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How to Grow Flax Flowers

Perennial, Linum Perenne Lewsii

If ever there was a flexible, and usable plant, Flax is certainly it. Flax is a multi-tasker..  . a flower, a vegetable (grain corp), and a herb, all in one! Why, Flax even has medicinal value. That's not all. It is also used in making fabric.

Native to India, Flax has been used  by countless civilizations, for thousands of years. Early Pilgrims brought Flax to America. They used the seed for food and nutrition, and to make linseed oil. They used the fibers of the long, thin stems to make clothing, linen and lace. It was also used to make rope, twine, and a variety of other items.

Today, Flax is largely grown commercially in the U.S. to make Linseed Oil. As home gardeners, we appreciate the attractive and uncommon true blue flower color. Some home gardeners harvest the seed for consumption, and for use in herbal teas. 

Flax plants grow 18" - 24" tall. Clumps of delicate foliage give way to true blue flowers in the summer. Grow them in groups for the best effect. They are commonly used as a wildflower. Try them in containers, too.

Did you Know? Common flax is the national flower of Belarus.


Medicinal Uses:

As a medicinal herb, Flax contains Omega-3, a fatty acid which helps fight a variety of diseases. Medicinal uses include:

  • Promotes heart health

  • Lowers cholesterol

  • Protects against strokes

  • Lowers blood pressure

  • Used for constipation

  • Helps guard against breast cancer and other cancers


As a healthy source of food and nutrition, flax seeds:

  • Are used in herbal teas

  • Can be ground into a low carb meal for making breads and doughs.

  • The oil from the seeds makes linseed oil, and can is used in cooking.

  • Sprouts are used in salads


Propagation:

Flax plants are grown from seeds. Directly sow Flax seeds flower garden. They can also be started indoors for transplanting later. Sow seeds early in the season and cover lightly with 1/8" of fine garden soil or potting soil. Spring sown plants will not bloom until the next year. Try sowing seeds early in the  fall, and they will bloom the next spring.

Ideal plant spacing is 10" -12".  They will tolerate a little crowding.


How to Grow Flax Plants:

Grow Flax in full sun. The plants prefer rich soil. Mix plenty of compost into the soil at planting time. Flax plants like even soil moisture. Keep the soil moist, not wet.

Apply a general purpose fertilizer when planting, and monthly after that.

Flax is easy to grow. As wildflowers, they require virtually no care. In the home garden, mulch around them to help retain soil moisture, and to keep the weeds down. Prune plants to promote good air circulation.

After the flowers blooms have died off, harvest the seeds and use them for herbal or culinary purposes.


Insect and Disease:

Flax is susceptible to a wide variety of fungal diseases, blights and rusts.  Pruning plants to increase air circulation, keeping water off the plant, and promoting overall health will help to minimize plant disease. Treat as needed with a fungicide.

More Information:

More on growing Flax





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