I have to admit, Foxglove is one of my favorite flowers, and I often use it in the garden. It can grow wild or added to your gardens for color and interest. Bright colors and it’s upright stem full of bell-shaped flowers will attract bees and butterflies.
BUT the flowers, berries, leaves and stems are extremely poisonous.
This is the poison plant that would make Agatha Christie smile. It is common in most old-fashioned gardens, especially shade gardens. And it’s leaves can be mistaken for borage, an herb that is used in salads, teas or for medicinal purposes. Do you see where this could be a problem?
Used in the proper way, Foxglove can provide live saving medicines: digitalis is a heart medicine. But in unknowing or evil hands, Foxglove can kill.
The raw digitalis in Foxglove will have the opposite effect of working with an ailing heart. It will slow down the rate of the heartbeat, causing a person to become nauseated, weak, and dizzy. With too much, or over an extended time, Foxglove consumption will slow down the heart to the point of stopping it, causing death.
You can enjoy the beautiful flowers of Foxglove, if you remember the dangers of this plant. Do not ingest any part of the plant. Be cautious with animals and small children, be sure to keep them away from the plants. Teach them to enjoy the garden’s beauty without touching the tempting flowers.
If you ever think you have ingested any part of Foxglove, get immediate medical attention.
Does your hubby, son, or daughter have a favorite shirt or blanket. One that you know you could never throw out? No matter how thin and faded, no matter how many holes? Trust me, you don’t want to throw them out!
Sometimes it’s not only an article of cloth that can’t be thrown away. Some have plants that mean just as much to them. The plant might be tall and lanky or down to its last few spindly leaves, but they would never throw it away. Nor would they forgive you for doing it.
Plants are living, breathing things, and that alone will keep some from discarding the poor things. I’ve heard it more times than I can count; “I just can’t throw a plant away.”
And then there are the plants that hold a special place in the owner’s heart. Maybe it was a gift for a special occasion, like the birth of a child or an anniversary. Perhaps it was from a special holiday (Poinsettias and Lilies spring to mind).
Some plants are more about the reason we received them than the actual plant itself. A last gift from a special person, the sympathy gift over the loss of a loved one. Getting rid of these plants can seem like you’re getting rid of a tangible thread to the person.
So what do you do? With all this emotion tied to a plant, the guilt over its loss can be awful. First, you have to realize, plants have a life span. And just like humans, you can’t determine what that will be.
I suggest you baby these plants and enjoy them for as long as you can. Be sure to take care of them properly; water, fertilize, clean, trim and even repot as needed. Some may outgrow their space inside, maybe you can pot them into a larger pot and put them in the garden. Enjoy them for as long as you can, but don’t beat yourself up when the plant outlives itself. Remember the reason for the gift and then say goodbye. Perhaps a trip to the garden center will help to find a replacement plant to pot into the original container and hold a place of honor in your home.