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How to get rid of foxglove

Updated February 21, 2017

Foxglove is often planted as an ornamental for its delicate trumpet-like flowers and easy-growing attitude. However, foxglove is not without problems. Foxglove can fall prey to a number of persistent or fatal fungal diseases. Even healthy foxglove can be problematic, and foxglove's leaves are poisonous if ingested or touched. In some areas, foxglove grows aggressively and is classified as a noxious weed. Fortunately, foxglove is easy to get rid of by applying control methods for one or two seasons.

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  1. Raze the stand of foxglove. A lawnmower will take care of large dense stands. If at all possible, try to tackle the stand before it flowers. Continue to cut the stand back as soon as it reaches two to three inches in height. Do not let the plant flower.

  2. Collect all cut all of the plant material, and then bag it and throw it away. Do not leave it in the field. Foxglove seed may still mature after it is cut from the plant.

  3. Spray foxglove with a Picloram herbicide in the fall. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for application rates and amounts. Re-spray any regrowth at the interval dictated by the manufacturer throughout the rest of fall. Wait until next fall (if there is any regrowth) to spray again. Herbicide is only minimally effective on foxglove in other seasons.

  4. Plant native, quick-growing ornamental plants or ground cover in the area once the foxglove is no longer present. The new plants will prevent the foxglove from establishing itself in the area again. Keep the soil fertile and moist to keep the new plants strong, which will make the soil too moist and fertile to be attractive to foxglove.

  5. Tip

    Do not uproot the foxglove plants or till the soil. This will push foxglove seed to the surface where it will germinate readily. Always wear long clothing and gloves when tackling the foxglove stand. The plant's toxins can be absorbed through the skin.

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Things You'll Need

  • Picloram herbicide
  • Lawnmower

About the Author

Based in Houston, Texas, Meg Butler is a professional farmer, house flipper and landscaper. When not busy learning about homes and appliances she's sharing that knowledge. Butler began blogging, editing and writing in 2000. Her work has appered in the "Houston Press" and several other publications. She has an A.A. in journalism and a B.A. in history from New York University.

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