I've just moved into a house that has a large Phormium in the front garden. It has a faded flower spike on it. Do I need to cut this back, or should I leave it until the warmer weather?
You can optionally cut the flower spike back whenever you wish. Some gardeners find them attractive and leave them on the plant. However, once the spike produces seeds, they can drop and self-seed more Phormium in your yard, so you may want to remove the spike before the seeds mature.
I discovered my 8 young phormium (black adder, special order, hard to find and replace) had mealy bug so I sprayed each and every leaf fold with horticulture spray (called All Seasons) 6 are doing ok but 2 of them had leaves that dried up almost completely. I found that the leaves fell off easily if I plucked or even just moved them. The leaves felt dry except at the very base where they were still green. (About 1/4 inch at most) From these 2, one of them still has a few normal looking leaves, the other lost all leaves and I'm wondering if it will rebound considering the base shows some signs of life (green)
With any oil based sprays, it is very important to follow all packaging instructions very carefully. Oil sprays are not meant to be used in hot weather, or in bright light. These conditions will cause the oils to burn the leaves. It is also very important to, only, test on a very small portion of the plant to make sure that it does not have a reaction to the oil.
I would try and force growth from the top, first. As long as the stems are not brittle they will likely leaf back out. If the top will not leaf back out, then you can allow any growth from the bottom to take back over.
Here are some articles that will help:
Hello A Gardener planted some yellow wave phormiums For us in a border at the front of our house.. In October 2019. I have noticed browning/marks appear on them. Just wondered what this is, I hope they’re not dying? We recently (3 weeks ago) put slate down - and wonder if this has caused it.. They have only had one really good water (when planted) as the rain has done the rest and the gardener recommended they didn’t need to now.. I’ve text her.. and she’s not sure what it is.. But suggested a really one off good water / can you help shine a light on this - third image was when they were ok.. just after slate was put down.
Depending on the condition of the slate, how much of it, and how dusty it was, then there is a likelihood of the soil pH having been raised too high. This can be confirmed with a soil test, and pH test. These articles will help:
This article will give you more information on the care requirements of the plant:
My phormium has lived happily in a ceramic container for years but over time has lost its lovely pinky-orangey leaves and is now mostly greenish. Should I be feeding it? I thought the initial instructions said not necessary but may have remembered wrongly. I have very acid soil, and think I would have planted it in something like John Innes No. 3 and have topped up occasionally with a good compost. Something I am doing is obviously wrong. Sorry, no photo as my digital skills not up to uploading from camera to this page.
It is not unusual for the plant to revert back to its parentage foliage. If this happens, cut the affected leaves back to the base of the plant.