Flax can be either annual or perennial. The annual varieties (Linum usitatissimum) are grown for their seeds or fibers. The perennial varieties (Linum perenne) are mostly garden ornamental plants. Because the flowers only last one day, these are vigorous bloomers. They can be white, blue or yellow.
Planting and Care
Flax is easiest grown from seed. Choose a site that has full sun and well-drained soil. Scatter the seeds over the area you want to plant and gently rake them into the soil, about 1/2 inch deep. Water the seeds.
When plants are established, watering is only necessary during very dry spells or high heat.
During heavy rains, the stems of flax plants may droop or fall to the ground. Use a regular kitchen fork or even a stick to prop them back up. Just push the fork into the ground so the tines are facing up and the branch can lean on the fork.
Deadhead (remove) any spent flowers that are left on the stems to encourage new flower growth. To do so, pinch off the dead flowers with your fingers.
For perennial varieties, clip back the stems to the ground in the fall, by using snips or scissors. Grasp a clump of branches and snip them off near the base of the plant, leaving only a few inches above the ground.