© RHS / Graham Titchmarsh


Perennial foxgloves

Botanical name: Digitalis

With slender spikes of tubular flowers in gentle hues, such as soft yellow, rusty orange or dusky pink, perennial foxgloves are more modest, but slightly longer lived than biennial types. They give vertical structure to dappled shade in early summer, combining well with ferns and hardy geraniums.


Perennial foxgloves send up elegant spires of bell-like flowers above rosettes of glossy or downy leaves. The different species vary in height, flower shape and size, from Digitalis grandiflora with spikes of large yellow blooms to D. ferruginea with slender spires of small rust-coloured bells. 


Perennial foxgloves are happy in most soil types, but prefer plenty of added organic matter, such as garden compost. They thrive in light shade, although most will also grow well in sun, as long as the soil is moist.


They will struggle in soil that dries out for long periods or is permanently wet. Hot sun can scorch the soft foliage.

Did you know?

Foxgloves contain chemicals used in the treatment of heart conditions, but they are also extremely toxic, so you should always wear gloves when handling plants and seeds.

Growing guide

Perennial foxgloves we recommend

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Useful advice

Perennials: planting

Perennials: planting

Seed: collecting and storing

Seed: collecting and storing

Shade gardening

Shade gardening

Shade planting: annuals, bulbs and perennials

Shade planting: annuals, bulbs and perennials

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