Growing Eremurus (Foxtail Lilies)

Eremurus roots

Latin Name Pronunciation: err-eh-mure'-us

Plant 6 in. deep, 12-15" apart, in full sun and fertile, well-drained soil. Sandy soil enriched with compost or leafmold is ideal. Good drainage is essential year-round, but especially in the winter.

The tuberous roots (which resembler a starfish) are brittle, so handle them carefully. Dig a wide, shallow hole and plant with the pointed bud in the center facing up. In a windy site, the stems of tall varieties may need staking. If, after several years, plants become crowded, lift the roots carefully in fall with a digging fork, tease them apart and replant.

Apply winter protection in the fall, such as cut-up lengths of evergreen boughs.

On arrival, bulbs may appear spongy and somewhat discolored. This is normal and does not mean the bulbs are not viable. Only if they are powdery dry are they not worth planting.

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