Optimum Planting Time: September – November
Flowers: June - July
Height: 1.2m (47in)
Welcome to our gardening blog, where we'll explore the wonders of the Foxtail Lily, also known as Eremurus. These stunning plants boast long, radiant orange flower plumes and originate from dry grasslands and semi-desert conditions. To ensure they thrive, it's essential to grow them in well-drained soil under full sun. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to cultivate and care for these magnificent plants.
- When you receive your Eremurus crowns, they may be brittle, so start by soaking them in tepid water for a couple of hours to rehydrate before planting.
- Prepare the planting area by digging in high-quality garden compost to improve drainage.
- Using a spade, create a shallow hole about 15-20cm deep and wider than the tentacle-like roots.
- On heavy soils, construct a small mound of grit in the center of the hole, placing the Eremurus crown on it. Allow the roots to drape naturally downwards and ensure the center of the crown sits just below the soil surface.
- To mark the crown's position and provide support later if needed, insert a cane into the ground.
- Carefully cover the crown with soil, taking precautions not to damage the delicate roots, and water it in.
- Space the crowns 30-90cm apart, considering the final size and vigor of the plant.
Growing Eremurus in Containers
- Although Eremurus are not ideal for container growth due to their crown size, you can still use a large container that accommodates the crown without damaging the roots and is heavy enough to prevent the tall flower stem from becoming top-heavy and overbalancing.
- Fill the container with a mix of 50% compost and 50% grit. Place the crown on the compost with its roots spread out, then cover it with the compost/grit mix.
- Water the container thoroughly and position it in a sunny, sheltered spot.
Caring for Eremurus
- During late spring and summer, feed the Foxtail Lily with a high potassium fertilizer such as sulphate of potash or tomato feed once a month.
- Water the plants regularly throughout the growing period to prevent them from drying out when in leaf. Once the plant becomes dormant, stop watering.
- To protect early shoots from frost, consider covering them with fleece or cloches.
- Tall Eremurus might need staking, but be cautious not to damage the roots when inserting cane supports.
- After the flowering season is over, trim the flower spike at the base and allow the foliage to die naturally before removing it.
- Mature Eremurus clumps can be lifted and divided once the flowers and foliage have withered. Eremurus are usually disease-free, but young shoots may be susceptible to slug and snail attacks. You can use environmentally-friendly slug pellets or nematode biological control as deterrents to protect your plants from these pests.
By following these guidelines, you can enjoy the beauty and splendor of the Foxtail Lily, or Eremurus, in your garden or container settings. Happy gardening!