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Flax ?

Posted by firefightrsflame 8b/So Cal (My Page) on
Mon, Aug 13, 07 at 18:02

I had no idea where to ask these questions, so I apologize!

Does anyone here know how much watering a New Zealand Flax requires?

We have two that were planted in the spring. The lady at the nursery said hardly any water required. Well, I tried that and I think I completely lost one and the other is sad. We have them hooked on our drip line currently with a lot of our other "tropical" looking or landscaped plants.
They are on a north wall in full sun. She also told us that they enjoy full sun.

I have seen other flax around here (Southern CA) and they are big and beautiful. So, I know I am doing something wrong!

Any help is appreciated!= Terra


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RE: Flax ?

  • Posted by donn_ 7a, GSB, LI, NY (My Page) on
    Mon, Aug 13, 07 at 18:16

Here is a link to a page on New Zealand Flax (Phormium) by one of the country's foremost commercial growers (located in SoCal).

Hope it helps.


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RE: Flax ?

Unfortunately that link doesn't provide much info regarding watering requirements :-) And I'd have to dispute just how drought tolerant P tenax truly is. This plant is found in its native environment growing in swamps or bogs and alongside streams and rivers, although it does tolerate drier conditions. Most common phormiums are hybrids of tenax and the mountain flax, Phormium cookianum. They tend to be a little more finnicky than either of the species in terms of hardiness and growing conditions. All require regular, deep watering to become established (which can happen rather rapidly, if all other growing conditions are met). Once well established, you can back off on the watering to some extent but I'd still make sure that they received some on a regular basis, as long as your soil is well drained.

Since SoCal is experiencing an extended drought, your nursery should have cautioned you about the need for regular watering until your flaxes are properly established. I've grown (and sold) phormiums for years here in the reputedly damp PNW and still provide regular water during the summer months (and very good drainage, specially with our truly wet winters) and haven't lost one yet. Even with last winter's unnaturally wet and cold weather.


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RE: Flax ?

I appreciate all the info. And, I think I'll bump up it's water in take. Thank you! The lady we bought everything from is the one that told my husband hardly any water. So, I am starting to take her advice with a grain of salt and now (as you can see) I'm doing a lot of backtrack reading to find out more about the plants I purchased from her. Very hard job cause I have a few more "tropical" type to do a well.

Again= thanks!!!! I'll have to write you again if I have any other flax questions/issues. =) - Terra


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