Eremurus Plant Growing & Care Guide for Gardeners

In this Gardener's HQ guide, we'll explore cultivating Eremurus plants in your garden, indoor spaces, and other settings.

Desert Candle, Foxtail Lily, & King's Spear: Cultivation & Garden Use

Eremurus plants are hardy perennials that bear 60 cm to 1.8 m (2 to six feet) long stalks from strappy narrow leaves. Atop the stalks sit minute flowers of white, pink, or even yellow.

Their height makes them great for use in borders.

Some of the common names for Eremurus include King's spear, Desert Candle, and Foxtail Lily.

Eremurus by wallygrom.

Eremurus Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Desert Candle, Foxtail Lily, King’s Spear.
Life Cycle: Hardy perennial.
Height: 24 to 120 inches (60 to 300 cm).
Native: Central and west Asia.
Family: Asphodelaceae.
Growing Region: Zones 5 to 10.
Flowers: Species dependent: Late spring through to early summer.
Flower Details: White, copper, orange, pink, yellow. Tiny. Raceme. Bottlebrush inflorescence with up to 800 flowers.
Foliage: Strap-like. Green. Blue-green.
Sow Outside: Usually grown from divided plants or nursery bought plants as seed grown plants can take six years until first bloom.
Cover seed. Autumn. Seeds should first be sown into flats. Next sink the flat into the ground in an area that offers shade, preferably close to a wall that faces north. Provide a glass/plastic covering. Keep an eye on the flats to ensure that the soil remains moist and to check if seedlings have emerged. Once seedlings have emerged remove the covering. Spacing: Small 12 to 18 inches (30 to 45 cm); Large 36 inches (90 cm).
Sow Inside: Germination time: one month to one year. Temperature: 55 to 65°F (13 to 16°C). End of winter and early spring. Use peat pots. Place in a freezer bag, and then stratify by refrigeration for three weeks.
Transplanting: Dig a hole about 18 inches (45 cm) deep. Add a mix of 1:1:1 Soil:Peat:Rotted cow manure. Transplant in autumn.
Requirements and care: Full sunlight. Good drainage. Regular watering during growing period. Sheltered location. Spring top dressing of manure. Divide every five years to maintain vigour. Propagate Eremurus: by carefully dividing in the last month of summer.

How to grow King's spear and other Eremurus Plants in the Garden

Eremurus can be planted outdoors from roots or seeds. The roots should be buried at a depth of about 10 to 15 cm (4 to 6 inches)

Seeds should be lightly covered, and planted in flats beneath glass.

Both seeds and roots should be sown or planted in the autumn.

They prefer to grow in a sunny location of the garden, and thrive in a well manured peaty soil.

If you plan to start Eremurus plant species such as King's spear and Desert Candle indoors first, then they should be planted into a flat within a black bag, then placed in the fridge for three weeks.

Seeds should then be grown at a temperature of 12 to 15 Celsius (54 to 59°F). They normally take from one to twelve months to germinate.

The flats should then be placed outdoors, North facing, once seedlings emerge remove the glass, and transplant to their final location in the Autumn.

Propagate further plants through division.

Common Questions

How many members does the Eremurus genus have?

The Eremurus genus is comprised of around 40 species.

Do members of Eremurus make a good garden or landscaping plant?

Yes, Eremurus, also known as Foxtail Lilies, are dramatic plants that can create a striking statement in gardens or landscapes.

Which Eremurus species are most frequently grown by gardeners?

Eremurus robustus and Eremurus stenophyllus are often grown by gardeners.

Are members of the Eremurus plant genus fragrant?

No, Eremurus plants are not known for their fragrance.

What is the perfect location to grow Eremurus?

Eremurus prefers full sun and well-drained soil.

Is Eremurus invasive in the USA, if so in which states?

Currently, Eremurus is not considered invasive in the USA.

How do I remove Eremurus plants from my garden?

To remove Eremurus, carefully dig up and remove the entire plant, including the root system.


The Eremurus genus, also known as Foxtail Lilies or Desert Candles, includes about 40 species of flowering plants native to western and central Asia. These tall perennials are loved for their dramatic spikes of flowers, which appear in late spring or early summer.

Eremurus plants prefer full sun and well-drained soil. They can be grown from tubers, which should be planted in the fall. They make stunning additions to borders and are excellent cut flowers. While they are drought-tolerant, they do not tolerate waterlogged soils, so good drainage is essential.

I hope that you found this guide on how to grow Eremurus plants in your garden. You may also enjoy my gardening guides on how to grow Aloe vera, Phormium plant, and Bulbinella plants.