Frost Damaged New Zealand Flax #822704

Asked March 17, 2023, 4:30 PM EDT

Hello. I have 3 New Zealand Flax plants that are planted close together and are about 10 feet tall. The frost this winter damaged 2 of the 3. The third one seems fine. I have removed the damaged leaves from the damaged tops and the stems where the leaves were are soft. Is there a way for me to rescue them? Should I cut off the tops of the stems? Or do I need to cut them down to soil level and maybe they'll sprout from the bottom again? See attached photos and thank you very much for your help!

Washington County Oregon

Expert Response

Thank you for your question, Cheryl.  Since this species is hardy in USDA zones 9-11 (with historical winter low temperatures of 20 to 45 degrees), it is not surprising that they could not withstand the low temperatures we have experienced in zones 7-8 (0-20).  This is not a plant that is found in the Pacific Northwest, and OSU has conducted studies on flax varieties only as commercial crops (
However, the following resource has some potentially helpful information about "rescuing" your 2 failing plants, and their care, in general:,full%20sun%20to%20part%20shade
I hope this is helpful.  Good luck!
Kristena LaMar Replied March 17, 2023, 5:53 PM EDT

Thank you!  I clicked on the GardeningKnowHow link and it said it is probably best to cut it down to the soil level and it should spout again if the roots aren’t damaged. I will definitely try that.  I have noticed quite of few of these around my neighborhood in Beaverton and some look damaged and some seem OK.  I love mine so I’m hoping I can save it. Thanks so much for your time and effort! 


From: ask=<personal data hidden> <ask=<personal data hidden>> On Behalf Of Ask Extension
Sent: Friday, March 17, 2023 2:54 PM
To: Cheryl E Warren <<personal data hidden>>
Subject: Re: Frost Damaged New Zealand Flax (#0092632)


The Question Asker Replied March 17, 2023, 6:33 PM EDT
Kristena LaMar Replied March 17, 2023, 6:45 PM EDT

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