THE HIMALAYAN FOXTAIL LILY - Eremurus himalaicus

Himalayan foxtail lily
The Himalayan foxtail lily is one of the delights of the late spring/early summer garden and the popular Eremurus himalaicus is one of the hardiest of all the species within the Eremurus genus. Native to the temperate regions of the Himalayas, the Himalayan foxtail lily is a herbaceous perennial with light green, strap-shaped leaves, and a mass of white starry flowers densely packed on elegant tall upright spikes. It can reach between 4-8 feet tall and has beautiful white flowers hovering over medium green foliage.

Foxtail lilies prefer a moist well-drained loan that does not dry out of the spring growing period, They do well in a sunny position but one that is does not expose them to early morning sun.

The plant can be purchased as pre-packed bare roots in the autumn and will need to be planted in the ground as soon as they are available in September or October. The roots are easily damaged and so will need to be handled carefully when planting.

Before planting the crown add a thick layer of horticultural grit to the bottom of the hole, then back-fill to create a central raised area of soil in the shape of a cone. Plant the roots so that the crown is sat on top of the cone with the roots falling to the sides. When planted the crown should show above the surface of the soil and should never be mulched over.

If they are kept too wet over the winter then Foxtail lilies can be affected by a fungal disease known as winter root rot. With this in mind, grow them in a raised bed or alternatively place a layer of sand or gravel at the bottom of the hole before planting to ensure drainage. In cold regions the roots may need protecting from ground frost and so cover them with a dry mulch such as shingle or bark.

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