By Nikki Phipps
(Author of The Bulb-o-licious Garden)
Foxtail lilies (Eremurus elwesii), also known as desert candles, make stunning attractions in the garden. Their tapered spikes of orange, yellow, pink or white flowers can add interest to mixed beds and borders. Unlike other lilies, the foxtail lily plant has unusual tuberous roots rather than a single foxtail lily bulb. Below you will find more on how to plant foxtail lilies and foxtail lily care.
How to Plant Foxtail Lilies
When planting the foxtail lily bulb, choose a location in well-draining soil that has been enriched with compost or other organic matter. While adequate drainage is important with these plants, also keep in mind that they do not like overly dry situation either.
Planting of foxtail lily flower usually takes place in autumn (around September). The tuberous roots, which are extremely brittle, should be planted about 4 inches deep with at least 2-3 feet of spacing between plants. For greater results, make the planting hole wide, leaving the bud or crown facing up. Also keep the crown within a couple inches of the soil surface but cover the remaining tuberous roots well.
Foxtail Lily Care
Once established, foxtail lilies require little care with exception to watering. In windy sites, the plants may need staking.
Winter protection may also be needed, especially in cooler climates. Therefore, it’s usually recommended that plants be heavily mulched with straw, leaves, grass clippings, or other suitable material each fall. This is also important following planting.
These plants sometimes take a while to fully establish but once they do, they will produce attractive flowers and may even reseed themselves. Those grown from seed, however, take much longer to produce blooms.
While they do not appreciate disturbance, if overcrowding occurs, the foxtail lily flower can be lifted and divided during the autumn planting season.
Common Foxtail Lily Plant Problems
In addition, they may be prone to root rot if the soil is allowed to become too moist by poor watering practices or overcrowding. With this fungal disease, plant leaves will often turn brown prior to blooming. Keeping plants dry and providing adequate air circulation can help alleviate problems. The use of copper fungicides can also aid with prevention.