Growing Eremurus or Foxtail Lily Is Easy If You Use These Pro Tricks

Eremurus or foxtail lily is a member of the lily family but it is a strange plant in that the roots are more like a regular perennial – tuberous roots that are thick and fleshy, spreading out in all directions rather than one single bulb or potato-like tuber.

But this plant is one of the most stunning garden plants you can imagine!

The flowers rise up like thick, fat delphinium blooms to reach 6-7’tall and it is a show-stopper when in bloom.

Blooming in May-June, Eremurus is a full sun lover.

How To Plant

Plant the roots 5 inches deep (to the base of the root).

Take extreme care when planting this root, it resents disturbance – try to be as gentle as you can.

Be gentle

Don’t fold the root, don’'t try to fit it into the hole – make the hole much larger than the root, don’t break the tubers – like I say, be gentle.

How Far Apart

You can plant Eremurus roots 18-24 inches apart for good effect in the garden and use them at the back of the perennial border because the foliage isn’t going to be a winner. 

Planting towards the rear gives you a tall effect very early in the season (rare).


Getting Them Through The Winter In Cold Areas

Mulch with straw or a deep layer of material the first few winters to protect the tender tubers. Once the plant is established, it becomes hardy enough for a zone 4 garden. 

But if you’re going to lose it, you’re going to lose it in the first two winters. 

“False springs” are tough on this plant as they tend to be quick out of the ground once the frost is out of the ground.  A late frost will knock out the blossom to be sure.  A mulch that keeps the ground cool is a great idea.

Varieties You'll See In Garden Centers

Eremurus robustus with its 7’ tall spikes in soft pink are stunning

Ruiter and Shelford Hybrids are shorter (48”) but there is a wider range of flower colours – from salmons, yellows and oranges.

There are varieties being grown such as:

‘Cleopatra', an orange with a darker vein.

'Pinocchio' is lemon-yellow with bright orange stamens.

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