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When the steppe candle (Eremurus), depending on the subspecies, raises its candle-shaped inflorescences up to 2 meters high in the garden, this is a truly impressive sight. On the other hand, it is all the more annoying when the expected splendor of flowers does not materialize for a variety of reasons.

The flowers of the steppe candle are enchanting; it's all the more annoying when it doesn't bloom

Choose the right location

Steppe candles occur naturally in grassy steppes and on cool but sunny plateaus. Accordingly, for healthy growth in the garden, they need a location that is as sunny as possible with soil that is as nutrient-rich and permeable as possible. If the soil is too loamy and heavy, you can help by providing the deeper dug planting hole with a drainage layer of sand or gravel. Wind-protected locations are recommended due to the high and thin flower stalks, but the plants can also be secured with bamboo sticks against buckling in strong side winds.

Transplant the steppe candle only in the fall

A common reason for the lack of flowering is when the steppe candle with its bare-rooted rhizomes is transplanted in spring. In these cases, flowering often does not occur until the following year, when the plants have recovered. Planting and transplanting of the rhizomes should follow the natural vegetation cycle of the plants after the flowering period in early autumn, but not too late. The second half of August and the first two weeks of September are ideal for planting.

Fighting pests of steppe candle

While wild boar diseases aren't really a threat category or a reason for not flowering, damage from the following pests can occur:

  • snails
  • voles
  • grubs

Snails consume the energy balance of the steppe candle by decimating the leaf mass. However, voles and grubs are more dangerous in the ground, as they prefer to gnaw at the roots of the Eremurus species and can thus damage them.

Protect the plants of the genus Eremurus against late frosts

In sheltered locations in spring, the upper layers of the earth can often warm up before the last late frosts. In order to avoid frost damage to the leaves of the steppe candle that developed too early, the budding can be delayed by covering them with brushwood or a special fleece over the winter.


Since the steppe candle has to "store" the necessary energy for budding in the following year in summer, the leaves should not be cut off too early. With clever planting in the perennial bed, you can cover up the unsightly leaves until they have completely withered.

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