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Phormium Rainbow Queen

Hi i bought a lovely tall phormium in the summer and it looked great until just before xmas. It is in a south facing garden, in Wiltshire, we did have the hard frosts and some snow pre xmas, the phormium seemed to not like it once the weather warmed and defrosted. We have since had alot of wet weather.
Can anyone advise what i need to do to save this plant please? Rhank you


  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,198
    Just wait until spring arrives and it should produce new growth. The old growth can be cut back - right in at the base with sharp scissors. 
    Assuming it has good drainage in the soil it's in, it should be fine. The damaged growth will protect the new stuff. Mine all get damaged over winter, [ often with rust because of the little insect that damages them ] regardless of how bad the weather is, but they come back.  :)
    Snow isn't a problem if it's only a couple of inches. I just brush it off when it's heavier than that to prevent the leaves breaking, as it's just more snipping in spring  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Thanks Fairygirl for the quick response. I was wondering as the garden can flood in places, whether I should dig it up and put in unheated greenhouse until spring.  Ideally would want to leave in the ground. 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,198
    edited 14 January
    The variegated ones are generally less tough than the plain species, but if the ground is wet and heavy, that will always be a problem for them. 
    I grow all my Phormiums in raised beds or pots. I haven't lost any in all the years I've grown them though, and we often have spells like that cold snap in December. It's wet cold they don't like, which is why I don't grow them directly in borders. They would really struggle, even with the clay soil improved. 
    They do best with sun and sharp drainage, so you'd have to just make a judgement re your plant. It could well be worth lifting it, and then improving the soil later on before replanting. 
    They also benefit from being divided every so often to keep the variegation, but that would be a few years down the road for your plant  :)

    Should have asked - can you see any new growth in and around the base? If so, just leave the top growth for protection, and then cut the dead stuff back later on in spring  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • I will have a look for new growth tomorrow morning, and assess the ground water level to decide whether to lift.  Thank you 😀
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,198
    I had a look at my Cream Delight today, just because of this thread @ninawarminger, and it looks pretty rough. I don't expect to see new growth for a while though.
    This is what it looks like  :D

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • RubypopRubypop LancashirePosts: 22
    Same happened to my purple phormium Nina....I've had it for years and it was beautiful especially when in flower..I suspect its drowned due to all the snow,rain as its absolutely wet through in the centre..never had problems with it before..I had no option but to chop it  :'(  :'( I'm hoping it will recover but I'm doubtful....I've posted a discussion on here today, then spotted yours and seen the reply you got which helped. So good luck and let's hope they pick up.
  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze I garden in South Notts on an improved clay soil Posts: 3,134
    @Rubypop Good Luck plants often surprise us!
    The most serious gardening I do would seem very strange to an onlooker,for it involves hours of walking round in circles,apparently doing nothing. Helen Dillon.
  • Well I have just dug it up to (a) see if it is sat in water and (b) check the roots.
    Considering the amount of water in the garden I was surprised how good they look, not too wet, healthy roots. So have decided to leave in the ground over winter.
    Thanks all 😀
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