Phlox – characteristic features
Phlox are plants from the Polemoniaceae family. The group is known from a beautiful appearance and a pleasant smell developed by the flowers. There are over 100 different phlox varieties in the world.
Phlox grow naturally in South America and Asia. But they are cultivated in gardens everywhere in the world.
Particular phlox varieties differ in appearance. Some of them are short and creeping, others grow over 100 cm tall. Each of the cultivars develops clusters of flowers.
Phlox come in various colors. Although purple varieties are the most popular, other phlox flowers have the following colors:
Interestingly enough, phlox can be either an annual, or a perennial plant. Everything depends on which type you decide to plant in your yard.
What location and soil do phlox flowers need?
Phlox is quite a demanding plant when it comes to its cultivation. The best location for this flower has to be bright, otherwise it might not bloom properly. Some varieties can grow perfectly in shade. If there are other shade-loving plants in the garden – consider choosing these phlox varieties.
Phlox need very fertile, permeable and slightly damp soil. The plant doesn’t tolerate standing water, so make sure to prepare the spot before – by pouring some gravel at the bottom of the hole.
Phlox can endure droughts pretty well, which is a big advantage. Some varieties can also grow in less fertile, e.g., sandy soils – but they are exceptions.
When to plant phlox?
The best time to plant phlox is different depending on the variety. Annual cultivars should be planted in May. Perennials are more tolerant – they can be planted anytime from early spring until late fall.
Phlox is a plant that develops a branching root system. When planting phlox in the garden, remember about proper spacing, so the flower can freely develop. 30-40 cm (12-16 in) between each seedling should be enough.
Sometimes phlox need some time to adapt to the conditions in a garden. As a result, they might bloom after a year or even two years from planting.
Phlox – popular varieties
Phlox plants can be divided into three basic groups. They are short, medium and tall phlox flowers. Each type offers several most popular varieties. They include:
- garden phlox (P. paniculata)
- moss phlox (P. subulata)
- wild blue phlox (P. divaricata)
- tufted phlox (P. Douglasii)
- creeeping phlox (P. stolonifera)
This variety is one of the most popular and tallest. It can grow up to 100 cm (3.3 ft) tall. It has the longest blooming time – often from the end of June until September. Popular cultivars of these phlox flowers include:
- Orange Perfection,
- Frosted Elegance,
- Creme de Menthe.
It’s one of the smallest phlox. They reach maximally 20-25 cm. The plant has a broad shape. It blooms in early spring – sometimes the flowers remain until summer.
Popular phlox flowers within this group:
- Scarlet Flame,
- Crimson Beauty,
- White Eye,
- Emerald Pink.
Do you have to fertilize phlox?
Phlox is quite a demanding plant. If you want to achieve perfect blooming, regular fertilizing is recommended. What is the best plant food for this plant? Most of all, products rich is nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus.
- nitrogen encourages growth of stems and better leaf color,
- potassium and phosphorus aid blooming and improve the color of the flowers.
Universal mixes are perfect for phlox plants. They can also benefit from other nutrients, such as:
What are the best flowers to combine with phlox?
Phlox look great with most garden plants. They can be arranged with colorful perennials or ornamental grasses. Phlox flowers also look good with:
Is phlox poisonous?
Phlox flowers aren’t poisonous, so you don’t have to worry about your safety when planting them in the garden. What’s more, one of the varieties – garden phlox is edible. It means you can use its flowers to decorate meals or as an addition to salads.
What are the most common diseases of phlox flowers?
Too damp soil is the biggest threat to phlox plants. If water stands too long in the soil, the plant might develop a fungal disease or root rot. Experienced gardeners often decide to thin plant clusters in case of an intense and long-lasting precipitation. Thanks to it, the plant and the soil has a better chance to dry out.
As for pests, phlox are quite resistant plants and rarely get attacked. Aphids may occassionally appear in spring – but they aren’t a big threat. Just use an adequate product with natural ingredients to get rid of them.
📍 What does phlox look like?
Phlox are plants that can grow from 15 to 120 cm tall – depending on the variety. Their stems are stiff, with flower clusters on top. The flowers are dense, intensely colored, and they develop a characteristic smell.
📍 When to plant phlox flowers?
Late spring is the best time to plant phlox. But a lot depends on the variety you pick. When planting, note that phlox tend to spread quickly. Because of this, keep a spacing of about 50 cm between the seedlings.
📍 When do phlox bloom?
Moss phlox bloom the earliest. Garden phlox bloom the latest and the longest.
📍 How to propagate moss phlox?
Phlox can be propagated by division. The best time to do it is early spring and late summer.