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Pruning a phormium/NZ flax (big spiky grass thing)

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  • Pruning a phormium/NZ flax (big spiky grass thing)

    Apologies for very dull gardening question, but can't find what I want on BBC Gardening.

    We inherited a phormium from the previous owners of our house, that has got a bit too big. It's at the front of the house and is starting to encroach too much on the other plants and blocking too much light. I quite like it, if only I could shrink it a little bit.

    Does anybody know how I prune it? I don't know if I should just set to with the choppers, which would leave blunt ends on the foliage...?

  • #2
    Re: Pruning a phormium/NZ flax (big spiky grass thing)

    I have no idea - but just wanted to thank you for making me giggle (im in very childish make everything sound filthy silly kind of mode today)

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    • #3
      Re: Pruning a phormium/NZ flax (big spiky grass thing)

      I wouldn't go trimming the leaves, you'll just end up with dying brown-ended leaves.

      When flax get hammered by frost you chop them off right at ground level so I would think you could do the same for restorative pruning, or whatever they call it when you chop back something unwieldy

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      • #4
        Re: Pruning a phormium/NZ flax (big spiky grass thing)

        Well, the leaves of flax were/are used for weaving baskets etc in NZ, and when I was in my basket weaving phase Iused to go down to the beach with a very sharp knife and cut off the blades near the base of the plant.

        If you do this, one by one, so you go around the plant, you should be able to tidy it up nicely, but just don't bother cutting the blades off half way down, wont do you much good.

        HTH

        Minky

        PS try Googling some NZ gardening websites maybe?

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        • #5
          Re: Pruning a phormium/NZ flax (big spiky grass thing)

          http://www.backyardgardener.com/plantname/pd_2439.html

          Try this.

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          • #6
            Re: Pruning a phormium/NZ flax (big spiky grass thing)

            Thanks girls. I think I'm going for the cutting near the base option. I'll take the longest blades off first and keep going until it's a bit more manageable.

            I didn't think I'd get any replies, actually, so thanks for your help, I really appreciate it.

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