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I Purchased Two Mature Foxglove Plants. I Put Them In…

Theresa Asked

I purchased two mature foxglove plants. I put them in the ground and the leaves seem wilted, althought the flowers look great. Why are the leaves wilting? The soil seems to be good, not too wet or dry. Also, after the stalk blooms and the flowers are done, I cut on the stalk and hope more produce over throught the summer, assuming the plant makes it. Any other suggestions would be great.

The Gardener’s Answer

Hello, Theresa: I am sure the foxglove (digitalis) was beautiful when you purchased it. It likely has done some traveling before it ended up in your garden. If the garden center where you bought your plant does not grow their own, this plant probably has some miles under it. When we move plants from one environment to the next, there is always a certain amount of transplant stress involved. It is important to give these new additions extra attention until the roots have had time to take hold and establish. Since the plant is in bloom, it is using most of its energy on the flowers and not on the roots. You might consider cutting the flowers and enjoying them in a vase so the energy can be concentrated on root development. This will make for a happier/healthier plant in the long run. Yes, in the future when the flowers have faded you should cut the flower stalk back and this will encourage more blooms throughout the spring and early summer months. As with any new addition to the garden, we are responsible for making sure it has the right growing conditions. Foxglove should be planted in a space where it will receive part sun and moist but well-drained soil. I would suspect that since the foliage is wilting it is in need of additional moisture. Water the base of the plants so the roots receive the moisture as opposed to the foliage. It is better to water deeply and less often than to water shallow and more often. Avoid fertilizing for the first year. It is best to let the perennial become established in the environment that occurs naturally.

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