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Two different Phormiums that add some substance to the garden.
Phormium Maori Queen
A great middle sized upright red variegated flax, ‘Maori Queen’. With their arching, strappy, sword-shaped leaves, Phormiums make a dramatic statement in the garden. Originating from New Zealand, where their fibre has traditionally been used in the same way as hemp or sisal, they are versatile evergreen plants that tolerate a range of conditions and look at home in a variety of different planting schemes. They have become increasingly popular in recent years, with more and more colourful varieties being introduced. This one has broad, bronze-green leaves with rose-red margins, and a sliver of cream at the edge. This dramatic, evergreen, architectural plant adds a touch of exotica to a sunny, sheltered spot in the garden. In hot summers, a spike of tubular, red flowers will shoot up from the centre, followed by sturdy seed-heads.
Remember to Do
- Cut out old foliage as it fades
- Can tolerate fairly dry conditions (coastal) but looks best with occasional to regular irrigation
- The leaves fade to cream later in the season
- A top dressing of Sulphate of Potash will, I feel, help to promote flowering.
- The plant is hardy although leaves can be damaged by hard frosts.
- A deep, dry mulch is advisable over winter.
- Dead or damaged leaves can be removed in spring and the plant will benefit from a mulch of organic matter.
Phormium Cream Delight
Phormium cookianum ‘Cream Delight’ (Variegated New Zealand Flax) – New Zealand Flax cultivar that grows to 3 feet tall by 6 feet wide with bold 2 1/2 inch wide arching leaves with cream-yellow midstripe and green margins edged with red. Plant in full sun to shade. It can tolerate fairly dry conditions (coastal) but looks best with occasional to regular irrigation. Hardy to 15-20 F. It is possibly root hardy below these temperatures but can suffer severe foliage damage unless protected. Also called Mountain Flax.
Things to Remember
- It can tolerate fairly dry conditions but keep well watered during the summer months
- Time to divide plants: March to May
- Soil type: Sandy, Loamy