Foxglove vs Larkspur: What Are The Differences?

A colorful garden can be one of the most rewarding sights for any plant lover. It becomes even more special when the plants chosen are not only visually stunning but also invite delightful visitors like bees and butterflies. In this guide, we dive into the world of two such enchanting plants: Foxglove and Larkspur.

Each boasting of its unique aesthetics and properties, these plants can bring vibrancy, height, and a sense of wilderness to your garden while offering a haven for local pollinators. From their growth habits to the ideal growing conditions, we’ll explore everything you need to know about these two captivating plants.

Foxglove vs Larkspur: What Are The Differences?

Foxglove (Digitalis) and Larkspur (Delphinium) are both beautiful flowering plants, yet they have many differences. Foxglove is known for its tall spikes covered with bell-shaped flowers, whereas Larkspur features racemes of blossoms that can create an impressive vertical accent. Foxgloves tend to have a softer, woodland aesthetic with flowers in shades of pink, purple, white, and yellow.

On the other hand, Larkspur plants are known for their vibrant, often deep-blue flowers. The foliage of Larkspur is also different, featuring deeply cut, palm-shaped leaves compared to the softer, spirally arranged leaves of Foxglove. Moreover, while foxgloves are known for being biennials or short-lived perennials, most Larkspurs are perennials.

Which Plant Is Easier To Grow: Foxglove Or Larkspur?

When considering ease of growth, Foxgloves are generally considered easier to grow than Larkspurs. Foxgloves are not particularly fussy about soil, tolerating a wide range of soil conditions, although they do prefer well-drained soil. They can also thrive in full sun to partial shade.

Larkspurs, while not overly complicated, do require a bit more attention. They prefer fertile, well-drained soil and full sun. They also often require staking due to their height and the weight of their blooms. Additionally, Larkspur plants may need some protection from strong winds.

Are Foxglove And Larkspur Annuals Or Perennials?

In general, Foxgloves are biennials or short-lived perennials, meaning they have a two-year lifecycle or live for only a few years. The plant grows and forms leaves in the first year, blooms in the second year, and then often dies. However, some varieties self-seed, which can give the impression of them being perennials.

In contrast, Larkspurs are predominantly perennials, meaning they can live for more than two years. They bloom in the late spring and early summer, die back in the winter, and then return in the spring. However, some varieties of Larkspur are annuals, completing their lifecycle within a single year.

Do Foxglove And Larkspur Attract Bees And Butterflies?

Both Foxglove and Larkspur are fantastic for attracting pollinators like bees and butterflies. Foxgloves, with their tubular bell-shaped flowers, are particularly loved by bees, which can easily crawl inside the blooms. Butterflies are also attracted to the vibrant colors of the Foxglove.

Similarly, Larkspur is a favorite among bees, butterflies, and even hummingbirds. Its nectar-rich flowers are a great food source for these pollinators. Planting either of these in your garden can help support local pollinator populations.

Which Plant Has More Vibrant Flowers: Foxglove Or Larkspur?

While both plants have their own charm, if you’re looking for intense color, Larkspur might be the plant for you. Known for its bright, often deep-blue flowers, Larkspur can also come in shades of pink, white, and purple. The blooms are densely packed, creating a striking display of color.

Foxgloves, while also beautiful, have a more subdued color palette. Their bell-shaped flowers come in soft shades of pink, purple, white, and yellow. They provide a more understated elegance compared to the bold colors of Larkspur.

Can Foxglove And Larkspur Tolerate Hot Temperatures?

Both Foxglove and Larkspur prefer cooler climates and may struggle in areas with very hot summers. Foxglove can tolerate heat to a certain extent, but it may not flower as well, and the plants generally appreciate some shade during the hottest part of the day.

Larkspur also prefers cooler temperatures. In areas with hot summers, it may go dormant until cooler weather returns. Both plants appreciate regular watering during hot and dry periods to help them thrive.

What Are The Ideal Growing Conditions For Foxglove And Larkspur?

Foxglove prefers well-drained, moist soil and can grow in full sun to partial shade. It is relatively adaptable and can thrive in a wide range of conditions, but it prefers a slightly acidic to neutral pH. Foxglove will generally do well in USDA zones 4-10.

Larkspur prefers fertile, well-drained soil and full sun. It often requires staking due to its height and prefers slightly alkaline soil. Larkspur typically does well in USDA zones 3-7. Both plants appreciate a good layer of mulch to help retain soil moisture.

How Tall Do Foxglove And Larkspur Typically Grow?

Both Foxglove and Larkspur can reach impressive heights, making them excellent choices for adding vertical interest to a garden. Foxgloves typically range from 1-5 feet tall, depending on the variety. They are known for their long, towering stems covered in bell-shaped flowers.

Larkspur can reach heights of 3-8 feet, again depending on the variety. It features tall, erect spikes densely packed with flowers, which can create a commanding presence in the garden.

Are Foxglove And Larkspur Prone To Any Specific Diseases Or Pests?

Like any plants, Foxglove and Larkspur can be susceptible to certain diseases and pests. Foxgloves can be prone to issues like powdery mildew, leaf spots, and crown rot. Slugs and snails are common pests.

Larkspurs can be susceptible to fungal diseases, especially in humid conditions or if the plants are too densely planted. Pests such as aphids and slugs may also be a problem. Regular monitoring and good garden hygiene can help manage these issues.

Can Foxglove And Larkspur Be Grown In Containers?

Both Foxglove and Larkspur can be successfully grown in containers, making them a great choice for patio or balcony gardens. Make sure to choose a container with good drainage to prevent waterlogged soil. Because of their height, they can serve as excellent focal points in container gardens.

It’s important to note, however, that due to their size, both plants will need a large enough container to accommodate their growth. Also, regular watering and feeding will be necessary as nutrients can be depleted in containers more quickly than in the ground.