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Plant profile

Phormium Dark Delight is a stunning evergreen plant that has become popular in New Zealand for its attractive foliage and easy care requirements. It is a compact selection of Phormium tenax, a relatively new cultivar developed in the 1990s. It is a smaller and more compact version of the species, with dark purple foliage that adds a dramatic touch to any garden.

Phormium Dark Delight is a perennial evergreen plant that grows in clumps. It can reach up to 1.2 meters in height and spread up to 1 meter wide. Its leaves are long and narrow, reaching up to 1.5 meters in length and 5 cm in width. The foliage is dark purple, almost black, with a glossy texture. The plant produces flowers on tall stems, but these are not very showy and are often cut back to maintain the plant's attractive foliage. The flowers are typically yellow or red and bloom in the summer.

 

Care

Phormium Dark Delight is an easy care plant that is suitable for most New Zealand gardens. It is tolerant of a wide range of soil types, but prefers well-draining soil. It can grow in full sun or partial shade, but will produce more vibrant foliage in a sunny location.

 

Watering

It is drought tolerant once established, but it does benefit from regular watering during dry spells. Water deeply and allow the soil to dry out slightly before watering again.

 

Feeding

Phormium Dark Delight does not require regular feeding, but it will benefit from a slow-release fertiliser in the spring. Be sure to follow the instructions on the packaging to avoid over-fertilising.

 

Overwintering

Phormium Dark Delight is hardy to most New Zealand regions and does not require special protection in the winter. However, it may benefit from a layer of mulch around the base of the plant to protect the roots from frost.

 

Pruning

It does not require regular pruning, but you may need to remove dead or damaged leaves as they appear. To maintain a compact shape, you can also trim back the tips of the leaves in the spring.

 

Propagation

Phormium Dark Delight can be propagated by division in the spring. Simply dig up the plant and divide it into smaller sections, each with their own root system.

 

Diseases and Pests

Phormium Dark Delight is relatively disease and pest resistant, but it can be susceptible to fungal diseases in wet conditions. To prevent this, avoid overwatering and provide good air circulation around the plant.

 

Substitutes

There are various other dark-leaved Phormiums available, for example Black Rage, or if it is just colour variety you’re looking for then P. cookianum purpurea or Evening Glow could also be good options.

 

Plants to Pair With

Phormium Dark Delight looks great when planted in mass or mixed with other plants in a border. Some plants that pair well with it include Hebe, Astelia, and Pittosporum. If using shrubs like Hebe, select smaller cultivars that won’t over-crowd it.

Phormium Dark Delight

$16.50Price
  •  

    • Mature size: 1m wide x 1.2m tall
    • Evergreen: Yes
    • Flower colour: Yellow or red
    • Temperature: Hardy
    • Light: Full sun, part shade
    • Moisture: Hardy
    • Wind tolerance: High

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