The care information provided in this section represents the kind of practical advice is available for all the plants in this web site if you subscribe to the monthly customized newsletter Yardener’s Advisor.
Watering Blue Flax
Water perennial flax when it is first planted. Normal rainfall should be sufficient once it is established. It does not care for soggy soil, and tolerates the mild droughty periods typical of high summer in many regions. In case of prolonged drought, however, water perennial flax in cultivated areas of the yard along with the other ornamental plantings on the property every 5 to 7 days. Soak the soil deeply by running a sprinkler or drip system 20 to 20 minutes each time. Flax growing in meadows and naturalized areas can be left on its own. For information on products see the file on Choosing Watering Equipment
Fertilizing Blue Flax
In the spring sprinkle a tablespoon or so of an all purpose granular fertilizer on the soil around established perennial flax plants for the rain to soak in. Do not allow it to touch plant stems or foliage. For more information see the file for Choosing Fertilizers
Mulching and Weed Control
As do most ornamental plants, perennial flax benefits from a thin layer of organic mulch on the soil over its roots. During the growing season spread a 2 or 3 inch layer of chopped leaves, wood chips, or something similar around the plants to discourage weeds. This mulch will also condition the soil as it slowly decays over the season. In the late fall replenish the mulch layer or lay evergreen boughs lightly over the flax plants to help insulate the soil from the typical freezing and thawing of winter which may disturb their roots. For more information see the file on Using Mulch
From time to time it is necessary to replace perennial flax plants, since they only last 3 to 5 years. The usual way to acquire more plants from perennials is to divide large, existing clumps. However, perennial flax clumps are difficult to divide successfully, and will have lost their vigor after several years of growing and spreading anyway. Since perennial flax seedlings are often not readily available at the nursery or garden center, it is best to plant seed. Follow the directions on the seed packet. Also, sometimes existing plants will self-sow, providing seedlings for transplant around the property.