Bell-shaped foxgloves are biennials.

How to Transplant Foxgloves

by Jenny Harrington

Each bell-shaped foxglove (Digitalis spp.) flower resembles the fingertip of a small glove. These summer-flowering biennials produce multiple blooms along tall stalks. Foxgloves, which grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 8, only produce leaves the first year and live out their blooming cycle the second year. They are usually transplanted into the garden as 1-year-old seedlings, so they can flower the year you plant. You can transplant foxgloves in spring after frost for immediate blooming, or in fall before frost for flowers the following summer.

Break up the top 6 inches of soil in a well-drained bed that receives light afternoon shade. Spread a 2-inch layer of compost and 1/2 pound of 5-10-5 fertilizer over every 50 square feet of soil, and mix it into the top 6 inches with a spade.

Set the foxgloves outside in a protected area for one week to prepare them for transplanting. Bring them indoors at night or if the temperature drops below freezing for the first three to four days. Leave the plants outside overnight beginning on the fourth day, unless frost threatens.

Dig a planting hole in the prepared bed to the same depth as the seedling pots. Space the holes 12 to 18 inches apart in all directions.

Slide the foxglove transplants out of their nursery pots. Squeeze the sides of the pots gently to dislodge the roots if necessary. Set each plant into a prepared hole so it's at the same depth it was growing at in the pot. Fill the hole with soil, and firm the soil surface around the stem with your hands.

Water the newly transplanted foxgloves immediately so the soil settles around the roots. Continue to water the plants about once a week, or when the top 1 to 2 inches of soil feels dry, supplying enough water to moisten the top 6 inches of soil.

Items you will need

  • Compost
  • 5-10-5 fertilizer
  • Spade
  • Trowel


  • All parts of the foxglove plant are highly toxic, and possible deadly, if ingested.

About the Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/ Images