Foxglove Digitalis 'Polkadot Pippa' (Polkadot Series)

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
foxglove 'Polkadot Pippa'


Digitalis 'Polkadot Pippa', commonly known as Foxglove, is a striking perennial known for its bold and beautiful flowering display. The plant has an upright, bushy habit, with lance-shaped, deep green leaves that form a lush, foliage mound at its base. The leaves are slightly hairy and have a somewhat veined appearance that adds texture to the garden. The most eye-catching feature of 'Polkadot Pippa' is its tall flower spikes adorned with tubular flowers that face outward and slightly downward, giving the plant its characteristic enchanting look. The blooms themselves are an exquisite display of color, typically in hues of soft pink, mauve, or light purple. Each flower is intricately spotted with darker, maroon or purple spots inside the throat, giving it the polka-dot effect for which the plant is named. Foxglove 'Polkadot Pippa' is known for its long bloom period, and the individual flowers on the spike bloom successively from the bottom to the top, which creates a prolonged display of charm and color in the garden. As the flowers mature, they can attract a range of pollinators, including bees and hummingbirds, adding to the dynamic life in the garden. After the flowering period, the plant may produce fruit in the form of capsules containing small, numerous seeds; however, 'Polkadot Pippa' is mainly cultivated for its ornamental floral display. It is ideal for adding vertical interest in flower beds, borders, and cottage gardens, where its flowers are one of the highlights of the late spring to early summer season.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Foxglove, Common Foxglove.

    • Common names

      Digitalis 'Polkadot Pippa'

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Foxglove is highly toxic to humans if ingested. All parts of the plant contain cardiac glycosides, which can cause severe poisoning. Symptoms of foxglove poisoning may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, confusion, weakness, irregular heartbeat, and potentially fatal heart failure.

    • To pets

      Foxglove is also highly toxic to pets, including dogs and cats. Ingesting any part of the plant can lead to cardiac glycoside poisoning. Symptoms in pets may include drooling, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dilated pupils, weakness, cardiac arrhythmias, seizures, and possibly death due to heart failure.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      2 ft (0.6 m)

    • Spread

      1 ft (0.3 m)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Attracts pollinators: The plant is particularly attractive to bees, butterflies, and other pollinators, aiding in garden biodiversity.
    • Easy to grow: Foxglove 'Polkadot Pippa' is relatively easy to care for and can thrive with minimal maintenance under the right conditions.
    • Long blooming period: It has a lengthy blooming period that extends through the summer months, providing prolonged color and interest in the garden.
    • Drought-tolerant: Once established, it is quite tolerant of dry conditions, reducing the need for frequent watering.
    • Deer and rabbit resistant: The plant is naturally resistant to browsing by deer and rabbits, making it suitable for gardens troubled by these animals.
    • Height and structure: It adds vertical interest to garden beds and borders, with its tall spikes of blooms creating a dramatic display.
    • Color variety: The 'Polkadot Pippa' variety offers unique and striking spotted flowers that can add a special touch to a variety of landscaping themes.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Foxglove 'Polkadot Pippa' can be used as a natural dye for fabrics, giving them a range of colors from light yellow to green, depending on the mordant used.
    • The plant adds vertical interest in cottage gardens, its tall spikes creating a striking backdrop for lower-growing flowers.
    • Due to its height and structure, foxglove can serve as a natural means of adding privacy to garden spaces when planted in clusters.
    • Its dried seed pods can be used in floral arrangements to add texture and a unique aesthetic to dried bouquets.
    • Because of the distinctive bell-shape flowers, foxglove 'Polkadot Pippa' can be used in educational gardens to teach about plant morphology and pollination.
    • These plants can be incorporated into sensory gardens; their soft foliage and interesting flowers can provide a tactile experience.
    • Gardeners might plant foxglove as a companion plant to attract pollinators which will benefit other plants in the vicinity.
    • Foxglove 'Polkadot Pippa' can be used in fairy gardens and whimsical garden designs to evoke a sense of magic and enchantment.
    • As an inspiration for artists and photographers, its striking appearance can be a muse for various forms of art, from painting to macro photography.
    • Foxglove can also be used as an informal seasonal hedge in larger landscapes where its full height and density can provide structure.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Foxglove is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Foxglove is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Healing: The plant's most common common name is Foxglove. Foxglove is associated with medicinal properties as Digitalis, the genus name, is used in heart medicine.
    • Protection: In folklore, the bell-shaped flowers of the Foxglove were thought to protect from evil and have a connection with fairies and woodland spirits.
    • Insincerity: Because of the plant's toxic nature, historically it has also represented insincerity or deceit.
    • Intuition: The Foxglove's association with fairies and folklore also imbues it with a symbolism of intuition and the ability to pierce through illusions.

Every 1-2 weeks
500 - 2500 Lux
Every 1-2 years
Spring-Early Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Foxglove 'Polkadot Pippa' prefers consistent moisture, so water the plant when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Weekly watering is generally sufficient, but during hot, dry periods, more frequent watering may be necessary. Provide enough water to moisten the soil to a depth of about 6 to 8 inches each time, ensuring that it reaches the plant's deep roots. Over the course of a month, this might translate to about 1 to 1.5 gallons of water, depending on the size of the plant and the weather conditions.

  • sunLight

    Foxglove 'Polkadot Pippa' thrives best in partial shade to full sun. The ideal spot for this plant would be one where it can receive morning sunlight and dappled shade or protection from intense afternoon sun, especially in hotter climates.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Foxglove 'Polkadot Pippa' can tolerate a wide range of temperatures, but prefers to grow in conditions between 60°F and 75°F. This plant can survive minimum temperatures down to around 40°F, but should not be exposed to temperatures below freezing.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning Foxglove 'Polkadot Pippa' is mostly about deadheading spent flowers to encourage a second flush of blooms. Prune off the flower spikes once the blooms fade, and do this throughout its blooming season. In late fall, cut back the foliage to ground level after it dies back to keep the plant tidy and to help prevent disease.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Foxglove 'Polkadot Pippa' thrives in rich, well-drained soil with a pH range of 6.0 to 7.5. A good soil mix for this plant would include loamy garden soil, peat, compost, and perlite to improve drainage. Regular incorporation of organic matter will help maintain soil fertility.

  • plantRepotting

    Foxglove 'Polkadot Pippa', being a biennial or short-lived perennial, may not require frequent repotting. If grown in containers, repot every 1-2 years or when the plant outgrows its current pot.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Foxglove 'Polkadot Pippa' prefers moderate humidity levels, but as a garden plant, it is generally adaptable to the ambient humidity found outdoors. Indoor plants may need some humidity adjustment to mimic these conditions.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Provide bright indirect light and keep soil moist.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in partial sun, shelter from strong winds, moist soil.

    • Hardiness zone

      4-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Commonly known as Foxglove 'Polkadot Pippa', this plant begins its life cycle as a seed which, when sown in fertile, well-drained soil and given the right light and temperature conditions, will germinate and sprout. The seedlings grow into a rosette of leaves at ground level, during which time they develop a root system to absorb nutrients and water from the soil. As the plant matures, it develops a tall spike that carries the distinctive bell-shaped flowers, ranging in color from purples to pinks with speckled throats, which are attractive to bees and hummingbirds. After pollination, typically by these birds and insects, the flowers will develop into small capsules containing numerous tiny seeds. The plant is biennial, often flowering in its second year, and after setting seed, the parent plant will die. To continue its life cycle, the seeds must disperse and find suitable conditions to germinate and start the process anew.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • Digitalis 'Polkadot Pippa', more commonly known as Foxglove, is typically propagated from seed. The best time to sow Foxglove seeds is in late spring to early summer. To propagate, lightly press the seeds into a well-draining soil mix, avoiding covering them completely as they require light to germinate. Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged and place the pot in a warm area with indirect sunlight. Germination usually occurs within 2 to 3 weeks. Once seedlings have developed their second set of true leaves, they can be carefully transplanted into individual pots or their final location in the garden. It's important to handle the small seedlings gently to avoid damage.