Growing Guide
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Perennial Flax

Herbaceous Perennial Flower, Herb

Also known as Blue Flax, Prairie Flax
Linum perenne
Linaceae Family

This clump-forming perennial requires well-drained soil and has blue flowers that last up to 12 weeks from early to midsummer. It is short-lived, but readily self-seeds.

Site Characteristics
  • full sun

Soil conditions:

  • tolerates droughty soil
  • requires well-drained soil
Mature plants tolerate droughty soil. Will not overwinter in poorly drained soil.

Hardiness zones:

  • 5 to 9
May be hardy in Zone 4 or even Zone 3.
Plant Traits

Lifecycle: perennial

Ease-of-care: moderately difficult

Height: 1 to 2 feet

Spread: 1 to 1.5 feet

Bloom time:

  • early summer
  • mid-summer

Flower color: blue

'Alba' has white flowers.

Foliage color: medium green

Foliage texture: fine

Slender stems with grass-like leaves


  • cushion, mound or clump
  • upright

Shape in flower: same as above

Special Considerations
  • heat
Special characteristics:
  • deer resistant
  • non-aggressive - Self-seeds, but not aggressively.
  • non-invasive
  • not native to North America - Native to Europe and temperate Asia.
Growing Information
How to plant:

Propagate by seed, cuttings, division or separation - Division is difficult. Best way to maintain planting or relocate is to sprinkle mature seed from plants where desired.

Fresh seeds can be sown in a greenhouse. Seedlings should be transplanted into individual pots to be planted out the next summer.

Cuttings can be taken in the spring by harvesting basal shoots when they are 5 to 10 inches long with plenty of underground stem. They should be potted and kept in light shade in a cold frame until well rooted. Plant out in the summer.

Maintenance and care:
Needs to be trimmed back after flowering to avoid leggy appearance and encourage new growth and flowering. Plant in masses to create spread.

More growing information: How to Grow Perennials

'Alba': white flowers, but otherwise very similar.

'Saphyr'; blue flowers but only grows about 12 inches tall.