By Susan Morrison
If there’s one thing all landscape designers have in common, it is our passion for tough-as-nails plants that can fill multiple roles in a garden. Clarity Blue™ Dianella fits this bill exactly.
Forming an evergreen, vase-shaped clump approximately 2-feet-tall and wide, this eye-catching Dianella is perfect for smaller garden beds and works equally well as a container specimen. Its stunning, blue foliage mimic the same spikey, upright form of a New Zealand Flax (Phormium sp.). Its gorgeous blue foliage is enough of a reason to add it to a design, but as an added bonus, it sports clusters of petite blue flowers that sit high above the foliage.
Clarity Blue™ Dianella’s dynamic combination of color and texture make it the perfect foil for a wide range of plants. For a bold, evergreen look, plant it close to burgundy-foliaged shrubs like Purple Pixie® Loropetalum or gold and green Miss Lemon™ Abelia. To create an elegant effect, pair it with low-growing silver-leafed perennials like Lamb’s Ears (Stachys sp.) and pale pink or white roses. If container gardening is more your style, it makes the ideal spikey centerpiece when surrounded by mounding succulents.
Clarity Blue™ Dianella is hardy to Sunset zones 8,9 and 14-24 and USDA zones 8-11. Culturally, it handles full coastal sun, but in inland gardens, requires part shade where it will develop the best leaf color. Carefree and disease resistant, it doesn’t require fertilizing or any particular maintenance, but similar to most plants in your garden, will benefit from an annual dressing of compost. Although it appreciates good drainage, it is somewhat tolerant of wet feet.
For my clients, a plant’s ability to thrive in a low-water garden is often the one non-negotiable, and it’s here that Clarity Blue™ really delivers, as I learned firsthand. In an episode of poor plant parenting, I left one stranded in a container, then neglected it horribly for the next six months. When I finally planted my now bedraggled but resilient Dianella in the ground, it easily bounced back to its original beauty and has thrived in my garden ever since.