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Phormium tenax (New Zealand flax)

Beginner
skill rating
1 hour care
per year
4m
Max height
2m
Max spread
10-20 years
To maturity

Plant details

Botanical name

Phormium tenax

Other names

New Zealand flax, Common flax lily, Flax bush, New Zealand hemp

Genus

Phormium Phormium

Species

P. tenax - P. tenax forms a clump of dark grey-green, evergreen, strap-shaped leaves and a panicle of red flowers.


Phormium tenax is: Evergreen

Habit

Clump-forming

Awards

RHS AGM (Award of Garden Merit)

Flower

Dark-red in Summer

Foliage

Dark-green, Silvery-grey in All seasons

How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Phormium mealybug Phormium mealybug

Diseases

Generally disease free.

General care

Propagation methods

Seed, Division


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Where to grow

Phormium tenax (New Zealand flax) will reach a height of 4m and a spread of 2m after 10-20 years.

Suggested uses

Architectural, City, Coastal, Beds and borders, Gravel, Low Maintenance, Foliage only

Cultivation

Grow moist, well-drained, fertile soil in full sun, will also tolerate partial shade. Foliage may be damaged by cold winds and hard frosts.

Soil type

Sandy, Loamy

Soil drainage

Well-drained, Moist but well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Partial Shade, Full Sun

Aspect

North, South, East, West

Exposure

Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Tender in frost (H3), Hardy (H4)

Companion plants

We do not currently have companion plants added for this plant.

Botanical name

Phormium tenax

Other names

New Zealand flax, Common flax lily, Flax bush, New Zealand hemp

Genus

Phormium Phormium

Species

P. tenax - P. tenax forms a clump of dark grey-green, evergreen, strap-shaped leaves and a panicle of red flowers.

Foliage

Evergreen

Habit

Clump-forming

Awards

RHS AGM (Award of Garden Merit)


Colour

Flower

Dark-red in Summer

Foliage

Dark-green, Silvery-grey in All seasons


How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Phormium mealybug

Diseases

Generally disease free.

General care

Propagation methods

Seed, Division


Monthly care advice


Where to grow

Phormium tenax (New Zealand flax) will reach a height of 4m and a spread of 2m after 10-20 years.

Suggested uses

Architectural, City, Coastal, Beds and borders, Gravel, Low Maintenance, Foliage only

Cultivation

Grow moist, well-drained, fertile soil in full sun, will also tolerate partial shade. Foliage may be damaged by cold winds and hard frosts.

Soil type

Sandy, Loamy

Soil drainage

Well-drained, Moist but well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Partial Shade, Full Sun

Aspect

North, South, East, West

Exposure

Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Tender in frost (H3), Hardy (H4)

USDA zones

Zone 11, Zone 10, Zone 9, Zone 8

Defra's Risk register #1

Plant name

Phormium tenax (New Zealand flax)

Common pest name

Australian grapevine yellows; Australian lucerne yellows; Australian yellows of grapevine

Scientific pest name

Candidatus Phytoplasma australiense'

Type

Phytoplasma

Current status in UK

Absent

Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

2

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

4

General biosecurity comments

Phytoplasma present in Australia and New Zealand which could be damaging to grapevine and strawberry production; in particular; if introduced to the UK. EU regulations help to mitigate the risk of entry.

About this section

Our plants are under greater threat than ever before. There is increasing movement of plants and other material traded from an increasing variety of sources. This increases the chances of exotic pests arriving with imported goods and travellers, as well as by natural means. Shoot is working with Defra to help members to do their part in preventing the introduction and spread of invasive risks.

Traveling or importing plants? Please read "Don't risk it" advice here

Suspected outbreak? Click here for contact details to report to the relevant authority.

Date updated: 7th March 2019 For more information visit: https://planthealthportal.defra.gov.uk/

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June 2016

(09/03/2013)

(09/03/2013)

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This plant likes... Garden match
Soil types: Sandy, Loamy Tell us...
Soil drainage: Well-drained, Moist but well-drained Tell us...
Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral Tell us...
Light: Partial Shade, Full Sun Tell us...
Aspect: North, South, East, West Tell us...
Exposure: Exposed, Sheltered Tell us...
Hardiness: Tender in frost (H3), Hardy (H4) Tell us...

DISCUSS THIS PLANT

phorium tenax growth rate

How much growth does this species have in a year? and how far apart should i plant them? If the are becoming too condensed how easy are they to trim back by dividing and clumping?Brian read more

There are 8 active discussions about Phormium tenax (New Zealand flax)

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ARTICLES WITH THIS PLANT

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By Blackheath based garden designer Catherine Clancy MSGD. A family garden created for a New Zealand couple with two young children, in a small back yard in Greenwich, London. read more

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