If you're looking for a low-maintenance plant that provides both texture and color, consider the variegated flax lily (Danella tasmanica “Variegata”). Although this drought-resistant perennial produces late-summer flowers, it is grown primarily for its variegated strappy foliage. Variegated flax lily grows from 1 to 3 feet tall with an equal spread and does best in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 11.
Although the variegated flax lily does well when planted in shady locations, it does best when it receives full or partial sun for most of the day. In fact, plants grown in the shade are more susceptible to scale, a tiny insect that attaches itself to the undersides of the flax lily’s leaves and feeds on it by sucking out the juices.
The variegated flax lily requires consistently moist soil during its first growing season. This helps it establish the strong, deep root system that allows it to tolerate drought conditions later in its life. In its second and subsequent seasons, water it only during periods of extreme drought. If other plants in the garden are experiencing drought stress, the flax lily probably is as well, so water it slowly to a depth of 10 inches.
To keep the variegated flax lily looking tidy, remove old, yellow or pest-infested leaves throughout the growing season. Use sharp pruning shears and cut the leaf as far back into the plant as possible. Avoid composting diseased or infested parts of the plant. To avoid spreading diseases and pests, bag up affected foliage and remove it from the garden. The variegated flax lily can be divided in early spring. Dig it up, drive a shovel through the root ball and replant the pieces.