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new zealand flax

i have a 6 year old new zealand flax.  it has never flowered.  this year the leaves are yellowing and don`t last long, the leaves are yellowing either halfway down the leaves or at the tips.

can anybody offer advice on how to save my new zealand flax and to stop the leaves yellowing



  • LilylouiseLilylouise Posts: 1,013

    Maggy - Do you think all the rain we have had may have something to do with the leaves going yellow? 

    Pam x

  • Dolores2Dolores2 Posts: 19

    Hi Maggie.I had a similar problem last year.  I have been told that it was frost that did the damage. I removed the dead or yellowing leaves and the plants recovered eventually.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,298

    Hi, are all the leaves yellowing or just the older ones?  If it's the older ones I wouldn't worry - this is natural as the older leaves die off to be replaced by younger ones.  The nutrients from the dying leaf will be going back into the plant, a bit like when you leave daffodil leaves to die off.  When the a leaf is totally yellow you can cut it off.  

    Phormiums are tough and will usually cope ok with wet conditions and respond well to a bit of 'benign neglect'.  I know of a 'plantation of phormiums' that have survived totally un-nurtured in the damp and shady quadrangle of an art school for years and years and years, and they flower every year.  

    As for flowering - they usually flower best when the roots are a bit constricted, like agapanthus.  Try a potash-rich feed next spring to see if that encourages them image.

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Pottie PamPottie Pam Posts: 887

    Maggi, I had 4 big clumps over 10 years old. The bronze one that is not supposed to be so hardy. Two died in different years for no apparent reason. The leaves still looked alive but the roots rotted off. They weren't in wet conditions.They do get dead leaves underneath and I pull them off in the Spring. I've got one flower spike on one of the remaining ones. They seem to flower better in hot summers.


  • i have had mine in the garden for the last 6 years the dark brown one.. and this is only the second year it has flowered.. they grown native in NZ my sis says and their weather is tropical and constantly wet nad humid through the winter and hot in summer.. i think they like it wetter with heat..

  • I have grown many New Zeland Flax from seed.  It so easy to do - Collecting the seed pods once dry and just starting to split;  simply sprinkle these onto damp potting compost they will grow in the warmth of a green house or a warm window shelf.  The joy of growing them on means you always have replacement plants in a pot somewhere around your garden and usually have many plants to give to family and friends. A good feed of comfrey in spring also helps with growth (also grow your own to produce good quality plant food for next to nothing).

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,201

    Drainage is key for phormiums. Water's only an issue if they're sitting in it long term. I have lots of them and there's no shortage of the wet stuff here! image

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

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