Flax Lily

The flax lily has a lot of different colors and looks to choose from for this pretty perennial.

Flax Lily Color Combinations

Gardeners favor the flax lily because it offers many different options of foliage textures and colors. While the regular species tends to come in a solid green, many of the hybrid varieties are available in an array of color variegations. Some of the most common flax lily foliage colors are a simple gray-green midrib with a contrasting bright white or gold edge. Other varieties boast stunning burgundy-blue foliage with a gray cast. Flax lily also offers small blooms. Some varieties have larger purple or deep-blue blooms born on long, wiry stems in airy clusters held well above the foliage. Several species have ornamental berries as well. The berries are bright blue and look stunning when found in clusters hanging above the eye-catching foliage.

Related: How to Get Beautiful Texture in Your Garden

Flax Lily Care Must-Knows

Flax lilies are extremely easy to grow and require little maintenance. When planting, remember this plant does not tolerate standing water and likes well-drained soil. It's quick to rot if planted in soggy conditions. While flax lilies are very tolerant of drought, for best results place in an area with even moisture.

These plants are tolerant of varying amounts of light. In order to encourage the most vigorous growth, plant in full sun to part shade. Variegated varieties will often fare slightly better when placed in part shade, because too much sun may bleach the color and sometimes even burn the leaves. Just about every variety will grow in shade but will often have a looser habit and more muted colors. Overall, plant growth is much slower when planted in full shade.

In tropical areas, this hardy plant's leaves are semi-evergreen to evergreen. In areas of marginal hardiness, foliage may die back to the ground during cold spells and may need to be cleaned up a bit and trimmed back. The evergreen foliage is often held for long periods of time and will require the occasion removal of older, yellow leaves. Flax lily is susceptible to fungal leaf spot, but it is usually not too severe of a problem. Mealybugs and scale can also be an occasional concern for flax lily.

More Varieties of Flax Lily

Flax Lily Overview

Genus Name Dianella
Common Name Flax Lily
Plant Type Perennial
Light Part Sun, Sun
Height 1 to 3 feet
Width 1 to 2 feet
Flower Color Blue, White
Foliage Color Blue/Green
Season Features Summer Bloom, Winter Interest
Special Features Good for Containers, Low Maintenance
Zones 10, 11, 8, 9
Propagation Division, Seed
Problem Solvers Drought Tolerant

'Variegata' Flax Lily

'Variegata' Flax Lily
Denny Schrock

This is a variegated variety of Dianella tasmanica. It has standard foliage with bright white margins. Zones 8-10

Flax Lily Companion Plants

Annual Begonia

begonia big rose with bronze leaf
Justin Hancock

Talk about foolproof: Annual begonia is about as easy as it gets. It does well in a variety of conditions, but to keep it its most luxuriant best, give it light shade; rich, well-drained soil; and ample water. It also loves plenty of fertilizer, so be generous. Plant annual begonias in spring after all danger of frost has passed. No need to deadhead this flower unless you want to, it's "self-cleaning!"


bear's breeches
James Carriere

A majestic plant, bear's breeches is like a living sculpture in the garden. It offers sturdy spires of white or pink blooms with papery purple bracts that make a dramatic statement, as does the rich-green, spiny-looking foliage. The plants tolerate poor, dry soil once established but need regular moisture to get started. In well-drained soil bear's breeches can spread to become a large colony, but it is not invasive.

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