fox tail lilies (eremurus)

maylingsmomNovember 23, 2010

I ordered these and want them to have the best chance to grow, bloom, and multiply. I live in the Deep South (zone 8) and have clay soil. I am willing to dig out the clay and replace or just amend. Do any of you grow these and what have you had to do?

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I live near Dallas and tried them several years ago. I have unusually deep soil. Not a one made it. I still remember that they were very unusual rhizomes (?) Maybe I should have soaked them before planting. I hope you get some great answers. they are stunning!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 9:51AM
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They like a good garden soil with ample vegetative matter. The bulb? looks like a star fish, and is easily damaged. The roots grow out from the ends as much as three feet. they are shallow rooted and like frequent summer water. They take a year or two to establish like many perennials so do not be discouraged with the first years bloom or maybe not. If you cultivate around the plants you are likely to damage those shallow roots, so be careful with your weeding. Good luck. Al

    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 10:34AM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

I, too, have eyed these beauties in catalogs. However, according to the Southern Living Garden Book, they require long cold winters, and absolutely perfect drainage. We could supply the drainage with alot of work, but the cold winters? Not likely. If you have good luck with them, PLEASE post here! :)

    Bookmark   November 26, 2010 at 1:22PM
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Key to success is good WINTER drainage.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2010 at 9:49PM
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Eremurus do not require a particularly cold winter - they are listed well into zone 9 and grow in very mild winter parts of SoCal with ease. They are native to dry desert areas of western and central Asia (Pakistan, Turkistan, Iran, etc.).

What they DO require is absolutely excellent drainage, espcially in winter. Heavy clay soils will NOT be to their liking. Since the bulk of our rainfall in western WA comes in winter, I've found that a very sandy loam works best. And be very careful handling the roots - they are easily bruised or damaged and that can lead to rot. Once planted, they do not want to be disturbed and as Al states, watch carefully with regards to cultivation in the root area.

They really are some of the most stunning plants once established and in bloom. My favorite is one of the isabellinus hybrids, 'Cleopatra' - a rich, glowing, orange flower.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 11:26AM
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