How to deadhead foxgloves

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Deadheading is essential to maintain good plant health. It’s a simple task that should be done to ensure your foxgloves continue to look good throughout the season. Nothing looks worse than droopy, faded foxgloves. Failing to deadhead your flowers can make your garden look bedraggled and could stop your plant from producing more flowers in the future.

Foxglove plants produce beautiful flowers in various shades from pale yellows to vibrant purples, they are sure to brighten up any garden.

Foxgloves, also known as bloody bells, are a mainstay of the cottage garden.

They liven up borders and are great for adding height and interest, not to mention they are loved by bees.

So, how do you deadhead these delicate flowers to ensure they thrive?

What is deadheading?

Deadheading flowers encourages a second bloom, most annuals and many perennial flowers will continue to bloom throughout the season if they are deadheaded.

Deadheading is the term used by gardeners to describe the removal of faded flowers from plants.

Deadheading maintains good plant health, encourages more flowers to grow and can help stop the plant become diseased.

How to deadhead foxgloves

You should deadhead foxgloves when the flowers start to droop and fade.

If you miss the opportunity to deadhead your flowers when this happens, don’t worry you can remove dead or brown flowers too, but it is best to do it sooner rather than later.

You will have to be gentle when you deadhead foxgloves as these flowers can be quite delicate.

You do not want to damage other flowers around your foxgloves which are still in bloom.

When three-quarters of the blooms have faded cut the flower spikes back.

As these are delicate flowers it is best to use a pair of small scarp scissors and cut off the faded flowers.

You should cut the flowers from the stem at a 45-degree angle.

The cut should be half a cm above a set of leaves to encourage new foliage.

With foxgloves, you should also cut off the tops of the spikes to encourage new growth.

Make sure you sterilise your cutting implements, this may sound like a faff but it will help reduce the risk of transmitting diseases to the plant.

Don’t put your cut foxgloves into the compost as they can grow here easily.

It is important with foxgloves that you deadhead them regularly.

If you fail to remove faded blooms they will quickly die and go to seed.

As this plant is so prolific with seeding if you do not deadhead them often in a year or two every corner of your garden could be overrun with these plants.

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