Eremurus: Planting And Care In The Open Ground, Growing From Seed

The herbaceous perennial plant Eremurus (Eremurus), also called shrysh or shiryash, is a member of the subfamily Asphodelaceae of the xanthorrhea family. This genus includes more than 40 species, hybrids and varieties. The name of this flower is formed from two Greek words, which in translation mean "desert" and "tail". Looking at the dense tall flower stalks, you can immediately understand why people who lived in ancient civilization, called such a plant exactly Eremurus. People living in Central Asia call shrish and shiryash meaning "glue"; the reason is that in these places the roots of such a flower are used to produce technical glue.

Dried and powdered roots are used to make a plaster. If the roots are boiled, then they can be eaten, with a taste similar to asparagus, and also eat the leaf plates of some (not all!) species. Any of the parts of such a plant can be used to dye the natural fiber yellow. Eremurus was first described in 1773 by the Russian traveler, geographer and naturalist P. Pallas.

Cultivation of these flowers in botanical gardens in Western Europe and Russia began as early as the sixties of the 19th century, more than half a century later the first hybrid was born , with breeders still working with eremurus to this day.

Properties of eremurus

Eremurus: planting and care in the open ground, growing from seed

Eremurus has a root that resembles a starfish in appearance. The rootstock varies in diameter from 10 to 15 centimeters and is disk-shaped, with twisted, fleshy, cylindrical or spindle-shaped, thickened roots that stick out in different directions. The most common type of plant consists of a large number of flat, triangular linear leaflets that may be narrow or wide, with a keel-like lower surface. A large, elongated, tassel-like inflorescence a meter long is arranged on a single leafless shoot.

The bell-shaped flowers on the flower stalk are arranged in a spiral pattern and may be painted yellow, brown, dusty red or pink. They begin to open at the bottom of the inflorescence and each flower fades in about 24 hours after blooming. Flowering time varies directly depending on the species and cultivar and may vary from 10 to 40 days. The fruit is a three-necked, semi-sprouted or webbed capsule of almost spherical shape that cracks during maturation, with a wrinkled or smooth surface. The trihedral wrinkled seeds have 1 transparent wing.

This kind of flower is a very good honey plant.


Growing eremurus from seed

Eremurus: planting and care in the open ground, growing from seed

Sowing in open soil

Sow the seeds in the early spring period. When the seedlings appear, they should be planted at a distance of 0.3 to 0.6 m between the bushes.

However, experienced gardeners recommend growing eremurus through seedlings.


Seeding the seedlings should be done in September-October. A container for seedlings should be chosen that is at least 12 centimeters deep. Seeds should be deepened by 10-15 mm, and a container for germination should be placed in a cool (about 15 degrees) place. In early spring, seedlings should appear, but not all seeds can give sprouts, all because some of them can germinate for up to two years.

The seedlings should be watered more often than mature plants, after the withering of the leaf plates, there will come a dormant period, and at this time eremurus recommended to move into a dark room. When the plants are in September or October they should be transferred to their own pot which can then be taken outdoors. Once the frosts start, the taken out seedlings should be covered with compost, leaves or lapwort, and note that the layer should not be thinner than 20 centimeters. Covering is removed in the spring, when it will be warm enough outside. In this way the seedlings grow for 3 years.

After that, the rootstock should be planted in open soil. Once their above-ground part has grown, the bushes should be cared for in the same way as adults. Planting eremurus in the open soil

Potting outdoors

Eremurus: planting and care in the open ground, growing from seed

What time to plant

Potting out both bought and self-grown planting material should be done in September. For planting you should choose a bright open place with well-drained soil, because this flower extremely negatively reacts to stagnant liquid in the ground. Such a plant has very strong stems, which are not afraid of gusts of wind.

In the wild, the eremurus prefers to grow on the plateau, where the soil is often neutral or alkaline. However, this flower can be grown in almost any type of soil.

Precautions for planting

Eremurus: planting and care in the open ground, growing from seed

If the ground water is high or the soil has a low permeability, you will need to make a drained flower bed in the area selected for planting. Such a bed should be high, and gravel, gravel or pebbles can be used as drainage. Drainage is covered with a forty centimeter layer of slightly alkaline or neutral soil and it is best if it will consist of compost (humus) and turf soil (1:3), which should be mixed with a small amount of small pebbles or coarse sand.

If the soil on the site is well drained, then such a bed is not necessary. The planting hole should be wide, and its depth can vary from 25 to 30 centimeters. At its bottom, a drainage layer of five centimeters of thickness is laid, which is covered with soil mixture. On top of it is laid out the root ball, while trying to spread the delicate roots so that they look in all directions, or very carefully transplant the plant from the pot. Deepen the bulbs by 5-7 centimeters.

If large species are planted, a distance of 0.4 to 0.5 m should be kept between bushes, and for small species it is 0.25-0.3 m.

The width between the rows should be about 0.7 m. Planted plants should be watered. A plant grown from seed will flower only 4-7 years after sprouting, but only if the soil, where this eremurus is grown, is not overly saturated with nutrients. But please note that in greasy soil such a flower grows a lush green mass and stops flowering completely.

Sow eremurus !!! You won't regret it...

Garden care for eremurus

Eremurus: planting and care in the open ground, growing from seed

Care for eremurus is quite simple. From the spring to the second half of the summer when the weather is dry and hot, water the plant very abundantly.

If it rains regularly and the soil is always wet, you will not need to water at all. After the plant has flowered which happens in June it can be done without watering.

Winter fertilization with superphosphate (30 to 40 g per 1 square meter), in early spring fertilize the eremurus with complex fertilizer (40 to 60 g per 1 square meter) and also with decomposed manure or compost (5 to 7 kg per 1 square meter). If the soil is poor, before the plant flowers it should be fertilized with ammonium nitrate (20 g per 1 square meter). When fertilizing, note that it is necessary to limit the amount of manure and nitrogen applied to the soil, otherwise the bushes will be less resistant to disease and frost.

When growing eremurus one very important nuance should be considered, after the flower leaves have died out in the summer time, it is recommended to dig it out. The rootstock is dried and stored in a well ventilated room for at least 20 days. This is necessary for the further vitality of eremurus. If not all leaf plates are dead or yellowed, the rootstock should not be left in the soil anyway because of heavy rains, which are usually seen in the last summer or first autumn weeks.

Remember that you should dig up the bushes with great care. If you do not want or have time to dig them up then you should put a rain shelter (similar to a pergola) over the area where they are growing.

Producing Eremurus

Eremurus: planting and care in the open ground, growing from seed

Eremurus can be propagated not only generatively (by seeds), which is described above in great detail, but also vegetatively. It can happen that in the spring one or more small rosettes grow near the main rosette, indicating that daughter buds have formed, each with a root and a base. Separate the offspring if desired and cover the broken areas with ashes and allow to dry.

Then the coredonts will need to be replanted. In the event that with a little pressure the offspring did not come off, you will not have to separate them until next year. However, there is one trick, before planting the coredonts, they are separated. To do this, they need to be cut from the bottom, remembering that each of the parts should have a few roots. Then you need to sprinkle the cuts with wood ash and plant the whole family.

Next year, each of the parts will have their own roots and buds, and they can easily be separated by those very cuts. It is very important to remember, however, that a mature bush can only be divided once every 5 or 6 years.

Diseases and pests

Eremurus: planting and care in the open ground, growing from seed

Remember that eremurus must always be protected against pests and diseases. Not only aphids and thrips, but also moles, slugs, and mice can damage this plant. In order to destroy the pests, the shrubs should be treated with insecticides.

Slugs should be removed from bushes by hand. However, if there are a lot of gastropods, it is simply necessary to make baits. To do this, dark beer is poured into pots, and then they are distributed over the plot. Slugs will crawl in piles to these baits, and you will only have to collect them in time.

Mice and moles love to eat the roots of such a flower, from which they begin to rot, and the plant eventually dies.

In case any of the specimens is stunted and has a stunted appearance, it should be dug up. From the roots will need to be cut out all the rotten areas, and then the places of cuts are covered with wood ash and wait until they dry out. Then the bush is buried in the soil again. If you want to get rid of mice, you should place some poison baits on the site, remembering that such rodents are vegetarians.

Eremurus can fall ill with rust or other fungal and viral diseases, as well as chlorosis.

If it is warm and damp outdoors, black or brown streaks may form on the leaf plates, which means the plant is infected with rust. If it is not treated in time, the bush will soon lose its decorativeness. Therefore, as soon as the first signs of the disease have been noticed, the affected specimen should be treated with fungicide (Topaz, Phytosporin, Zaslon, Skor, Quadris, Barrier, etc.). Chlorosis is manifested by yellowing or paling of leaf plates.

In this case, the bush is dug up and treated in the same way as in the case of rodents. If the leaf surface has become lumpy and there are yellow spots on it, it indicates that the bush is infected with a viral disease. The carriers of such diseases are thrips, aphids and bugs, and an effective remedy for them has not yet been created. To prevent this, pests should be eliminated in a timely manner. Infested shrubs should be dug up and destroyed as soon as possible since the disease can spread to other plants.


EREMOURUS after flowering

Eremurus: planting and care in the open ground, growing from seed


Good seeds can only be collected from the lower part of the candleflower. For this reason, it is advisable to pick 2 inflorescences and shorten them to 1/3rd from the top. During ripening, the fruits turn a beige color. Seed harvesting should begin in the second half of August. The inflorescences cut with a secateurs should be placed in a well-ventilated and dry room for ripening.

In the last days of October, the well-dried capsules should be rubbed by hand over a piece of newspaper, on which the seeds will fall out. They are blown out and sown.


Eremurus are generally highly frost-resistant. However, there are also thermophilic species which need to be covered for the winter by covering the site with a layer of peat or compost (not less than 10 centimeters thick). Root plants that were dug in summer cannot be stored over the winter, because as soon as the spring time comes, they begin to grow actively, even if not planted.

Planting in the open ground should be carried out in autumn, and the plants must be covered with a layer of peat. However, for regions with frosty winters with little snow, you will need to put more lapnik on top. The cover should be removed in the spring, when the threat of frosts is over. If a frost is still expected, the site will need to be covered for a while with a covering material such as lutrasil.

Eremurus species and varieties with photos and names

Eremurus has quite a large number of species and varieties, so only the most popular and beautiful will be described below.

Eremurus aitchisonii

Eremurus: planting and care in the open ground, growing from seed

In natural conditions this species can be found on the rocky highlands of the Western Tien Shan, Afghanistan and the Western Pamirs. It prefers to grow in mixed forests in the vicinity of pistachio, maple and walnut trees. It is the earliest flowering species so its blossoming begins in April but the vegetation period is short. There are 18 to 27 large keeled broadleaf plates that are deep green in color, smooth along the keel and rough along the edge. The stem is glossy deep green, and has pubescence represented by short hairs on its surface at the base.

The dense, cylindrical, brush-like inflorescence can grow to 1.1 m tall and up to 17 cm in diameter. It may contain from 120 to 300 flowers, but in this species, the number of flowers may be as many as 500. The flowers have white bracts with dark veins, the color of the pedicels is purple-brown and the perianths are deep pink.

Eremurus albertii (Eremurus albertii)

Eremurus: planting and care in the open ground, growing from seed

In the wild this species can be found in the neck of the Ferghana Valley, in Kabul and in Turkey.

The bush, which has pale brown roots, is about 1.2 m tall. The straight, bare leaf laminae point upward. The bare, dark green stem is covered with a bluish patina. It bears a loose, multi-flowered, brush-like inflorescence, 0.

6 m tall and about 12 cm in diameter. Flowers have white bracts with a brown vein. The perianths are wide open and have the coloration of raw meat with a vein of brown. This species is among the most beautiful. It has been cultivated since 1884.

Eremurus robustus (Eremurus robustus)

Eremurus: planting and care in the open ground, growing from seed

In the wild, this plant is found in the middle and upper belts of the Pamir-Alai as well as in the foothills of the Tien Shan. The roots are spindle-shaped and slightly thickened and brown in color. The broadly linear glabrous keeled leaf plates are dark green in color and have a bluish patina on their surface; they are rough along the edge and smooth along the keel. On the surface of the green, bare stem, there is a bluish bloom. It bears a cylindrical, brush-like inflorescence, which can be up to 1.

2 m long. It contains about 1000 flowers, the perianths are white or pale pink and the pale brown bracts have a dark vein.

Eremurus olgae

Eremurus: planting and care in the open ground, growing from seed

This species is considered one of the most common. In the wild, it can be found from the Southwest Pamir-Alai to the Western Tien Shan, and is also found in Pakistan, northern Afghanistan and northwest Iran. The height of the shrub can be up to 1.

5 m. The roots are not strongly spindle-shaped and thickened, they are almost cylindrical in shape and often have pubescence on their surface, the coloration is dark gray. One flowering plant may have up to 65 keeled, dark green, narrow-line leaf leaves with a bluish patina on their surface, which are rough along the edges. The stem is dark green in color and has a bluish patina on its surface, it reaches a height of no more than 100 centimeters. It bears a brush-like inflorescence, which may be conical or cylindrical in shape and up to 0.

6 m long and 15 centimeters in diameter. Wide open flowers are 35 mm in diameter, perianths pale pink or pink, with a yellow spot at the base and dark red veins. Some flowers have white perianths with green veins. Flowering times depend on the climate in the region where the plant is grown and can be seen in May or August. It has been cultivated since 1881.

Eremurus bungei, or Eremurus narrow-leaved or Eremurus stenophyllus

Eremurus: planting and care in the open ground, growing from seed

In nature this flower can be found in the upper and middle belts of the Kopetdag and Pamir-Alai mountains, as well as in the northern regions of Iran and in Afghanistan, and it prefers to grow in rose gardens and also in maple, alycha and walnut forests. The bush is about 1.7 m tall. Spreading cord-shaped roots are colored brownish-gray. The surface of the narrow-limbed, bare keeled leaf plates have a blotchy, grayish patina on them.

The green stem may have stiff hairs at the base or be completely bare. Dense cylindrical, brush-like inflorescence is about 0.65 m high and about 50-60 mm in diameter. Each inflorescence can bear 400-700 yellow-goldish, wide-open flowers, which reach 20 mm in diameter. Cultivated since 1883, this species is among the most beautiful and is used both for garden decoration and for making dry bouquets.

Also interesting enough for gardeners are species such as: Eremurus of Tunberg, white-flowered, Suvorov, Tajik, Crimean, Tien Shan, Turkestan, beautiful, Sogdian, pinkish, Regel, fluffy, crested, small-flowered, nuratav, amazing, yellow, milky-flowered, Kopetdag, Korzhinsky, Kaufmann, Junge, Inder, Hissar, Hilary, Himalayan, crested, crested, Zinaida, Zoi, Kapu, white, Bukhara, etc.

A whole series of excellent Shelfold hybrids came into being by crossing Eremurus Olga and Bunge. The flowers in these plants can be of various colors ranging from yellow-orange to white. For example, the flowers of the variety Isobel are pink with an orange cast, while Rosalind has pink, White Beauty has pure white, and Moonlight has pale yellow flowers. Also thanks to these species, a group of highdown hybrids, which are not so popular yet, was born.

Their tall varieties are Gold, Citronella, Lady Falmaus, Sunset, Don and Highdown Dwarf and Golden Dwarf. Ruiter hybrids created with Eremurus isabellus are very popular with gardeners in the midlands, popular varieties:

Eremurus: planting and care in the open ground, growing from seed

  1. Cleopatra. This variety was bred in 1956. The brown-orange buds open into flowers with a large number of dark veins on the outer surface. The color of the stamens is deep orange.

    The stem does not reach more than 1.2 m in height.

  2. Pinocchio. This variety was introduced in 1989. The flowers are sulphur yellow and the stamens red-cherry.

    The stems do not exceed 1.5 m in height.

  3. Obelisk. This variety was introduced in 1956. The height of the plant is approximately 1.

    5m. The flowers are white and have an emerald midrib. And then there is Romance, which has salmon pink flowers; Rowford with salmon pink flowers; and Emmy Roe with yellow flowers.


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