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Eremurus Cultivation Instructions

The common names of this plant, foxtail lilies and desert candles, describe the appearance of the flower spikes, bushy like the animal's tail, and the preferred types of environments, sunny and dry. These names are often more easily remembered than the botanical one, eremurus.

Whatever you call these tall, dramatic perennials, they are outstanding plants for warm weather gardens. Find a location where the soil drains well. If there are still water puddles 5-6 hours after a hard rain, scout out another site. While foxtail lilies aren't fussy about soil, they will not survive in soggy soil or standing water. Site your foxtail lilies where they will receive full sun. These plants will grow in light shade but develop much stronger stems in bright sunlight.

Gently tuck your eremurus roots into a hole that is 5 to 6" deep and 10-12" across, fanning them out and pointing them slightly downwards. Space plants about a foot apart. Plant carefully as the roots can break if not handled gently. After planting, water well, gently soaking the soil and settling it around the roots. Root growth will begin in the fall.

When in bloom, feel free to cut the dramatic, long lasting flower stalks for striking bouquets. Here's your chance to use that gorgeous, tall vase you were given as a gift! After blooming has finished for the season feel free to trim off the flower spikes but leave the foliage in place. The leaves will gather sunlight, create food through photosynthesis and strengthen the bulb for the future. By mid summer the leaves will yellow and die back as the plant slips into dormancy. Foliage may be removed at this point. Marking the spot with a small stake is recommended to ensure that the roots are not disturbed. Fresh growth will appear again in late fall or spring, depending on the zone where you gardening cycle.


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