How to Harvest Foxglove Seeds

The spectacular bloom of a foxglove plant
The spectacular bloom of a foxglove plant (Image: foxglove image by david purday from

Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) is a biennial, meaning it blooms the second year after it sprouts from seed. However, there are some new varieties, such as the Camelot series, that bloom the first year. All foxglove plants die after blooming and setting seed. Foxglove produces tall flower spikes as high as 5 feet with bell-shaped blossoms opening along the stem from the bottom up. It grows best in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 9. In warmer locations, foxglove needs some protection from the hottest afternoon sun.

Things You'll Need

  • Small paper bag
  • Foxglove plant

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Choose the best foxglove plant from which to collect seeds. The plant should display desirable traits, such as preferred height or flower color.

Watch the foxglove flower as it blooms from the bottom up and observe the bottom flowers drying up first. The seeds develop inside the dried flower parts. If you wait until the entire flower is dry, you will lose the opportunity to harvest the seeds from the spent bottom blooms, as they will already have spilled into the garden.

Examine the bottom blooms as they dry after the blooming period. When they are brown and brittle, the seeds are ready for harvest.

Hold a small paper bag under the dried seedpod with one hand. With the other hand, gently squeeze and crumble the dried seed covering. The tiny seeds should fall into the bag. Repeat as each flower pod dries when the flower is finished blooming. You must wait until each seedpod is ready or the seeds are not mature. You can also pull off the spent and dried blossoms and squeeze out the seeds, but you may lose some of the tiny seeds.

Store the bag of foxglove seeds in a dry and cool — 60 to 75 degree Fahrenheit — location until the correct time to plant, which is the fall or spring depending on the variety and location.

Tips & Warnings

  • All parts of the foxglove plant are poisonous if consumed.


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