Phormiums, or as they are better known ‘New Zealand Flax’ are fantastic semi-hardy grass like shrubs for planters, pots and flower beds where a showy display of foliage colour is required.

They grow from 12″ to more then 5′ tall and come in a wide range of colours from greens, yellows, and reds. A fantastic plant for an accent in any garden.

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Phormiums (also known as New Zealand Flax) are one of the most versatile plants in the landscape. They can tolerate wet or dry conditions when they mature. A stunning range of colour contrasts gives spectacular effects. They work very well in containers and can tolerate sun to part shade.

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Care and Maintenance

Phormiums are relatively low maintenance shrubs. In the spring, fertilizing is recommended with a standard All Purpose Fertilizer (6‐8‐6). Remove dead leaves as necessary.

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Winter Care

Most varieties of New Zealand Flax planted in the ground are root hardy to approximately –7ºC in our area but will sustain foliar damage during prolonged freezes below ‐2ºC. During prolonged freezes plants in the ground should be heavily mulched at the base and covered or wrapped with an opaque black plastic to prevent wind damage.

Plants in containers are less hardy due to exposed roots and should be protected below 0ºC. During prolonged freezes plants in pots should be brought into an unheated garage or basement until the temperature rises. Larger pots can be wrapped with 2‐3 layers of bubble wrap around the pot and the foliage should be covered with 2 layers of bubble wrap or opaque black plastic.

If plants have been exposed without protection: Check to see if the roots are alive by pulling a dead stem out at the base of the plant. If the stems are rotten or mushy below ground level, then the roots have been damaged and the plant is no longer viable. If the base of the stems and roots appear to be healthy, cut back the foliage to the ground and fertilize the plant with All Purpose Fertilizer every other month beginning in March.

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