seedlings are. If they're mini plants I'd space them out in large seed trays or pot them on individually into 3" pots.
    If they are tiny seedlings, wait until you have miniature 'true' leaves before pricking them out into seed trays.
    If they are tiny seedlings they probably won't flower this year. To get into the right cycle you can buy a few plants ready for flowering this spring and then make sure you wave the seed wands over your patch when their seed is ripe in mid summer. Your current crop of seedlings should flower in 2021 and the seeds you sow this summer will flower in 2022.
    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • polbpolb Posts: 198
    Thanks everyone..they are about 3cm high with well formed leaves and in small pots already (no roots coming through the bottom of the pots). They are in a cool place (inside) and I was thinking of putting them out somewhere sheltered before planting them out so it wouldn't be a shock!! We're very high up here so I was concerned about germination, as we usually get lots of snow. I'm keen to give the patch a good head-start so fingers crossed these will do it.

    I had wondered if I'd have to wait another year for them to flower. I'll make sure to sprinkle seed down this year so I get flowers every year! It will be interesting to see how germination works out, leaving seeds to do their own thing outside!

    Thanks everyone :)
  • LynLyn Posts: 21,383
    They won’t flower this year,  if they do make a small flower shoot, I would cut it off.
    At only 3cms I wouldn’t  be planting out until the end of summer. Just keep potting on when the roots have filled the pots they’re in now.   I like to get bigger sized plants in pots before I plant them out.  After that, they will self seed and take care of themselves. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • polbpolb Posts: 198
    Thanks Lyn, I've put the pots outside in a sheltered place and I'll see how they get on. Then I think I'll pot on like you say until its much warmer for planting them into the ground!

    Thank you!
  • pot-manpot-man Posts: 137
    My babies 

  • LynLyn Posts: 21,383
    Got plenty of pots @pot-man 😀
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,172
    They are considerably smaller than l originally pictured,  l think l was thinking more of small plants !
    As Lyn says, you are going to need a fair few pots (or may be you could prick them out into seed trays for the time being ?)
    Good luck !
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