The Beauty of Foxtail Lilies

It’s a new month, a new day and, yes, I have a new plant love. This time in the form of the beautiful foxtail lilies (Eremurus). I’ve been aware of these plants for several years but always thought them difficult to grow – I have no idea where I got that idea. Anyway, that’s besides the point, when I was shopping last autumn for bulbs I came across a few foxtail lilies for sale and though more expensive than the cheapo daffodils I was buying, I decided to try one. And – wow, I’m glad I did!

 

 

Like many exotic looking plants, it’s easy to think that growing foxtail lilies is rather difficult. Nothing could be further from the truth. In all honesty, I just popped it into the back of a border, took careful attention not to accidentally uproot it, but did little else. They need a well-draining yet rich, loamy soil in full sun. Mine has well-draining, partly-rich soil in a partially shady area – and it’s done beautifully.

Aside from the flower spike, another great thing about foxtail lilies is that, like alliums, they have a few strappy leaves of green at their base and then the stalk rises high into the air. It means that the flowers can poke above other border plants whilst the leaves are hidden away – making them ideal for the middle or back of borders. It is a good idea to allow some light to get to the leaves, however, as these are what fuel the plant for next year’s show. You could either cut back some of the lower plants when the flower is dying off or you could lift the bulb, plant it up in a pot and leave it until the leaves shrivel away. That way, the leaves get to do their photosynthesis magic so you great a great flower every year.

Foxtail lilies

Foxtail lilies have this stunning flower spike.





Foxtail lilies

The full flower spike






foxtail lilies

Lovely tiny flowers create a stunning display

 

If you’re able to get some of these foxtail lilies, I highly recommend them. They are a little more expensive than the average bulb. This variety (Cleopatra) was £2.49 PER bulb. For an amazing show, you’d have to spend £20 or £30. And, as far as I can discover, they don’t divide quickly, only needing lifting every 3 or 4 years.

But, if you can get these to grow, they’re just splendid!

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Hi,

I'm Geoff, and I'm a plant hoarder.

Like magpies collect bright shiny things, I can't resist plants. An exquisite flower, soft ferny foliage or a beautiful majestic tree - I love them all!

Here, I'll indulge in all things flora and share my passion. Join me as I develop my garden and hoard more plants without apology.