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Harvesting Foxglove seeds

Hi all,

l was given a foxglove plant by my dad in spring which flowered nicely (I kept it in a small pot) and l then moved to a sheltered spot once it stopped flowering. I had a look at it this morning  and it looks like the seed heads are opening.

Should I start to collect seeds now? And should I sow them immediately? And will they need to be kept indoors over winter? I have a couple of cold frames but no greenhouse. I'm assuming that anything l grow wont be ready to plant until next year, springtime?



  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286
    They are ready when they knock out easily. Give it a tap and see if seeds start to fall out. If they do, the easiest way is put a plastic bag over the whole stem, that is larger enough to take the full length, then cut it and shake into the bag.

    I generally sow in January in a propagator, though it may mostly be so I don't have lots of pots of small plants to worry about all winter.  :)
  • LatimerLatimer Posts: 790
    Thanks @GemmaJF, I'll give that a try. I'd rather wait until Jan too if I'm honest!
  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286
    I think some people sow late summer/autumn in the hope of getting them to flower the following year. Seems a bit of a faff. I've never minded waiting for foxgloves and allowing them to develop in pots for the first year for putting out the next.
  • LatimerLatimer Posts: 790
    @GemmaJF of course, it's biennial, the most frustrating of the flower types 🙈
  • LatimerLatimer Posts: 790
    @GemmaJF what size of pot do you keep them in for that first year?
  • Dirty HarryDirty Harry Posts: 1,022
    Sow now for Autumn planting is common with foxgloves.

    Those I didn't plant last Autumn I kept in 1 litre pots over the winter and planted in spring.
  • LatimerLatimer Posts: 790
    Thanks @Dirty Harry, I might give both methods a try assuming I manage to salvage some seeds!

  • edhelkaedhelka Posts: 2,278
    I let them self seed and move seedlings as needed. Sometimes, I sprinkle them where I want them. I see it as many times easier than sowing seeds and caring for seedlings.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 50,366
    The easiest way to sow foxglove seed is just to sprinkle them where you want them, as @edhelka describes. It's how it works naturally. 

    Just thin as required, or move. They're very accommodating.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • LatimerLatimer Posts: 790
    edited July 2020
    thanks @edhelka & @Fairygirl. It's currently in the pot it was given to me in. I have a corner in the back of a bed I could go and stick it in, would that work? It would be on the NE side of a fence.

    My worry about doing it this way is that I wouldn't know the difference between a foxglove seedling and a weed!! 😂
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