Eremurus the ‘Foxtail Lily’
With tall flower spikes to a metre and a half tall, Foxtail Lilies are one of the showiest perennials available. And if you get cool winters, they are easy to grow.
A clump forming perennial Eremurus or foxtail lily do prefer a well drained position in sun to semi shade. The tall nature of these plants, growing to 1-2m depending on species make Eremurus an ideal candidate for the rear of the perennial border.
Foxtail lilies flower in spring, tall spikes of fragrant flowers make them a worthwhile addition to the garden border. Some of the more forgiving varieties are the Shelford hybrids, they seem to cope with less than ideal conditions.
Soil and sun are the two main aspects of care. When you buy Foxtail Lilies they are sold a tubers, they should include planting instructions.
One points to consider is that Foxtail Lilies do not like competition, they do not like to be planted with other plants, and do not like weeds. When you buy the tubers, they look a little like starfish, and they are a little fragile, we have heard stories that tell us if you break one on the roots the plant willdie, we fond this not to be true, unless you are planting the tuber in very wet soils.
Good drainage is essential as is full sun, you can water them while in full growth, the best time is when the flower stalk is forming, in fact this is the only time we would water them. They will die right back after flowering, and they do need to be left alone. After 3 – 4 years, its time to dig and divide, and these wonderful plants will have multiplied.
Summary Foxtail Lily Care Instructions.
- Soil – You will need a fertile, well drained soil.
- Position – Full sun to a little afternoon shade is best. A position out of strong winds is also desirable.
- Plant the tubers just below the surface of the soil, 2 cms or so.
- Tubers should be planted at around 50 cm apart.
- Water in well with a liquid seaweed fertiliser.
- Once active growth commences, keep foxtail lilies moist.
- Mulch around the plants in autumn, leaving the crown free from mulch.
We suggest using support hoops for foxtail lilies especially in windy positions.
Foxtail lilies will put out offsets, and they can be divided when dormant.
Species and varieties
Eremerus or ‘foxtail lilies, such as bungei, robustus, stenophyllus and ‘moneymaker’ are a deciduous perennial that will grow to from 2m to 3m depending on species and conditions. Sometimes called ‘desert candles’ the tall flower spikes appear in spring to summer.
Eremurus himalaicus is the ‘Giant Foxtail Lily’, reaching around 2 metres in height.
Foxtail Lilies or Eremurus are available for sale from the following nurseries.
'Sylvan Vale' 375 Olinda Creek Rd, Kalorama, VIC.3766
Including a large range of Rare and unusual bulbs, corms and perennials
357 Monbulk Road SILVAN VIC 3795
Guaranteed "garden worthy" bulbs, plants and perennials. Visit the website to browse our large range of daffodils or request the latest free catalogue.
52 Rodd St Canowindra NSW 2804
An online nursery specialising in drought and frost tolerant perennials and fragrant, edible and herbs.