University of Illinois Extension

Phormium

Phormium has leathery, sword shaped leaves that radiate upwards and outward to create a bold stemless trunk. Phormium grows to about four feet in the garden and creates a dramatic vertical statement. They look like traditional dracaena or “spike,” but the foliage is usually much wider and is often brightly colored with reds, burgundys and pink. Phormium adapts to conditions varying from full sun to full shade. Best appearance is achieved in full sun however. They tolerate a wide range of soil types. Plants can be left in the garden well into the fall when temperatures go into the 40 degree range and then moved indoors to a sunny, cool location. They will tolerate a low light area if they are kept on the dry side.

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