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"Possibility and promise greet me each day as I walk out into my garden. My vigor is renewed when I breathe in the earthiness and feel the dirt between my fingers. My garden is a peaceful spot to refresh my soul." Meems

Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Flax Lily Goodness

I'm definitely noticing variegated flax lily (Dianella tasmanica variegata) more and more in commercial and residential landscaping throughout central Florida. Personally, I'm convince it is one of THE BEST PLANTS on the planet. Are you as in love as I am? People generally seem to really appreciate it or not-so-much care for it.

First of all, there are few plants that do almost equally as well in sun or shade. Flax lily can tolerate both. In my experience it excels in partial or what I call filtered sun. Meaning it can take a good deal of direct sunlight but appreciates a break from an all day sunbath. If you have places in your garden where the sun shines directly for a few hours and then receives some shade as the sun shifts OR places on the outermost edge of a tree canopy where the sunlight streams through the branches for most of the day flax lily will give you all you ever hoped for in a perennial plant. It is highly drought resistant and considered to be Florida-Friendly requiring very little attention.

I like it as a border plant. Not everyone prefers using a border plant with flax lily's mature height (1-3') and same width. But I definitely do. It is one of the plants I chose as a continuum in the front garden. When grass is removed completely from an area it can also eliminate the calming or anchoring point for the eye when scanning the space. In consideration for minimizing confusion it helps to think about creating focal points and discovering what's the best use of plants to offer a similar sense of calm in the absence of the lawn. Repeat the same variety of a plant effectively in a lawn-less garden and it pulls the space together in a peaceful manner.

For many weeks now each grass-like, variegated flax lily plant is loaded with clusters of tiny flowers suspended atop wispy stalks above the vertical clusters.

For more information on maintenance of flax lily you can read a previous post on this subject here.

Dividing these plants is a very doable option also for adding more of them to your garden on a budget.

Are you a fan of flax lily? Why? Why not?

****words in red are links to references or posts for more information on the subject.****


  1. If it would grow here, 6a, I would certainly grow it. It is a beauty.

  2. Love flax lily! The sweet, wispy blue flowers are a bonus!
    Yours are so full and lush, Meems.

    Enjoy your weekend!

  3. Can you believe one hour north of you, the last freeze came through and wiped out mine. They are creeping back with this warm weather.Phooey...

  4. I love any plant that is drought tolerant! but varigated coloring gets me every time....

  5. Flax lily is one tough customer in my yard. Mine have sailed through winter freezes and August scorchers. It's a perfect, space-filling groundcover. And beautiful to boot.

  6. I just bought one pot of this on sale a week or so ago, and divided one bit that was off to the side of the pot, so now have two plants.

    I'm in love with this plant. The flowers are sweet and I love the way they dance above the leaves.

    I'll read your other post on dividing these next.

    Have a great weekend ~ FlowerLady

  7. hi meems, you are so right about this lily. I grow it in sun and part shade. It really looks its best with some afternoon shade. You are right it doesn't feel like winter this year. Keep on gardening.

  8. I love flax lily! I have had it in my garden for years. I first saw it about six years ago planted in a large container, and it looked great as a container plant, too especially in winter.

    Always Growing

  9. I was so excited about the Dianella when I first heard about it. I ran out and got one. Unfortunately, it does freeze to the ground here (when we have a normal winter) and then it takes forever to come back. So I was disappointed with that aspect. I imagine in your neck of the woods, though, it is a winner!! Since we have had such a mild winter this year, maybe mine will do better this year :-) Check out my new potting bench that we built -- I think you were looking for one, weren't you?

  10. Lisa,
    I love the way nature works. There are plants that grow beautifully for you that will never work here.

    It is an easy plant indeed and the flowers actually come on twice in a year.

    Aunt Diane,
    I'm thinking that if they were established well before the cold they probably will return. As long as the roots weren't damaged.

    I'm with you... give me drought resistant AND foliage color and I'm sold.

    All the 'official' information on Flax Lily says they do best in full sun. But I think you have the perfect environment for them providing some shade.

    I have a feeling that before too many seasons pass you are going to make several more plants from the one you purchased. I started with 7about 5 years ago...then created lots more from those and just kept buying them and dividing each one.

    In full sun (like 6+ hours) they would require more water to keep them looking their best. I see them planted in commercial situations out in the open all day and they can sometimes look scraggly. The shade preserves the water supply also.

    So interesting you can grow it well where you are. Glad to know it.

    I will check out your potting bench. I wasn't actively looking for one because I don't really have an ideal place to put one (yet). But I did buy a piece of furniture thinking I would turn it into one and then decided to keep the piece as a side hutch in my breakfast area.

  11. Drought tolerant? Hmmm. I wonder how it will do in our climate and if it can grow as well potted.

  12. Love it but seems quite prone to rust here in Central doesn't look like it bounces back from that--

  13. I have & like flax lily but i hate those flower shoots they send up, they look like weeds coming out of the top..thats the only thing I hate about it.

  14. I am a fan but I can't grow them here for a very long time period because of our intense heat. The time period to grow these plants in Tucson are in March, April, and into May. As long as they are in shade with regular watering, they can succeed here surpringly:) Hope you had a good weekend. Chris

  15. Oh yeah, I love flax lily. I've been adding it to my garden ever since I first saw you using it as a border in yours. I do have to be careful to use it in front of taller plants as it is a pretty tall border plant, but especially for those areas that need bare spots filled in, it is super. It is similar enough to the variegated liriope that I think the two blend beautifully as borders.

  16. I grow the plain green Dianella. Haven't had any success with the berries on my current clump here in the UK but am thinking of changing to the variegated form which has much more impact. Love the swathes in your pictures.


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