Phlox is among the very beautiful flowers that decorate our gardens over the summer.
Short Phlox facts
Name – Phlox
Family – Polemoniaceae
Type – perennial or annual
Height – 8 inches to 3 feet (0.2 to 1 m)
Exposure – full sun
Soil – rather rich and well drained
Flowering – April to October
Foliage – semi-evergreen
Easy to care for and grow, they’ll charm you because they’re are extremely ornamental.
There are also annual phlox species, one of which is called Drummond’s phlox, which only bloom in summer.
Sowing annual phlox
Sowing annual phlox is easy and quick, and is best done directly in the garden.
- Try to perform direct sowing in the plot in spring, using a blend of soil mix and garden soil.
- Keep the substrate a little moist by watering it regularly.
- When the phlox seeds have sprouted and grown a few leaves, thin them down to about 8 inches (20 cm) distance right from the first leaves, to give the plant a lot of space to grow well.
- Annual phlox is particularly well suited to garden boxes, pots and pot arrangements.
Planting perennial phlox
Just as for annual phlox, it appreciates rather rich soil.
- The phlox is planted preferably in fall for species that bloom in spring and in spring for those that bloom in summer.
- Prefer sunbathed locations.
- Mix your garden soil with proper flower plant soil mix.
- Place plants at least 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 cm) apart.
- Water regularly.
In a pot or nursery container
Terra cotta tends to dry out fast, but it’s also better at keeping the soil cool. If you can water regularly, this is the option to go for. If you might miss watering for a few days in a row during hot weather, better go for a plastic or an enameled pot.
- Plant either in spring or fall, keep the container in a rather sunny spot.
Multiplying perennial phlox
Perennial phlox is easily propagated through crown division.
- Divide the clump in fall, once the stems have died off.
Pruning and caring for phlox
More regular watering is required for phlox growing in pots, garden boxes or container.
The most famous annual Phlox is Phlox drummondii.
- It revels in the sun and prefers rather rich and well drained soil.
- Regular watering is needed, especially in times of drought.
There are a great many phlox varieties and species, but they all have one thing in common: they love sun!
- Always try to find sunbathed locations or places that only have shade for couple hours.
- Double-check that your soil is rich enough so you’ll have beautiful blooming.
- At the beginning of spring, add flower plant fertilizer to the soil.
- Remove wilted flowers regularly (deadheading).
Phlox care in winter
Perennial phlox will grow back year after year but it is best, right after the first frost spells, to cut the foliage short. It would quickly turn black if left on the plant. Protect with a fair layer of dead leaf mulch.
You can pull out annual phlox because they don’t grow back from one year to the next.
All there is to know about phlox
Very easy-growing plants, Phlox only need to be watered in dry and hot weather.
This plant presents abundant and plentiful blooming for the most part of the year.
The Phlox genus comprises a great diversity of plants. Herbaceous, annual and perennial versions of the plant exist.
Varieties of phlox
Over 60 phlox species have been numbered to date. A few famous varieties like the annual Drummond phlox and the perennial ‘Orange perfection’, ‘Amethyst’, ‘Tenor’, ‘Graf zeppelin’ are some of the many shapes and colors that will decorate and enliven your garden and terrace.
Phlox is a curious flower: every part of it will remind you of a different plant: flower clusters look like those of hydrangea, single blooms like those of plumbago, individual flowers like carnation, ground carpet like that of rose moss… Definitely a plant to remember when learning about the different garden flowers!
Diseases and parasites that attack phlox
The most destructive parasites that impact phlox are snails and slugs that love indulging into the plant’s leaves.
Phlox can also be infected by powdery mildew.
Smart tip about phlox
To trigger regrowth of perennial phlox in the following spring, cover the plant with manure before winter, it will protect the plant over winter and speed the sprouting.