Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) self-sows easily in the garden, but you can also save seeds from mature plants. Collecting foxglove seeds is a great way to propagate new plants for planting in other areas or for sharing with gardening family and friends. Read on for a few easy tips on saving foxglove seeds.
How to Save Foxglove Seeds
Foxglove seeds form in pods at the base of wilted blooms when flowering ends in midsummer. The pods, which turn dry and brown and look a little like turtles’ beaks, ripen at the bottom of stems first. Foxglove seed harvesting should begin when the pods begin to crack. Always collect seeds on a dry day after morning dew has evaporated.
Don’t wait too long because the pods will soon turn down and the tiny seeds will fall onto the ground. If you’re concerned about missing the opportunity for harvesting at the optimum time, you can cover the ripening blooms with cheesecloth secured to the stem with a paperclip. The cheesecloth will hold any seeds that drop from the pod.
When you’re ready to harvest the flower seeds, just cut the stems from the plant with scissors. Then, you can easily remove the cheesecloth and empty the seeds into a bowl. Pick out the stems and other plant debris or sift the seeds through a kitchen strainer. Alternatively, if you need to harvest the pods before they’re completely dry, drop them into a pie pan and set them aside in a dry location. Once the pods are completely dry and brittle, shake out the seeds.
At that point, it’s best to plant the seeds as soon as possible. However, if you want to save the seeds for planting later, put them in an envelope and store them in a dry, well-ventilated room until planting time.