Gardening

Large Yellow Foxglove: Trouble Free, Reliable, Gorgeous Yellow Flowers

Large Yellow Foxglove: Trouble Free, Reliable, Gorgeous Yellow Flowers

Large Yellow Foxglove

Photo Compliments Of Ettore Balocchi

Digitalis grandiflora, or large yellow foxglove can best be described as trouble free, reliable, and can be identified by its gorgeous yellow flowers. This perennial produces short spikes of butter yellow flowers in the summer. Like other foxgloves, this one is also not a long lived plant, but can be encouraged by cutting back the flower spikes once they are done blooming to bloom again in September. The soft color and the self-sowing habit make it great for allowing it to mix and weave through the garden beds.

Large yellow foxglove is a clump-forming perennial that is native to wooded areas and stream banks. It produces tubular, funnel-shaped, pendulous, soft yellow flowers (2 inches long) with interior brown markings. Bloom is in late spring to early summer on terminal racemes (12 inches long) atop upright leafy stems reaching a height of 2 to 3 feet. Finely-toothed, medium green, ovate-lanceolate leaves (10 inches long and 2 wide) appear in basal rosettes and alternately up the stems. Leaves in the basal rosettes are largest, becoming smaller as they rise up the stems.

How To Make Your Large Yellow Foxglove Thrive

The large yellow foxglove thrives in organically rich soils with consistent and regular moisture, but will also tolerate sandy sites and clay (it will adapt). It thrives in full sun to light or open shade. Once established it is drought tolerant, but appreciates occasional watering. Wet soils in winter can be fatal. Removal of flower spikes after bloom will encourage a secondary bloom. If flower spikes are left in place after flowering, plants will self-seed. Once flowering and seeding is completed, cut back all stems to the basal foliage. Basal foliage is basically evergreen, but damaged leaves should be removed in early spring.

General Large Yellow Foxglove Information

Pests and Diseases

No serious insect or disease problems. Powdery mildew and leaf spot, if left untreated, can depreciate foliage considerably by early to mid-summer. Dense woody crowns may rot in soggy, poorly-drained winter soils. Potential insect pests when this plant is under stress includes: aphids, mealy bugs, slugs, and Japanese beetle; black spot should also be included on this list. Plants in the wild are becoming increasingly uncommon due to a combination of factors including habitat destruction and unlawful collection.

Propagation

Propagate by seed, division, or separation.  Seed germinates best in a range of 70 to 75 F in humid conditions.  Division can be done in both spring and fall, separating new plantlets from the crown.

Garden Uses

Flower spires provide architectural height to the border and cottage garden and are particularly effective in front of dark backgrounds such as those provided by shrubs or building walls. Large yellow foxglove is also appropriate for open woodland gardens and naturalized areas.

Quick Facts

  • Family: Plantaginaceae
  • Common Name: Large yellow foxglove
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
  • Bloom Time: May to June
  • Bloom Description: Yellow
  • Foliage Type: Evergreen
  • Plant Height: 30 inches
  • Plant Width: 30 inches
  • Hardiness Zones: Zones 3 to 8
  • Light Exposure: Full sun to light or open shade
  • Water Requirements: Drought tolerant once established, appreciates occasional watering
  • Maintenance: Low
  • Attracts: Hummingbirds
  • Tolerates: Deer

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