Eremurus update: foxtail lilies

At the end of last year I posted about eremurus, with photos of the strange, deep-sea-creature-like roots and hoped that they would settle down and flower for me this spring. They were planted among the roses and my wish was that they would provide some height and glamour early in the season. I took out wide, shallow planting holes to accommodate the wide roots and planted them with some alliums for interest lower down. I am pleased to report that they have delighted me with flowers.

Eremurus robustus, now 2.4m and still growing!

Eremurus robustus, now 2.4m and still growing!

Eremurus are a bit of a risk, if only because of their price, but most grew despite the wet winter and spring. They need good drainageĀ  but they also like rich soil and they do not do well on poor, parched soils despite their preference for a summer baking. They also hate having their roots broken and this can be a problem in herbaceous borders where they get disturbed as you divide and replant the other plants around them. So a rose bed is the ideal spot in many ways – they benefit from the generous feeding and they can be left to grow without you having to dig around them.

The wind has caused a bit of a lean on some

The wind has caused a bit of a lean on some

The glorious Eremurus robustus can be pink or white but I am delighted to say that these are all pink and they really give s spectacular look to the border – out-spiring the lupins and foxgloves!

Shorter but still magnificent: Eremurus himalaicus

Shorter but still magnificent: Eremurus himalaicus

Eremurus himalaicus is shorter, only reaching 2m but it is still showy and bloomed slightly earlier. I have also planted the orange ‘Cleopatra’ in another location and this is almost dwarf at about 1.2m but this still has another couple of weeks before it will bloom. I always recommend ‘Cleopatra’ as a beginner’s eremurus because I have always found it the easiest to grow and it is modestly priced.

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