Foxtail Lilies

Eremurus isabellinus, also known as Foxtail Lily or Desert Candle, is one of the new additions to our flower farm for the 2021 growing season.  They were developed by Sir Michael Foster of Great Shelford, Cambridge, England at the end of the 19th century. We received our roots this afternoon and will put them in the ground and winterize them tomorrow. Eremurus roots are typically planted in late Septermber or October, but my supplier had a hard time getting them to me due to Covid restrictions. Anyway, we will plant these brittle roots similarly to the way that we plant tulips; in trenches that are 6”-8” deep but spaced at least a foot apart so that the roots can easily be spread out then we’ll cover them with several inches of straw to protect them from our winter weather.

Eremurus is a perennial that reaches heights between 3 and 4 feet tall with long, dramatic spikes that bloom around June. It is best to plant these beauties in the back of a garden in organically rich, well drained soils that receive full sun and are protected from strong winds. They need their space so do not overcrowd them.  We are planting False Queen Anne’s Lace around them to create an airy combination. After the flowers have bloomed the foliage dies back and nearly disappears until the next spring.  Once the Eremurus have colonized, it is best to divide them in late summer or early fall. However, the roots will be very brittle, and you should take much care when handling them.

Until next time, keep spreading joy!


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