The Pink Stripe New Zealand Flax (Phormium ‘Pink Stripe’) Care Guide


The Pink Stripe New Zealand Flax, otherwise known as the Phormium ‘Pink Stripe’ or Ninebark ‘Diabolo’, Ninebark ‘Monlo’, Ninebark ‘Diablo’, Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Monlo’, Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Diablo’, is a rather well known shrub plant by gardening enthusiasts around the world.

Best known for its low maintenance and moderate growth, this shrub will likely liven up your house (or garden) with its variegated colored leaves. But, only if you learn how to take proper care of it for it to thrive.

Fortunately, this is exactly what we’ll cover in this Pink Stripe New Zealand Flax Care Guide. So let’s dive in.

The fundamental caring guidelines for every Pink Stripe New Zealand Flax can be summed up into the following:

  • Water: The Pink Stripe New Zealand Flax grows best with watering each week. Increase the frequency of watering when it gets hot.
  • Light: Keep your Phormium ‘Pink Stripe’ in an environment where it can receive partial to full sun on a daily basis. 
  • Soil: Make sure to keep the Pink Stripe New Zealand Flax in soil with moist but well-draining to well draining properties, so ideally, one that is made of sand, loam, and clay.

That’s it – sunlight, water and soil! The basic 3 fundamentals for all plant care, and with the Pink Stripe New Zealand Flax this is no exception. With these three elements, your leafy friend will live healthy and happy.

Pink Stripe New Zealand Flax plants

Scientific / Botanical Aspects

In botanical terms, the Pink Stripe New Zealand Flax belongs to the Rosaceae family, the genus Physocarpus and the species Opulifolius, hence its scientific (or botanical) name Phormium ‘Pink Stripe’ (FOR-mee-um).

As with other Physocarpus’s, the Pink Stripe New Zealand Flax is an evergreen plant, which means it will be present year round in your garden.

Growing Region

The Pink Stripe New Zealand Flax is a plant native to the Central and Eastern North America.

Knowing your plant’s native region is very useful, as it can give you tips on which environment is best for your Pink Stripe New Zealand Flax. If you keep it in mind, you can try to replicate these conditions at home, and you’ll likely end with a healthier plant.

With this in mind, the Phormium ‘Pink Stripe’ will be most used to the heat zones in the 1 – 10 region, as the plant hardiness level falls between 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4b, 4a, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b and the ideal climate zone is between 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, A1, A2, A3.

Growth and Size

Growth

In terms of size and growth, the Pink Stripe New Zealand Flax is a relatively moderate grower, which makes things somewhat easy for any plant enthusiast.

Size

But what exactly does this mean for your Pink Stripe New Zealand Flax? How large a pot should you consider, how tall, how wide can it get? Let’s jump in…

The Phormium ‘Pink Stripe’ can grow up to 4′ – 8′ (120cm – 240cm) in 4′ – 8′ (120cm – 240cm) and 4′ – 8′ (120cm – 240cm) in 4′ – 8′ (120cm – 240cm). 

These dimensions make the Pink Stripe New Zealand Flax a relatively large shrub compared to others, so it’s best to keep this fact in mind since it will affect where you want to keep yours at home.

This is why experts recommend keeping an area of approximately 48″ – 96″ (120cm – 240cm) free so the Pink Stripe New Zealand Flax can spread to its best extent.

Water

In terms of watering, the Pink Stripe New Zealand Flax is a fairly simple plant to take care of.

This is mostly because it has a straightforward watering schedule and somewhat regular watering needs.

Specifically, most experts agree that the Phormium ‘Pink Stripe’ grows best with watering each week. Increase the frequency of watering when it gets hot.

Which is why it is considered a plant with relatively average needs in terms of water. 

Pink Stripe New Zealand Flax care

Watering

As a rule of thumb, you should remember to keep your Pink Stripe New Zealand Flax in soil with moist but well-draining to well draining characteristics, as these will guarantee the right conditions for your plant to grow and thrive. 

When you consider this, this is why you should aim to choose soil that has good drainage, occasional flooding, and occasionally wet properties to keep the right moisture levels at all times. 

But, if you want a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to watering your Pink Stripe New Zealand Flax then you should consider the famous ‘finger’ test. To perform this test, you just need to put your finger in your plant’s soil and determine if it’s moist or not. If it is, then don’t water; if it isn’t, then please do. In any case, this test will allow you to know if your Pink Stripe New Zealand Flax needs or does not need water, every time.

Soil Mix

As mentioned earlier, the Pink Stripe New Zealand Flax prefers to have soil with good drainage, occasional flooding, and occasionally wet properties at all times, reason why you need to make the soil mix out of sand, loam, and clay.

This is why most experts agree that the Pink Stripe New Zealand Flax requires soil with clay, loam (silt), and sand, which will give you the right conditions it needs.

In addition to this, expert gardeners recommend having preferably neutral to acid soil.

Light and Exposure

In terms of light & exposure, the Pink Stripe New Zealand Flax requires partial to full sun in order for it to thrive under the right conditions. 

Most experts agree that this shrub will do well as long as you keep it in partial to full sun, and it will be able to grow properly.

Specifically, we recommend that you place your Phormium ‘Pink Stripe’ in little to partial shade (only 2-6 hours of direct sunlight a day), to full and direct sun (more 6 hours of direct sunlight per day).

Season

Being an evergreen plant, the Pink Stripe New Zealand Flax will be present year round in your garden.

But, you can expect it to have its ‘prime-time’ during the spring (late), and during the summer (early).

Flowers

You can expect your Pink Stripe New Zealand Flax to flower around the spring and in the summer months from April to June (spring), and from July to September (summer).

The Pink Stripe New Zealand Flax produces some wonderful pink and white flowers around this time of year.

Foliage

The leaves from the Pink Stripe New Zealand Flax have a beautiful variegated color during most of the year.

In particular, they have a simple arrangement with a alternate organization in its leaves.

You can expect the leaves from your Phormium ‘Pink Stripe’ to be around (1-3 inches) in size.

Pink Stripe New Zealand Flax up close

Attracts, Tolerance and Resistance

The Pink Stripe New Zealand Flax is well known for being able to attract butterflies and birds, so keep that in mind when choosing your plant, as you’ll likely end up finding one or another in your garden.

Additionally, it has a special tolerance for rocky soil, clay soil, dry soil and drought conditions, so don’t worry if any of these come along, your Phormium ‘Pink Stripe’ will be fine.

Garden

Does your Pink Stripe New Zealand Flax have any garden recommendations? Does it serve any gardening purposes? Here’s how you can get the most out of your new plant.

Other owners consider that they complement well most gardens of informal and cottage, and in traditional garden styles. 

In particular, the Pink Stripe New Zealand Flax’s best location within your garden is in beds and borders, banks and slopes, and in hedges and screens, others use it for landscaping in a coastal exposure, border, or a poolside.

Conclusion

Even though we covered a lot of care information for your Pink Stripe New Zealand Flax, remember the basics: sunlight, soil and water, as these should be enough to grow a healthy plant at home.

Sebastian Moncada

I’m also a plant enthusiast and researcher. I’ve been privileged to have lived my whole life around the wilderness of Colombia and I’m happy to share everything I learn along the way. “Adopt the pace of nature. Her secret is patience” – Emerson.

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