UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA
University of California
UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA

Water Wise Plants

Phormium tenax 'Amazing Red'

FORM-ee-um TEN-ax
Common Name
New Zealand Flax 'Amazing Red'
Plant Type
Mature Size
3 ft. wide and tall
Water Requirements
Low: water every three weeks until the root ball is wet
Sun/Shade Requirements
Full to half sun
  • Hummingbirds
Flower Color
Red (but grown more for foliage)
Maintenance- Design- Planting Tips

'Amazing Red' is one of the smaller Phormium cultivars. The sharp texture and brownish-red color of the leaves makes this plant an excellent focal point in the perennial bed.

Some Phormiums revert to the brownish color of the species after several years. 'Amazing Red' has held its color in the demonstration garden for six years and for ten years in some Master Gardeners' personal gardens.

To maintain, prune out dead leaves at their base, but don't try to reduce size of Phormiums by cutting back the leaves. Unlike grasses, Phormium leaves won't grow back, leaving stubby unattractive leaves.

PADG notes: Though it is supposed to be small, in the demonstration garden this plant has grown to about 3 feet high and wide in six years, larger than expected. The plant has not bloomed.

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