How To Deadhead Foxglove Plants (Reasons To Do It)

Foxgloves are classic perennials that usually don’t bloom in their first season, but you’ll surely see a full bloom in their second season. What should you do with this bloom once it starts fading, though? Let the flowers fall off or deadhead them?

Well, experience says it’s best to deadhead your foxgloves, and there are two good reasons why. But how do you do it, what do you have to look out for, and what do you do with the deadheaded flowers once you’re done?

Find the answers below.

Do I Need To Deadhead My Foxglove Plants?

Yes, you should deadhead your foxgloves for two reasons: you might get a second bloom, and even if you don’t want a second bloom, you’re ensuring that the plant doesn’t self-seed.

Although foxgloves officially have a single blooming period, you can actually get them to bloom a second time by deadheading them. If you deadhead your foxgloves after the first blooming period has ended, they might bloom again (although it’s not guaranteed).

The second blooming period won’t be as beautiful as the first one, and there won’t be as many flowers, but it’s still worth seeing.

Another reason you should deadhead your foxgloves is because foxgloves are self-seeding plants. If you don’t deadhead your foxglove, you’ll see a few new seedlings in the plant’s immediate area.

This will cause overgrowth in your garden, not to mention that the plant will be wasting its energy instead of conserving it.

How To Deadhead Foxglove Plants

You can deadhead your foxgloves with gardening shears, just make sure to disinfect them with alcohol wipes beforehand as you don’t want the plant to catch a disease.

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You should also look out for your own safety when you’re deadheading foxgloves, as these plants are highly toxic. Their toxin can be absorbed through ingestion or through the skin.

In mild cases, it causes nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. But in extreme cases (if absorbed in large quantities or if the person is particularly sensitive to it), foxglove toxin can cause collapse, seizures, and death.

Therefore, wear gloves when you’re working with foxglove plants!

As a rule of thumb, foxgloves should be deadheaded when most of the flowers have started to droop, not before.

If you want to cause a second blooming of the foxglove, cut the flowers off at the tip. New flowers will grow out of the same stems.

If you just want to remove drooping flowers and you’re not looking for a second bloom, cut off the entire flower stem – they definitely won’t grow back this year.

Keep in mind that new flowers have the same seeding ability as the old flowers you just cut off, and if you don’t control it, the plant will reproduce. This is why it’s important to deadhead this second bloom too, once it starts to droop.

What Do I Do With Deadheaded Foxglove Plants?

Instinctively, you’d think to throw deadheaded foxgloves on the compost pile. What’s the harm? It’s just an organic material, right?

Well, foxgloves germinate incredibly easily, and there’s a chance that the flowers you just threw away will germinate into seedlings. This is why deadheaded foxgloves should be disposed of in the trash, not composted.

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Deadhead Your Foxgloves & Keep Them Looking Tidy

To sum up – you should definitely deadhead your foxgloves. Not only does it keep the plant looking maintained, but the plant might reward you with a second bloom if you do it.

Additionally, these plants are aggressive growers, so you have to deadhead them to prevent them from spreading like weeds.

Remember to wear gloves when you do this, though, as foxgloves are poisonous, and the toxins can be absorbed through the skin. When you’re throwing the removed parts of the plant away, throw them in the garbage, as they can easily germinate in the compost pile.

Lucy Young

Meet Lucy, a seasoned gardener with a green thumb and a wealth of experience cultivated over 10 years in her own backyard oasis. Now, she channels her passion into writing, sharing invaluable gardening knowledge on her website. From nurturing plants to expert pruning techniques, Lucy's articles are a treasure trove for both seasoned enthusiasts and budding gardeners. Join her on this leafy journey as she sprinkles insights, tips, and tricks to help you create your own flourishing paradise. Get ready to dig into her gardening wisdom and unlock the secrets of a thriving garden!

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