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Has anyone tried growing Foxtail Lilies?  There is an offer for them in the Sunday paper and I thought I might give them a go - just wondered if they were tricky in any way.

I have a sunny border with acid soil, and I live in Surrey.


I will watch this,thread too. Never had success with,them even tho I try to give ideal conditions. Sunshine, good drainage and not to mollycoddle or protect them in winter

I have one that is 2 years old and has yet to flower. I was told that they needed to get established before they would flower so I am hoping that this may be the year. 

Two warnings, the first one is that slugs love them and the second one is that their roots are like octopus tentacles, so you need quite a large area to grow them in.


I have three in a sunny well drained bed. They come up every year. They do have big roots so when then are over there is a bit of a bare patch in the bed that you can't plant anything into. But they are quite spectacular when flowering, tall and orangy yellow.

flowering rose

I did and failed as I didn't plant them correctly,and the soil was to wet ,need drainage and sunny spot.I love them ,seen them  at ford abbey in a border .



Agree with all above.  If you have light sandy soil and a south-facing sheltered spot, they should do OK.  Heavy clay soils (like mine), forget it!  I've had one for many years now and it has never grown above about 18" tall and never flowered.  I still live in hope, but I'm afraid it's a forlorn hope!

However, if......IF....we get a good lomg summer it may flower this year. Supposed to need a cold winter first then the heat so here's hoping.

Many thanks to all of you.  I think I will give it a go with an experimental batch - I will dig in a bag of grit before I plant them.  Will let you know how I get on later this summer (or maybe the one after that..... or the one after that ...)

Think I would add a layer of grit on soil surface too. Helps attract heat and maybe (????) deter slugs n snails

hi, HERE are not my experiences, but have a look...

An idea of mineinclude grit) make a mix of Foxtail lily (Eremrus) Allium sphaerocephalon, some types of Heleniums, papaver somniferum, poppies, Achillea ‘Flowerburst Red’, ornamental grasses, Verbena, White Verbasum, Echinacea...Greetings, ThaiGer.

Make sure you grow them on a mound of soil, that is so the roots are lower than the centre of the plant. As one would with asparagus. A beautiful plant.

Woodgreen wonderboy

They can be a tricky plant and are very specific as to their planting requirements. I would hesitate to buy from a newspaper. As you live in Surrey, go to Wisley and see if they have any and seek advice when you are there from their experts. The roots look like giant spiders so if you are arachnophobic you may want to ask someone else to plant them

Honestly though they are not easy. I kept one for a couple of years and it flowered on shorter stems than expectedd, then I lost it. 

Alternatively have a holiday in Cornwall when the are in flower at Trellissick(NT), huge flowers, stunning.

Hiya wood green, I'm still persevering with my Eremurus but no flowers yet. Think I know the theory of its needs but it hasn't read the script yet.
I think our summers have been too cool for it lately and if we get long hot one this year it should flower.
If not, it's out and will be replaced by a better earner
Woodgreen wonderboy

You are right..the summers need to be hot and sunny and the plant baked and not in any shade. I think this year's flowers depend on last year's sun/heat, so good luck with that one! Mottisfont in Hampshire (also NT) also has a good show.

On second thoughts this is definitely one for the experts and it's best to visit a garden where they have paid gardeners to grow them for you. Save your money and space for things you can rely on.

Wise words wood green but we gardeners are stubborn creatures. We want to grow what we cannot.
If good summer comes I think a few of us may see flowers this year


Woodgreen wonderboy

Good luck with them, they are truly spectacular when good. I have seen them about 9 ft. tall at Trellissick.

Not too far from me then wood green

I have one waiting to go in. All I have read here is making me very nerovus about it, but I love the elegance of them. I guess dig in lots of grit and raise up the centre is my best bet

If I put one of my carex nearby it should cover some of the bare patch or is that not recommended. Could you sat pop in some allium bulbs at the perimeter first and then put it in?

Thanks for opening this thread Chicky 


Well I went ahead and bought some - Pinocchio I think they were called.  They got planted about a month ago, along with a bag of grit, in a very sun baked spot (or I seem to remember it used to be - not seen the sun for a while to be able to check!).  No sign of anything appearing yet - just as well given this weather - but I will keep you posted as the summer progresses. Many thanks for all the advice - at least my expectations are not too high ....

Woodgreen wonderboy

Don't worry...too early yet to worry. You have plenty of time to be pleasantly surprised. Even if nothing much happoens in 2013 you may need to give it one more year before you decide these are not for you.