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Sundowner Flax Lily Plants (Phormium Sundowner) 1Sundowner Flax Lily Plants (Phormium Sundowner) 1Sundowner Flax Lily Plants (Phormium Sundowner) 2Sundowner Flax Lily Plants (Phormium Sundowner) 3

Sundowner Flax Lily Plants

Phormium Sundowner

The details

  • Green and yellow striped leaves with pink flushes.
  • Flowers irregularly. Yellow, around July
  • Grows on the coast
  • Hardiness rating H4
  • Height x Spread: 1.5-2m x 1.5-2m
  • RHS Award of Garden Merit
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Description

Phormium tenax 'Sundowner' Flax Lily Plants. 3 Litre Pots

Not for the faint-hearted gardener as this phormium can grow to 4 metres tall with 1-metre-long leaves. A mighty statesman of an exotic plant with stacked rosette of broad leaves, striped green and yellow with variable pink flushes. Occasionally, Sundowner produces tall stalks of muted yellow flowers around July. A marvellous statement piece.

Browse our other Phormium varieties or all our perennial plants.

Features

  • Green and yellow striped leaves with pink flushes.
  • Flowers irregularly. Yellow, around July
  • Grows on the coast
  • Hardiness rating H4
  • Height x Spread: Over 2m x 1.5-2m
  • RHS Award of Garden Merit

Growing Sundowner Phormiums

Phormiums love a sunny, well drained location with light, loamy soil. With a hardiness rating of H4 from the RHS, they are suitable for most of Great Britain, apart from the colder inland and Northern areas of Scotland.

Tidy in Spring by pruning out the biggest / oldest and most winter-damaged leaves, cutting them at the bottom - if you trim the leaves higher up, they will look ragged and unsightly. Make a diagonal cut flush with the base of the other leaves, rather than a flat cut, which will leave a straggly little stub.

This pruning requires reaching down inside the foliage, which has pointed tips, so wearing proper work goggles or face shield is recommended when working with mature plants. Secateurs are all you need, but for cutting off unwanted shoots on well established plants, a grape harvesting hook (a type of small, sharp serrated sickle) is nifty for slicing them easily at soil level without dulling your secateurs.

Dividing a big phormium clump is easier with a sharp, sturdy spade to help you dig around all around it, and then lift the whole rootball. Once it's out, it will be easier to see where to break the clumps apart from one another by splitting them with the spade: the rhizomes are very tough but come apart from each other with some firm spade and bodyweight effort, wiggling it into the natural gaps between the clump sections as you go - if your spade is dull after digging, sharpening it will make this work a lot easier.

At the end of dividing a big clump, you may choose to trim the leaves down to stumps in order to help the roots establish. Doing this will give you a bigger plant in subsequent years at the cost of having nice looking leaves this and next year.

In Your Garden Design

However, for the brave it can make a fantastic architectural statement planted in a huge pot at the end of a vista or on a terrace in a tropical jungle-style garden along with other exotic large leaved plants such as Tetrapanax papyrifer. You could also combine with Ferns and Palms, as well as Muso Lasiocarpa, Fatsia Japonica, bright Begonias, Hedychiums, Hostas and Bamboo.

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