Phormium Bronze Baby – Learn, Buy & Grow

Phormium tenax bronze baby is Also called Flax lily ‘Bronze baby’, it is a clump-forming, evergreen, perennial shrub that adds beauty to your garden all year round. It was originally called Phormium ‘Rubrum’ when it was cultivated in New Zealand by F. Sydenham before it was renamed Phormium ‘Bronze baby’. Although it is not globally accepted, it has also been renamed by a nursery in South California as Phormium ‘Redi babe’.


Its foliage grows from a clump at the root shooting up bronze or maroon coloured leaves that curve majestically at the tips. Sometimes, stems of bronze or red flowers bloom in summer.

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Just like all other Phormium Tenax, the Flax lily ‘Bronze baby’ is propagated by division in spring and grows best in moist well-drained soil.

How to grow Phormium ‘Bronze Baby’

The best foliage colour is achieved in full sun exposure so pick your planting site carefully.

Phormium Bronze Baby - New Zealand Flax

Phormium Bronze Baby – New Zealand Flax

Though the plant is generally hardy and can withstand temperatures between -6 and -9 degrees celsius, it may need some extra protection when the temperature drops below these. Temperature levels lower than this will often cause severe damage to the foliage, but the root may be protected by mulching.

Lastly, phormiums are generally not prone to diseases but may be affected by phormium mealy bugs.

Where should I position Phormium ‘Bronze Baby’ in my garden?

You can position your Flax lily ‘Bronze baby’ in full sun or partial shade with a south, east, or west-facing aspect.

How tall does Phormium ‘Bronze Baby’ grow and spread?

It is a medium-sized New Zealand flax that grows to reach 4 to 6 feet. It was first noted to grow only about 3 feet until some new growth was recorded at 6 feet in California, USA. It spreads to about 3 metres in 2 to 5 years.

What kind of soil does Phormium ‘Bronze Baby’ need?

It grows well in chalk, sand, or loamy soil with a pH that ranges between acidic, alkaline, and neutral. Although it can grow in dry coastal regions, it does better in moist but well-drained soil that is irrigated regularly.

Other types of Phormium we cover:

Phormium Black Adder, Black Velvet, Bronze Baby, Colensoi, Cookianum, Evening Glow, Golden Ray,  Jester, Maori Queen, Pink Stripe, Platts Black, Rainbow Queen / Maiden, Phormium Sundowner, Phormium Tenax, Phormium Tenax Variegatum, Yellow Wave.

Further reading:

Where can I buy Phormium bronze baby?

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