What we love about planting heirloom flax
- Fast-growing perennial
- Great for container gardening
- Offers a multitude of uses
- Varieties for every blooming season
Grow the best heirloom flax in your home garden
Heirloom flax, or Linum usitatissimum, is a genus of over 200 species endemic to temperate and subtropical areas across the world. Several heirloom flaxes are grown as garden ornamentals, but Linum has been cultivated in Eurasia since Roman times for its plant fiber, seeds, and tender leaves for culinary purpose.
Some heirloom flax seeds, such as Linum usitatissimum , may be cultivated at a top height of 24 inches for the oil of their seeds, linseed oil. Since Ancient Egypt, other economic applications of this crop have existed, such as spinning linen from flax fibers.
How to plant heirloom flax seed
After all dangers of frost have passed, put seeds straight into your garden or in containers. Heirloom flax thrives at temperatures between 55 and 65 °F. Start your seeds six to eight weeks before the last spring frost if you live in a zone colder than zone 7. Heirloom flax can thrive in full sun, although it prefers partial shade in hot regions because it is not drought resistant. Use soil that has been loosened and is free of weeds. The soil pH for heirloom flax flowers should be between 6.5 and 7.5.
While cold stratification isn't necessary before sowing heirloom flax seeds, it may be done for two months or the seeds can be germinated in low temperatures for the first three days for more consistent growth and blooms.
Heirloom flax needs little maintenance
Plant heirloom flax seeds immediately on the soil's surface since they need sunlight to grow. Other than maintaining your seed bed clear of weeds, heirloom flax flowers require little to no maintenance after they've established themselves. Between 7 and 30 days after sowing, your seeds will reach a height of 6 to 12 inches. Heirloom flax blooms are solely affected by two pests or diseases: aphids and powdery mildew. Heirloom flax blooms will fade off with the first deadly frost and will regrow year after year in the same area if fresh seeds fall into bare ground.
The best companion plants for heirloom flax
For more information about planting, growing, and caring for heirloom flax flower seed, see the Flax Seeds Planting Guide.