More Information About Phlox
Garden Phlox is a genus of (mostly) native plants that are showstoppers for the spring (creeping phlox) or summer (tall phlox) flower garden and make great groundcovers. We have selected the most disease resistant, unique perennial phlox for sale. Our offerings are from breeders around the world, and some are interesting selections of wild phlox that we have discovered on our plant hunting expeditions or have been shared with us by fellow gardeners.
Plant Delights Nursery is proud to offer a much wider variety of garden Phlox species than most nurseries and our focus is on mildew resistant selections for the south. We offer the typical tall Phlox paniculata, the creeping Phlox stolonifera, and the moss phlox (aka carpet phlox), P. subulata that you can see at hundreds of other garden Phlox specialty nurseries but the genus has almost 60 species in it and we select some of the great, but rarely grown perennial phlox wild species from around the south.
When you are ready to buy phlox for your garden, you'll find many forms available...from the low growing groundcover Phlox subulata (moss phlox, carpet phlox), Phlox stolonifera (creeping phlox), and P. nivalis (sand phlox) types to the tall Phlox paniculata (garden phlox) types. Some, like the groundcover Phlox divaricata, are shade phlox and prefer a woodland garden. Many are drought-tolerant and all phlox have butterfly- and hummingbird-attracting tubular flowers in a rainbow of colors that include blue, purple, and pink. We have white phlox too including the industry standard, the powdery mildew resistant, Phlox 'David'.
Tips on how to grow garden Phlox
- Sun - Most garden Phlox prefers full sun or partial sun. A few species, notably P. divaricata prefer shade.
- Soil - The commonly grown tall Phlox paniculata prefers well-drained, organic, compost-rich soil and creeping Phlox stolonifera and Phlox subulata (moss phlox, carpet phlox) prefer a drier, sandier, better draining soil. Many of the lesser known species (i.e., P nivalis) also prefer dry-ish rock garden conditions. A near neutral pH or slightly acid pH will work for most garden Phlox species.
- Water - Tall garden phlox are known for being somewhat intolerant of drought and prefer 1 inch of water per week not only to look good but to stay stress-free and thus pest-free. But many of the rocky soil species like creeping phlox are very drought tolerant and will rot if conditions are that wet.
- Pruning - Pruning phlox plants is only needed needed to remove the old stems after they have died for the winter, or to rejuvenate an older plant. Pruning out a small percentage of stems of tall phlox may be done to improve air circulation for those that are susceptible to powdery mildew.
- Pests - A healthy garden Phlox is generally pest free. A stressed Phlox that is getting too much or too little water, too heavy a soil, not enough sun, etc. is susceptible to the typical menagerie of garden insect pests like aphids and spider mites. The fix is to de-stress the plant, which will fix the bug problem. In humid areas, many Phlox paniculata are susceptible to powdery mildew in summer. Gardeners can avoid this unsightly nuisance by selecting mildew resistant cultivars and to keep plants from getting stressed out...hint, hint...all the Phlox paniculata that we sell are mildew resistant.
- Propagation - Clumps can be divided every 3-4 years...in fact some Phlox will perform better this way. Early season stem cuttings can be rooted too.
- Design Tips - Garden Phlox are colorful plants that pair well with green foliage plants. For color combinations, try pairing the purple/pink/mauve/white phlox with complimentary colors like yellow and blue...and make your plant color pairings so that everyone is in bloom at the same time. Know your phlox height so that you place it in the correct location...tall phlox in the back, creeping phlox in the front...just like a family reunion photo. No matter the height, a Phlox groundcover looks beautiful.
- When do Phlox flower? - Spring phlox (P. bifida, P. buckleyi, P. divaricata, P. glaberrima, P. glutinosa, P. henryae, P. nivalis, P. pilosa, P. stolonifera, P. subulata, P. triflora) bloom somewhat early to mid spring. Summer phlox (P. arendsii, P. carolina, P. latifolia, P. maculata, P. paniculata, P. pulchra) are generally early (late May into June) summer bloomers.