Cottage Gardening forum: Eremurus- Foxtail Lily

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Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Jun 27, 2011 6:04 PM CST
The tall, dramatic spikes of Eremurus are truly a spectacle to behold. For years I thought of them as exotic novelties that surely wouldn't grow without great effort in Kentucky. After years of coveting those amazing blooms that looked so other worldly to me, I finally ordered a few from a half price sale from Brent and Becky's. That was about 6 years ago, and they have performed beautifully, with little care.

Each root has developed into clump now, and one of them produced 11 blooms this spring. Other perennials have been encroaching on their space, and I figured it was about time to divide them. The foliage is dying off now, so I went ahead and carefully dug those big, spidery tuberous roots. The roots are brittle, and look kinda like a weird star fish. I was thankful that the soil fell easily away from them, and lightly wiggling them, I was able to separate the crowns without damaging them.

I dug them yesterday, and today replanted them. I checked a few sites for instructions on dividing, and they recommended dividing in fall. I ditched that idea, because they pretty much disappear when they go dormant- no way I'd find them and dig them without damaging them then! The sites I looked at said Eremurus resent being disturbed, and to re plant quickly after dividing. My only experience with moving them was moving from my old garden to this one. I moved them in early spring that year, and they did not bloom that year, but have bloomed each year since. I'm hoping that moving them when going dormant will allow them to settle in enough to bloom next year.

From 3 roots I originally planted, I got 13 mature looking divisions! They have become such a favorite for me, I'm excited to see them spread around more of the garden beds! Here, they bloom alongside late bearded Irises, Peonies, and garden Roses, a great time to have some of that grand height in the garden, that we don't see from many late spring/ early summer plants. They are completely drought tolerant, and evidently quite cold tolerant as well. I can't recommend them highly enough!

Please share your experience growing them, or questions you may have if you've been eyeing them in catalogs! Thumb of 2011-06-27/gemini_sage/6dcc23
These are 'Spring Valley Hybrids'.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Sheryl
Hot, hot, hot, Feenix, AZ (Zone 9b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Southwest Gardening Keeps Horses Dog Lover Cat Lover Permaculture
Butterflies Birds Cottage Gardener Herbs I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Irises
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sheryl
Jul 10, 2011 7:39 AM CST
I planted them last year, got fabulous blooms from them - and nothing, this year. What have I *done*???
In the end, only kindness matters.

Science is not the answer, it is the question.


Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
gemini_sage
Jul 10, 2011 8:12 AM CST
I have heard other gardeners report the same thing a few times. I don't know of any pests that bother them, but they are extra sensitive to rot if conditions stay wet, from what I've read. I think the dormant time is when that is most likely, which is a pretty long time with Eremurus- here they go dormant about now and don't start growing again till late winter. Do you think the bed could have stayed wet for an extended time? Where did you get yours?
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Sheryl
Hot, hot, hot, Feenix, AZ (Zone 9b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Southwest Gardening Keeps Horses Dog Lover Cat Lover Permaculture
Butterflies Birds Cottage Gardener Herbs I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Irises
Image
sheryl
Jul 10, 2011 10:53 AM CST
I ordered mine from Brent & Becky's .... they were planted on a slope, so I doubt that they would have stayed too wet, but with my funky clay soil, it's always a possibility. I also wonder if the lawn mower might have gotten them ... once again, an "I doubt it", but hard to say. I miss them. They were really cool.
In the end, only kindness matters.

Science is not the answer, it is the question.


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