Phormium advice please

yvette303yvette303 Posts: 22

I was wondering if phormiums can be split and if now is an ok time of year to do it...?

I have two gorgeous phormiums about four years old but they are huge now and I can see in their bases that they appear to be made up almost of separate plants already.

Is it too wet to try and split them now?


Also having looked at a couple of other threads about phormiums I see they are meant to flower. Mine have never flowered in the whole time I've had them! Any tips to encourage flowering or reasons why so far they haven't?

Thanks for any advice you may have image


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 58,565

    I think they're more likely to flower if their roots are restricted so if flowers are important to you perhaps splitting them isn't a good idea.

    Perhaps a dose of potash in the spring might encourage flowering?

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

  • WillDBWillDB Posts: 1,985

    Autumn should be fine, I've split them in autumn and they've been okay. (My approach has been rather harsh, just dig them up, lay them on their side and then chop them up with a spade). I'd try and do it during a spell of dry weather and make sure the divisions go into reasonably well drained soil.

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 28,021

    yvette - the flowers are pretty dull. Interesting rather than attractive or exciting image

    Strangely - this year, one of mine flowered. I have two identical ones - bought at the same time, in the same containers, same conditions etc, but there was no sign of a spike on the other one.

    Most of mine are in containers as it's easier to get the conditions right for them. We get lots of rain and they're fine if they're in nice gritty compost/soil. I don't really feed them either. Maybe the odd seaweed feed for the foliage in spring when I tidy them up.

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

  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 5,446

    Our phormium "Sundowner" (I think), has flowered this year for the first time impressing the neighbours if nothing else image.

    Can anyone advise what do we do when flowering is over please? Do we cut the spike off, or just leave it to go naturally? 

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 13,914

    It will form black seed pods. They are quite attractive, and I tend to leave them on over winter and then cut the flowered spike to the ground in Spring. If you dont like it you can cut it to the ground after flowering.

    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 5,446

    Thanks fidgetbones image 

  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 5,446

    Thanks Verdun, as you say fascinating, particularly to my neighbour's little girl. She stares at it for ages !! 

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