Phlox flowers are annual and perennials that came back every year. They are popular for their cloud of billowy bloom and no-fuss nature. In this post you get all the information about phlox flowers planting, growing, and caring.
After reading this post you will get a clear idea of how to grow this flower by yourself. So, if you’re interested in growing this dazzling perennial.
Let’s dive into:
How Phlox Flowers Look Like
Phlox flowers are star-shaped. There are many types of varieties: short-ground cover, and tall and medium-size varieties. Short varieties bloom in the early spring season while tall varieties in the late or mid-summer.
It has many varieties differentiated based on color, shape, and size. Because of so many varieties, you would be able to find a perfect pair literally for any garden. In fact, many of them are native to North America. Honestly, their versatility can’t be overstated.
Pulse can be grown in any place with very low maintenance. The short varieties are ideal to plant as ground plants. Taller varieties are used as a colorful backdrop and medium-sized can fill any gap in the garden.
Depending on your need you can grow them. These bright, colorful flowers not only look great but have a lovely fragrance.
When to plant
Plant them just after the last frost in your region. Planting early gives time to get settled and bloom in early spring.
Where to plant
Phlox flowers can be planted in pots, containers, soil beds, and gardens. You can use them to make borders of the garden. This bright color bloom like to shine in sun, so plant where they receive full sunlight with proper soil combination; will discuss later.
|Plant type||Annual, perennial|
|Mature Size||6 to 7 feet|
|Sun Exposure||Full sun|
|Soil Type||Fertile, moist, well-drained soil|
|Soil pH||5.6 – 6.6|
|Bloom Time||Spring, Summer|
|Flower Color||Purple, Red, Pink, White, and Blue|
|Hardiness Zones||2 to 9 USDA|
|Native Area||North America|
How To Grow Phlox Flowers
Phlox flowers can be propagated by both stem cutting or seeds. However, propagation from stem cutting is a better method than seeds.
The reason behind this, most modern plants are cultivars developed by breeding different species. If you grow from seeds, the plants will not grow exactly similar to their parent plant.
Now let’s discuss how to propagate from stem cuttings or small plants:
- Use a garden fork or tiller to prepare the garden soil. Loosen the soil about 12-15 inches deep, then add 2 to 4 inches of compost.
- Dig the hole twice the size of the root ball, and place the plant so that root balls remain even with the soil’s surface.
- Between each phlox flower maintain at least six feet of the gap for better air circulation and healthy growth. While planting it might look weird but once they get mature it will look better.
- Water the plant thoroughly, in the beginning, plants need more water to get settled.
- Spread mulch around the base of the soil to keep cool and moist.
How To Plant In Pots:
- Use a medium-sized pot about 10-12 inches wider in diameter. If you’re planting a taller variety, use a larger pot tall in height, so the roots will be able to spread deeper in the soil and provide good support to stand.
- Make sure the pots have adequate drainage holes for good drainage.
- You may put some rocks or stones at the bottom of the pot for better water circulation.
- Use potting mix soil with sand soil, 50:50 ratio of both consider a good combination
- Dip a hole twice the size of the root ball, and place the plant so that it’s even with the soil’s surface.
- Do not plant too deep just cover so that roots do not get visible.
- Press the soil with your hand (wear gardening gloves) to make the plant stand straight.
- Water thoroughly into the base of the plant till water starts falling from the bottom.
- Spread two inches thick layer of mulch around the roots to keep roots cool and moist.
- Place the pot where it receives at least six hours of light. In the beginning, place in indirect sunlight.
- Once the plant gets settled (approx, one month) shift the pot to direct sunlight.
How To Transplant Phlox Flowers
Phlox needs to be divided every 3-4 years to prevent overcrowding and improve the vigor of the plant. The general sign the plant is ready for the division includes sparser blooming or centers beginning to weaken or die out. Divide after the threat of frost in your region.
Here is what to do:
- Carefully, toss out the phlox from the ground with its whole root balls. Digging up the whole root network might be difficult for a mature plant.
- Divide plants into stem cutting of at least 5-6 inches tall in height with no bloom and two to three leaves.
- Cut the bottom end of the cuttings including roots till the stem cutting’s white-green tissue gets visible (Use gardening shear). If you find a dark-brown spot you do not consider, it may not thrive.
- Snip off all leaves from the bottom half of the stem cutting to redirect energy for new roots.
- Dip cuttings in root hormones to give a boost to root growth.
- Now, make stem cuttings stand on high-quality soil. Better to plant in peat pots first and once the plant grows transplant it into the garden.
- As the stem cutting does not have roots, place the pot in indirect light near the windowsill or beside the door.
- Water pot to keep the soil moist, do not water too much.
- If you have done everything right, roots will start growing after 14-20 days.
- One or two months later when the plant grows 5-6 inches taller in height with a bunch of leaves. Then transplant it to a large container or in the garden.
How To Care For Phlox Flowers
Plant in fertile, moist, and well-drained soil enriched with compost or other organic matter. It prefers slightly acidic soil somewhere between 5.6 – 6.6 pH levels (pH doesn’t matter much). You can grow them well in native soil or have lime soil to benefit their growth.
Although phlox flowers do best in full sun, they can also grow in partial shade, especially in southern climates. Ideally, aim for at least six hours of direct sunlight. Place them where they get early morning sunlight and mid-afternoon shade. They require partial shade in hot climates or southern parts. In the mid-afternoon usually, sunlight is intense, and the shade will protect them from excessive heat.
If you receive less than one inch of rain in a week, remember to water regularly throughout the summer. They don’t like drought and should be water in a dry spell or wherever you see foliage begins to wilt.
They don’t like to stand in water either. Water only to keep the soil moist and the plant look fresh, excessive watering can cause problems. If you’re living in a hot climate, you can cover roots with a thick layer of mulch to keep them cool and moist.
As a bright bloom, they require adequate water to keep blooming. Always water into the base of the plant, wet parts (foliage and blooms) for a long time invite fungal diseases that will destroy your beautiful flowers.
Pruning and Deadheading
Phlox doesn’t normally require pruning, but if you want them to grow bushier, pinch them back once they grow a few inches taller at the beginning of planting.
Cutting them one-third to one-half inches will result in more flower heads. Correct pruning encourages more flowers to grow and extends the time of blooming.
Deadhead dry flowers and foliage. These flowers might look dead, but they keep sucking energy from the plant. Snip off these flowers to redirect energy for new growth.
Pest and diseases
Phlox flowers often suffer from powdery mildew, particularly in humid climates during hot days of summer. Plants growing in partial shade are more susceptible to this disease. Learn how to get rid of powdery mildew.
Powdery mildew is caused due to poor air circulation and overwatering. The best prevention method you to by thinning the plant in early spring. Also, provide adequate spacing between each plant and water directly in the root zone. Phlox is also susceptible to spider mites, especially plants growing indoors in pots.
Did I Miss Anything?
Now I’d like to hear from you: which tip from today’s post are you going to try first?
Or maybe, I didn’t mention your favorite plant growing tip. Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below right now.
Before going if you want to grow beautiful flowers in your garden? Then click on these articles also. 😉