How to Keep Foxgloves from Falling Over

 Foxgloves & delphiniums are two of my favorite flowers.  And both are quintessential cottage garden flowers….bringing a sense of romance to the garden.  But because they grow so tall (up to 3 or 4 feet), they can fall over ~ especially if you’re in an area with high winds, like I am in Central Oregon!  While most discussion on this topic will tell you to stake foxgloves: I feel that stakes interfere with their natural, romantic look.  Here, I’ll show you a different method: as we learn how to keep foxgloves from falling over!

How to Keep Foxgloves from Falling Over, Girl Who Gardens

Behind my outdoor candle stand a light blue delphinium & a tall, purple foxglove. Something is hiding to keep them upright…find out what it is below!

The candle in the lantern above is a flameless candle from Amazon, that’s set on a timer to turn on at the same time each day. Not all candles are meant for outdoors ~ but these withstand both the extreme cold & heat we get, which ranges from -10 degress all the way up to 108!


They’re one of the best purchases I’ve made, & have lasted for several years…at the bargain price of 3 for $19.99!

Flameless Candles

Tiered Fountain


Quick Facts about Foxgloves

  • Botanical Name: Digitalis purpurea. (If you’re a mystery lover, you might recognize digitalis as a popular poison ~ particularly in British murder mysteries. Not to be eaten!)
  • Hardiness Zones: Common foxgloves are hardy in Zones 4 – 9. Certain types of foxgloves can also be grown in Zones 3 & 10.
  • Hardy to: – 30 Degrees Fahrenheit.  Temperatures above 90 degrees can cause foxgloves to wilt.
  • Hard or Easy to Grow?  Pretty easy! They really don’t require much maintenance or fuss.
  • Sun or Shade?  Foxgloves can survive full sun in colder climates; but most will do best in dappled shade & sun.  That’s where my best ones are! Foxgloves in full sun can suffer from dried out soil, which isn’t great for them.  A better choice for full sun & dry soil would be Russian sage, which are extremely drough-tolerant.
  • Watering Needs: Water fairly regularly when first planted. Ideally, foxgloves will be on drip irrigation or near sprinklers; I’ve found that they prefer soil that’s more moist.  But make sure the soil is well-draining!  I’m growing foxgloves in raised beds….but beds that have no bottoms, which makes their drainage excellent.
  • Soil Type:  Foxgloves prefer nutrient-rich, well-draining soil that’s slightly acidic (with a pH of 6.0-7.0). Be sure to mix in plenty of organic matter or mulch when you plant foxgloves. I always add an extra layer of mulch around their base, to hold in the moisture.
  • Fertilize or Not?  If your soil is fertile: you shouldn’t have to fertilize foxgloves.  And if you place mulch around them, it will break down & provide nutrients over time to the plant.  If one of your foxgloves is wilting or stressed, try using a general purpose Vitamin B-1 solution ~ which works well for almost any kind of plant that is stressed.
  • When to Plant In spring or fall, which gives them a chance to establish roots before the hot summer days.  You can also start foxgloves from seeds, & follow the instructions for your garden zone on when to sow.
  • Bloom Time:  Typically, for about 2-3 months in the spring & early summer ~ usually in May & June.  Now I will say, in my Garden Zone 6: if I plant foxgloves in a shadier spot, mine bloom all the way through fall.  If protected from the strong afternoon sun, they tend to do better.
  • Growth Rate:  FAST!!  Foxgloves can grow to 2-5 feet per year.
  • Height:  The maximum height for most foxgloves will be between 3-5 feet.
  • Are Foxgloves Toxic to Plants or Humans? YES!!! Digitalis is a poison, & should be avoided by all pets & humans.
  • Do You Prune Foxgloves?  I never really prune mine (especially the ones that continually bloom).  But if yours is no longer blooming, you can cut it back to encourage more root growth ~ & to possibly get a second bloom that season.
  • Most Likely Problem for Foxgloves:  Due to their height, the most likely problem you’ll have is that they might fall or flop over!  Aside from using stakes, & not planting your foxgloves in a too-windy location: I have a great solution for this below…

How to Stop Foxgloves from Falling Over, Girl Who Gardens

Because they can grow up to 4 feet tall, it can be necessary to support foxgloves so they don’t flop over.

How to Stop Delphiniums from Falling Over, Girl Who Gardens

And the same goes for the equally-tall delphinium…

How to Stop Foxgloves from Falling Over!

This is a one-step solution: instead of using tall garden stakes & tying your foxgloves to them, simply put large, oversized rocks around the base of your foxglove.  This will stop the foxglove from swaying in the wind, & prevent it from falling over. 

Home improvement stores don’t always carry these kind of rocks ~ so you may need to visit your nearby mulch center, & ask for “Oversized Drain Rock.”  Each rock should be about 5-6 inches long, or more.  This will give your foxglove a really firm base, & allow it to develop stronger roots.

How to Stop Foxgloves from Falling Over, Girl Who Gardens

It’s hard to see: but there are two, large rocks at the base of this foxglove. Before, it was completely bent over due to the wind!


The best thing about using large rocks to prevent foxgloves from falling over is that you really can’t see them….they just blend into the landscape. If you don’t love the look of rocks: you try small pavers, or anything with enough weight to keep the foxglove upright.


I just did the same thing for some delphiniums in my front yard that were also falling over…& it worked instantly!


Large River Rocks


How to Stop Foxgloves from Falling Over

I hope this uber-simple tip helps keep all your tall plants upright & healthy this season! 

If you don’t have access to “Oversized Rocks,” you can also head to Amazon & check out their “Large River Rocks.”  This will work too, you’ll just need to use more rocks!

xoxo Noelia

Read Next: How to Create an English Cottage Garden

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How to Stop Foxgloves from Falling Over! Girl Who Gardens