Eremurus (desert candles )

dizzylizzydizzylizzy Posts: 92

I am just dying to plant my 20 Eremurus (desert candles bulbs) -   I believe they are quite difficult to grow- planted 5 last year in autumn, planted on a bed of 1in grit and covered by 1 in gritty soil.  I have seen 2 appear, 2 shoots off each with strappy leaves, but they have gone over the last few weeks and haven't seen a flower shoot??  Think thye should be flowereing now....
I have still have 20 "bulbs" to plant, should I plant now or wait till the autumn or spring? Temperatures do go down to -17 here in York and I am on clay soil.
Must be difficult to grow because I haven't seen any growing even in the fantastic Open Gardens I have visited, so assume no-one has a great success with them??  Or do they?  .........Anybody growing them successfully and how do you do it?


  • granmagranma Posts: 1,598

    These plants need plenty of drainage,Had I clay soil I would dig a large -ish hole dig in plenty of grit sand  and something like pearlite mix this well  with compost. Problebly a third of each. The roots grow like an octapus tentacles and will snap very easily .They need the same conditions as alstromeria lilies . For the first few years I grew mine in a largeplant pot sunk in the ground       Your stem may still come  as the leaves tend to die back .  But They do not like wet conitions so with all the rainy seasons we are getting, plant in a pot put it outside your door or something.

  • kate1123kate1123 Posts: 2,815

    I have had mine for 2 years with no flower, another poster told me that they had to get to a reasonable size before they flowered so I will be interested in how you get on.

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener LeicsPosts: 6,476

    I have tried all kinds of drainage methods on my clay soil in Leicestershire but have never managed to get an eremurus to flower.  They come up every year (for 8 years!) and produce plenty of leaves but that's it.  Given up.  I suspect only by pot-growing or those in the south with naturally sandy soil can give them the right hot and dry conditions. They definitely do not like clay soil!

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • I love these plants-in other people's gardens! They hate damp and cold.They are very temperamental and planting them- I once planted 20- is a nightmare since the roots are so brittle. I've only succeeded with plants I've bought , at some expense, in pots and even these have disappeared this year. The others have rotted through damp and cold. I am a bit concerned that you haven't planted them yet because there is a danger that if you hold onto them too long before planting them they will shrivel and die. I'd get them in now in really gritty soil in a spot that is not shaded by other plants, protect them aganst snails and slugs, mulch them with leafmould in winter and pray.

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