How to Grow Erinus Plants in your Garden

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Fairy Foxglove, Alpine Balsam, and Starflower

Depending on the species they bloom from the end of winter to summer and carry flat flowers of pink, white or red.

Their small size makes them ideal to grow in rock gardens or in the gaps of drystone walls.

A common name of Erinus is Fairy Foxglove.

Erinus alpinus
Erinus alpinus by peganum.

Erinus Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Fairy Foxglove, Starflower, Alpine Balsam.
Life Cycle: Hardy perennial.
Height: 3 to 6 inches (8 to 15 cm).
Native: Europe.

Growing Region: Zones 4 to 9.
Flowers: Species dependent: Late winter and/or spring and/or summer.
Flower Details: White, red, violet, pink. Flat. Massed. Small.
Foliage: Tiny. Green. Grey-green.

Sow Outside: Surface.  Early spring. Spacing 3 to 8 inches (8 to 20 cm).
Sow Inside: Germination time: 3 weeks to one month. Temperature: 65 to 75°F (18 to 24°C). Seven or eight weeks in advance. Transplant outdoors following the last frost.

Requirements and care: Full sunlight, afternoon shade on hot areas. Good drainage. Sandy, gritty soil. Supply mulch of rock chip or gravel in order to improve drainage. Short-lived. Propagate: Take Erinus cuttings at the start of summer. Divide in the spring in cold areas and autumn elsewhere. Seeds are not usually true.

How to Grow Fairy Foxglove (Erinus)

Seeds of Erinus should be sown on the soil surface at the start of spring. Fairy foxgloves like to grow in a sunny to partially shaded part of the garden that has good drainage.

The soil should be gritty or sandy in nature. If you prefer to start the growing process of Fairy Foxglove indoors then they should be started off about 8 weeks before due to be put in the garden (following the last frost of spring).

They typically take about three to four weeks to germinate at a temperature of 17 to 21 degrees Centigrade.

Caring for Erinus Plants in the Garden

If you require more Fairy Foxgloves then they should be divided in the spring. It is best not to self seed Erinus plants, as the plants used in gardens are cultivated to be as they are, so if they self their offspring do not stay true and are not as attractive.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Erinus plants. Updated September 2020.