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New Zealand Flax help

RubypopRubypop LancashirePosts: 22
I have or should I say had the most beautiful purple NZF...it was admired by all....Standing at about 5ft..when it snowed recently the leaves started to bend with weight of the snow so I gently removed, however this week I've come home from work and it's completely collapsed....into a heap !!I've had no alternative but to remove all the leaves so am left with a stump! I've noticed that it is very wet , and suspect it's drowned...????
Question...do you think the stump will recover or is it too far gone and better to dig up and put on compost heap and start a new one off ???
Any help/suggestions would be greatly appreciated 

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  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Derbyshire but with a Nottinghamshire postcode. Posts: 16,472
    edited 15 January
    I find phormium pretty much bomb proof. If its stood in  water all the time it might freeze the roots in harsh conditions, but usually even if the tops go, the roots will send out new shoots in spring. Unless the tops are rotting, I would leave it until March before clearing off the dead leaves, as the leaf cover will protect the roots.  Is it in a pot or the ground? If in a pot , make sure it has drainage and raise it on pot feet if you can.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,148
    Wet, poorly drained soil is the kiss of death for them. Snow and a fair bit of frost is fine. Although a couple of inches of snow can damage foliage, it's just a case of tidying that up in spring.  I do it every year with all of mine. It's only a major problem if it's a decent amount of snow, ie around five or six inches or more.
    They'll often come back after a bit of fairly serious weather, but as you've removed everything, it's now unlikely. You'll have to wait and see if there's anything left, but very wet weather can rot the exposed crown quite easily.

    If you get another, improve the soil so that there's adequate drainage for it. The green species ones are tougher than the red/purple one, and most of the named varieties  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • RubypopRubypop LancashirePosts: 22
    Just seen another ongoing discussion with same problem so don't feel alone !!
    I'll see what happens but I'm not convinced...so sad.....
  • RubypopRubypop LancashirePosts: 22
    Thank you for your replies , greatly appreciated x 
    It's been in years,well drained area in garden so fingers crossed !
    I've a green one in front garden which is ok
  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze I garden in South Notts on an improved clay soil Posts: 3,126
    edited 15 January
    @Rubypop I have seen them re shoot from the base after a cold winter. The problem has been lots of rain and then cold temperatures. I would give it a chance well into spring to see if new shoots appear at the base. I would leave the damaged leaves for now cutting back exposes them to even more adverse weather. As long as it hasn't rotted you are in with a chance.
    P Platt's Black and P Blondie are both tender with me not that a GC would tell you that.If you decide to try again I would try one of the more hardy forms although they are not always so exciting. 
    I am retired but when I was young no one grew Phormiums at all other than by the sea.
    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.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,148
    I agree @GardenerSuze - Platt's Black is lovely, but not as tough as many others.
    The variegated ones are often less sturdy, but the site and conditions make a big difference.
    Mine are all in raised beds or pots to counteract the wet. I've got a couple of divisions of Blackadder in pots, and they're both looking poor, but I always leave the foliage on for protection, and take action in spring. We've had lots of days below minus ten, which is a bit of a problem, but not as big a problem as the cycle of wet/freeze.
    I've not lost many since I've been growing them though [decades] and we often get harsh winters. That may change as the general temps rise. It means you can get more soft growth until later in the year, which can be affected more adversely when that switches rapidly to a freeze.
    We had a lot of ice overnight, after the relentless wet. It's those swings in conditions that make life difficult for many plants. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • RubypopRubypop LancashirePosts: 22
    Thanks GardenerSuze...I've had it for years planted in garden no problem,it was a statement standing so tall..5ft+ and when it flowered it was lovely...its so sad....fingers crossed 😀 
    I've been out in garden today and everything looks tired and unhappy...rather like myself😔 !!
    Roll on Spring but hearing snow etc coming again next week ..........
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,148
    It's still winter, despite what many people seem to think  ;)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze I garden in South Notts on an improved clay soil Posts: 3,126
    @Rubypop Just wondered if you grow snowdrops or hellebores.. Always something to look forward to on a miserable winters day. Lovely if they likes the growing conditions near to the house and you can look at them from a window. Winter can be an exciting time in the garden too. I read a book from the library called The Winter Garden by Val Bourne many years ago and completely changed my garden as a result. I also feel happier in the winter months with things to look at now. 
    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.
  • RubypopRubypop LancashirePosts: 22
    Suze.. Yes I've both but hellebore not good, snowdrops and daffs still shoots, think the weather here in rainy Blackburn has taken its toll on the garden this year the only thing that's looking good is my rhododendrons! I love my garden and miss not being able to do much over winter... I'll have a look for the book. X
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