New Zealand Flax Winter Plant Care
Written by Dawn Hummel
I am a huge fan of Phormiums. I utilize them in containers and client landscape designs as evergreen punctuation marks and tropical contrast against neighboring trees and deciduous shrubs. After our recent “arctic blast” in both December and January, large and small specimens
around town are looking rather spent. Record shattering cold temperatures in Oregon coupled with up to 14” of snow and ice smashed even the largest blades of Phormium tenax ‘Atropurpueum’ just from the weight.
Winter Protection Options
|Habit & Cultural Details
||Cold Hardy Phormiums for Western Oregon
Family: Phormiaceae (Phormiums)
Zone: 8a (10º to 15ºF)
Origin: New Zealand (Australasia)
Bloom Time: Infrequent
Width/Height: Depends on variety
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Irrigation Required: Medium Water Needs
Phormium tenax (Green)
New Zealand Flax. Handsome green leaves up to 3" wide and 5' tall. Forms an impressive clump in short period of time in compost-rich soil with regular water in summer. Full sun to light shade. Phormiums that are well watered during summer will be much better adapted to deal with winter cold. Regular water in containers.
Phormium tenax ‘Atropurpureum’
The most commonly seen form of New Zealand Flax. Grows to 5' tall and 3' wide after several years with deep bronze/maroon leaves. Leaves become wider as the plant matures. Rich soil with regular irrigation in summer and fertilizer in full sun. Great large container plant. Regrows after big freezes.
Phormium tenax 'Rubrum'
Upright strap-like foliage forming a vase shaped clump. Many forms of varying leaf color and variegation. Site in a protected area with well-drained soils for best results. Reddish-purple foliage provides a unique garden accent.
BeeDazzled Gardens & Designs Specializes in creating fragrant, organic, low maintenance garden vignettes that add value and pleasure to a home or business exterior and landscape. Our specialty is staged, perennial bed planting designs, seasonal potted containers and garden renovations. Learn more about Dawn at her profile www.themulch.com/community/1859-beedazzledgardens/profile.
Photo credit on all photos: Dawn Hummel