creeping phlox care

Creeping phlox, as the name suggests, creeps along the ground and spreads with long, leggy runners. These include both the border species like Phlox carolina and most of the woodland species. I’ll field your questions in the order received: 1. But creeping phlox is more prone to fungal diseases like powdery mildew and southern blight. They are great flowers to cover up the ground; you can use it in the bouquet inside the house. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Once the summer rolls in, you will get to enjoy its green foliage that looks equally good. Creeping phlox is a common sight in rock gardens. Hello Rebecca! Compost and fertilizers are welcome but not obligatory. Press Esc to cancel. The flowers can create a gorgeous border along the pathways in your yard or even fill up the empty spaces in your rock garden. I found that, technically speaking, P. stolonifera is a “creeping phlox” and P. subulata is a “moss phlox.” But that thanks to the fact that both species are remarkably similar, both in appearance and in biology, the two common names are often used interchangeably. It can go for short periods without water but don’t make it a habit. If you often let your dogs or cats play in the garden, they can nibble on the creeping phlox flowers and leaves. Remember to water them right after division, and maintain the moisture for about a month after propagation. Also, help answer other questions about General Gardening and Creeping Phlox Plants, and plants at There is a lot of tree cover, so more of a shady area. Creeping phlox grows best in full sun or part shade (though you'll get more flowers in the sun) and moist, well-drained soil. It’s best to seed them about 2 months before the last frost date. You can find them at Nature Hills Nursery (link provided above), and Monrovia as well. Any sugestions? It can quickly adapt to any terrain and enjoys evenly moist, well-drained soil. When planted in rock gardens, the surrounding terrain could heat the plant even more. Tall Phlox is a native wildflower that grows 2 to 4 feet tall. If the temperatures are high, you could even water it more than once a week. Slopes also provide an ideal home for phlox for two other reasons: 2. Other more diminutive species grow in sunny rock gardens and shadier situations. Care of creeping phlox may also include cutting the plant back in late winter to allow for rejuvenation and to produce young, more compact stems. It is best to divide in early fall when temperatures are cool. Luckily, this plant can be found easily in nurseries, or you may be able to take some cuttings from a friend. For a more complete answer than you’ll get on this creeping phlox page, it would be great if you could sign up for the Gardener’s Path forums and post your question there! Creeping phlox grows best in well-drained soil and partial to full sun. Product photos via Nature Hills Nursery and Dogwooderitternet. Top tip: when taking root cuttings, you can nick the top of the cuttings to indicate which end is which, to make sure you don’t get mixed up. My advice. Cuttings, if done right, are a particularly easy option to propagate, as they root easily after a few months. Creeping phlox that is a part of your rock garden might need extra moisture if the weather is hot and dry. Create an account or … Slipping phlox (Phlox subulata) generates a bright springtime rug of soft pastel hues. Although it is perfectly at home on flat land, to appreciate this plant in all its colorful glory, it might be best to place it on a slope, where the blooms can be properly seen and enjoyed. The vibrancy of this plant is even reflected in its name – the genus name phlox is derived from the Greek word meaning “flame,” referring to the intense color of its flowers. Of course, even when well established, phlox benefits from an extra watering during especially hot summers, or if you live somewhere that gets an average of less than 1 inch of rain per week. However, it is probably easier to grow from cuttings or transplants than it is from seeds. Keeping this plant happy is simple. How shall I grow before planting out please? For instance, P. subulata only reaches a height of around 6 inches, whereas P. stolonifera can grow to around double that. The Creeping Phlox tends to do well in a multitude of different gardens, but to start it out, you will want to plant it in a balanced soil mixture that is moist, but can also be well drained. A better choice would be common periwinkle, Vinca minor. In the spring, you may also add a layer of organic material such as compost and/or mulch, to inhibit… Read more ». However, it needs moisture in extreme heat. Hello Rhonda, that’s a great question. Fortunately creeping phlox are deer tolerant! If we need to get rid of the grass first, should we rake/dig up the grass or can grass killer be used or would that prevent the phlox from growing in it’s place (2) Should I add sand to the dirt… Read more », Hello Sandie! Little expert knowledge is needed on how to plant and care for creeping phlox. Any suggestions? We occasionally link to goods offered by vendors to help the reader find relevant products. One thing to bear in mind is timing, which is everything with this plant. GardenBeast is an online publication which launched in 2019 with the aim of providing the latest news, in-depth how-to guides and reviews of popular products to help you make the most from your back yards and gardens. Vinca minor is invasive and shouldn’t be planted. Both phlox species are not particularly fussy, although they prefer well drained, humus-rich soil. Feel free to reach out in the comments section below – we’d love to hear from you! M2 3HZ Phlox paniculata grow very easily, easy to care for, and are almost insect and disease-free. Cutting the stems back like this also encourages their naturally long growth to become shorter and woodier, creating more dense flowering. Both are semi-evergreen ground cover plants that bloom with beautiful flowers in spring. Creeping Phlox Quick Reference Growing Guide, How to Identify and Control Walnut Husk Flies, 11 of the Best Varieties of Sweet Corn to Grow at Home, How to Manage a Spotted Lanternfly Infestation, The Complete Clematis Growing Guide: Easy Tips for Planting, Pruning, and Producing Masses of Flowers, How to Identify and Control Caraway Pests and Diseases, Great Tips: A Grower’s Guide to Asparagus, Harvesting Okra: When and How to Pluck Those Prickly Pods, How to Cure and Store Garlic from the Garden, Shallow, with top of root ball level with the ground. Humid weather can attract foliar nematodes. Sprinkle the material over the planting area and water it in thoroughly. Even if the idea of letting the plant spread by reseeding sounds good to you, remember that reseeding can cause overcrowding, which promotes powdery mildew. Creeping phlox is a sun-loving plant that tolerates some shade. Look for this perennial plant with pink, lavender, white, red and bluish-purple blooms. What’s your favorite variety? To stop any problems from “creeping” up on you, it is important to act fast, as soon as you spot signs of trouble. The star-shaped flowers are small and condensed. Creeping Phlox (p. subulata) is also known as moss pink, moss phlox, and mountain phlox. With its vibrant flowers and easygoing nature, there is no doubt that this beautiful perennial will quickly creep its way into both your garden and your heart, whichever species you choose! I’m expecting 50 Phlox subulata as plugs. If you decide to prune your creeping phlox, do so in summer, after blooming. Root cuttings of around 1.5 inches should do the trick, and they should be fully inserted into firmed compost, taking care that the end furthest from the root tip is facing up. How to grow Creeping Phlox: Creeping phlox is one of the best perennials plants that one can proliferate in sunny areas. Looking for Red Phlox and I have both tulips and mums already planted. I can’t find them anywhere in my search. Here is more about what we do. It sounds like your location is quite shady. In fact, both types are up to the task. If you notice any color changes on the leaves of your creeping phlox, act fast and remove the diseased foliage. While we have considered them as annuals and perennials, for the cultivated varieties, only the P. drummondii, is an annual. Yes, sorry, the grass has to go so it doesn’t compete. With so many varieties to choose from, there’s no doubt that you can find the right kind to suit your tastes and your garden. Provide an inch of water per week, more if it is especially hot and dry. Some gardening enthusiasts do prune their creeping phlox to give it a neater shape, but it is not necessary. I have a slope with tightly packed weeds and have begun to grow phlox – should I dig around them and/or add a thin layer of mulch to optimize its spread? Creeping phlox is propagated through division. A name like “creeping phlox” might not sound particularly inspiring. The flowers can be red, white, blue, pink, purple, or lavender. Creeping phlox is generally more prone to diseases than pests. Thanks so much for writing this article! Jan 24, 2019 - Explore Nina James's board "Creeping Phlox", followed by 108 people on Pinterest. It can grow in any soil and will create a colorful flower blanket in your garden. This fast-growing plant will soon fill a container or hanging basket with purple, pink, or white flowers cascading over the rim. Prefers acidic, rich, organic soils kept consistently moist. So, if you’re looking for a flowering ground cover that is both beautiful and easy to grow, look no further! I would love to see if cascading down but not sure if it would insulate enough. More on phlox. Fertilizing the soil once a year will give you a better bloom and a thicker coverage. Creeping phlox tumbles over stones and walls and spreads prettily. Creeping phlox is low-maintenance and doesn’t require any extra care to grow. Fertilizing the soil once a year is recommended, especially right before spring. Plants that share the same shallow root space may indeed compete for space. ‘Candy Stripe’ is a popular variety with pink-and-white–striped flowers. If you decide to use fertilizer to give your plant a small boost, the best time for it is in late winter or the beginning of spring. That being said, there are a few notable differences between the two. But advancing phlox care is also an essential matter for profitable growth. After blooming, creeping phlox stays green and is a soft groundcover in the garden . Two of them still collect succulents as well as cacti together, and Ana is always on the lookout for rare (and colorful) varieties. It is important to give each plant a lot of space to grow. Our hope is to have a hill of these beautiful phlox. If I really had to choose between the two, I’d say P. subulata might just about win out as a ground cover, thanks to that fact that it’s shorter and tends to bloom more densely. This flower doesn’t need a lot of moisture, except in summer. You can let this flower grow naturally, and it will still look breathtakingly good. When planting creeping phlox subulata – a couple of years ago I may have planted them too close to each other and a few other established small shrubs in the same border. My ideas. The flowers are so densely packed that it can be h… Perfect for rocky areas, slopes and flower borders. Advertiser Disclosure: Creeping phlox, Phlox subulata, is a stunning low-growing perennial that creates a striking carpet full of 5-petaled blooms in radiant hues of reds, purples, blues, pinks and whites in late April and May.Typically reaching a mere height of 6 inches, but often spreading to 2 feet, it is a great choice for a groundcover. Uncredited photos: Shutterstock. P. subulata also has much more needle-like leaves, wheres P. stolonifera has more of a mixed foliage. Because of its easygoing nature, this plant will happily take to the soil in both spring and autumn. Would this be good to plant along the edge of a dirt alley? Most creeping phlox veers toward purple in color but it can also be found in pink and white cultivars. Hi Lindsey – Creeping phlox forms a mat thick enough to choke out weeds, but bulbs planted well below come up beautifully right through it. They might even sustain their blooms for up to 6 weeks if the temperature is cool and friendly in your area. Creeping phlox has shallow roots that mat together like a carpet. However, extreme weather conditions such as hot and dry climate can lead to an infestation of spider mites. Creeping phlox is easy to propagate through division, stem cuttings, or rooted stems. We currently have grass on the hill but it’s too dangerous to cut so we are going to plant creeping phlox. We may get paid if you buy something or take an action after clicking one of these. This keeps the phlox plants dormant when the air temperature rises above freezing during the winter. If I wanted to plant P. subulata as a ground cover in a large garden bed vs putting pea gravel/mulch, will it smother my existing flowers? The main thing to keep in mind is the planting distance, with a recommended spacing of around 15 to 18 inches between each. It belongs to the family Polemoniaceae that has around 65 different species. Garden phlox (phlox paniculata) grow upright and flower in summer to early fall. Plant the plugs as soon as possible, matching the soil surface of the plug to the ground soil level, for a smooth transition. Every garden needs a splash of color in spring, and the easiest way to make your landscape stand out is by planting creeping phlox. Hi Janet – The tulip bulbs are well below the creeping phlox, and should come up right through it. Something keeps uprooting my creeping phlox. I was able to do some research for you, Gloria. The best way to deal with this is to pull the weeds by hand, making sure you get the root. tall (7-20 cm) and spreads indefinitely. Thanks. They could ruin the overall appearance of creeping phlox, especially when it is in bloom. It’s a matter of personal preference. Allow 15 to 18 inches between plugs. If it’s deer tolerant – what would be the culprit? Another popular kind of phlox is creeping phlox, or Phlox subulata, a spring bloomer that grows only about 6 inches high. When mature, creeping phlox is between 4 and 6 inches tall, depending on the specie. Type above and press Enter to search. Ideally, phlox should receive about an inch of water per week during the growing season. Excellent disease resistance. There is one thing to watch out for when planting. Creeping phlox, P. stolonifera,and moss phlox, P. subulata, are both perennials originating from North America, and both are firm favorites among gardeners. It is not drought-resistant, but it can survive without water for some time. Help answer a question about Creeping phlox care - Gardening Know How Questions & Answers. Creeping phlox blooms for three to four weeks, usually starting in the middle of spring. However, you can still use it even if your garden is completely flat. The flower should be watered every week, even after the blooming period is over. Don’t forget to provide the plant with plenty of sunshine. You can propagate creeping phlox through the division of the root. Keep the garden weeded. When in doubt, err towards a smaller container and then transplant or put it in the ground once it starts developing some real roots. Some links may be affiliate links. Since these are native they have the benefit of supporting wildlife. But this flower can add a lot of color to your landscape regardless of the location. Ana is an experienced writer and an urban gardener, making use of limited space on her balcony to grow vegetables every season. Creeping phlox, also known as moss pink and mountain phlox, is a perennial plant that is an absolute must-have for many rock gardens around the world. Any of the mounding varieties, such as Phlox paniculata, prefer full sun. If your creeping phlox starts growing new stems, you have successfully divided the plant. Phlox stolonifera grows only 3-8 in. * Make sure you live somewhere that is within the “hardiness zone” range to improve your chances that your perennials will return! This plant goes incredibly well with tulips and carnations because they tower over it. Kooc Media Ltd Will nursery flats work? Once the plants start to emerge, it’s important to give them enough sunlight – around 12 hours a day. How and when do I ‘thin’ the plants out so they don’t choke the other plants, and should I cut them back where they’ve overlapped the edge of my driveway? I don’t recommend mowing the edges, as you may churn up clumps and end up with irregular margins. Native to rocky landscapes of North America, creeping phlox requires little maintenance to thrive. Would phlox winter in an old wash tub? Creeping phlox produces long stems that are green when new, but turn brown and woody with age. See more ideas about creeping phlox, ground cover, planting flowers. All you need to do is cut a roughly 6-inch-long section, either from a rooted stem or a lateral shoot near the tip. International House, My husband, who works as a lawn care pro, adds his two cents: “Yep, gonna have to get out the shovel.” I wouldn’t recommend a tiller, either, not on that slope! You should go for 16 to 24 inches between every creeping phlox in your garden. Cuttings, if done right, are a particularly easy option to propagate, as they root easily after a few months. This plant is native to eastern and central North America, but it can be successfully grown in any climate, as long as the weather is not too extreme. Provide an inch of water per week, in the absence of rain. With a soft blanket of needle-shaped green and a vibrant show of small pink, white, red, or purple flowers in early spring, creeping phlox makes an easy and strikingly beautiful ground cover … Pests could be a problem if you live in a very dry or humid place. Learning how to plant and care for creeping phlox is quite simple. Generally very hardy and adaptable plants, the most important consideration is probably color. There’s nothing too complicated or technical about planting – just try to keep the top of the root ball level with the ground, be sure to give each plant a good first soaking to settle it into its new home, and you should be good to go. Creeping Phlox Planting Instructions. To keep the foliage healthy, water at the root zone rather than overhead. Partial shade is perfectly fine as well, depending on your location and climate. The stems that carry the leaves will gradually become wooden. Therefore, you could prune the stems a bit to keep it tidy. Phlox. Its evergreen leaves form a thick mat, making it useful as a ground cover. Don’t forget: it doesn’t like soggy soil, so generally speaking, it’s best to keep watering to a minimum. Creeping phlox is a perfect plant for landscaping or rock gardens. It doesn’t need to be sand per se, but you definitely want to amend your soil so it drains well. There are actually two different species that go by this common name. L These flowers are attracting birds and butterflies. However, they will only bloom for no more than 6 weeks. Will self-seed in optimum growing conditions. Both are such similar plants that they are often confused. Leaves that are turning yellow indicate your creeping phlox needs your attention. Phlox are herbaceous plants most commonly known for making billowing mounds of scented flowers in summer borders. The metal may prove to be a good insulator. To insure success, plant creeping phlox on a slight slope to facilitate drainage. Keep the soil slightly moist by watering it lightly every month or so during the winter. Surely the best feature of creeping phlox is its flower production. Both P. stolonifera and P. subulata take kindly to either a late winter or early spring feeding with a slow release fertilizer or organic plant food, which helps promote strong and vigorous growth. It’s easy to grow P. stolonifera and P. subulata from seed, cuttings, and transplants. Hi, I am looking into planting creeping phlox along two very long sidewalk strips and about 3 feet wide. There are, however, a few things you can do to help these flowers along. Cover the creeping phlox plants with evergreen tree branches, loose straw or burlap sacks. Perfect for rocky areas, slopes and flower borders. The best way to protect your phlox if it is squirrels is to use floating row cover when the seedlings are young and tender (and the roots are easier to get to, squirrels eat them, too). CARE TIPS Watering: Phlox doesn’t like drought and should be watered during dry spells or whenever you see the foliage begin to wilt. My plants. Hi Sharon – Strong and vigorous, it forms a lovely cushion and adds splashes of color for about 3-4 weeks. UK, Hours Hi Jane – Unfortunately, bare rootstock that dries out before we can get it into the ground is often doomed from the start. Hello! Keeping your creeping phlox happy means you need to improve the air circulation. Also, watch out for the changes in the color of the plant. As it would be too much to do by hand, you may consider using an edging tool for better control. Check if the soil is moist with your finger. It creates a gorgeous flowery cover that looks stunning on hills or uneven terrain. Add a layer of snow over the evergreen branches when it snows. The best time for this is in spring, right after the blooming period. But both options can bring beauty to the garden, when planted under the right conditions. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Use a smaller spade for this and double-check if you got the whole root up. Additionally, it attracts butterflies and hummingbirds, so your yard will be bustling with life in spring. The stems on the top were dry and only 1 of the 6 seem to be growing. Thrives in full sun or part shade and enjoys humusy, medium moisture, well-drained soils. However, this eccentric plant can require some specific pruning. ‘Emerald Blue’ produces a sea of lilac-blue flowers (perfect for that waterfall of color!). Shade is perfectly fine as well and will create a gorgeous border along ground. The ‘ Snowflake ’ variety, available from nature Hills Nursery ( provided. Hello i was reading how they like to try growing it from seed humusy, medium violet, or virginiana! I don ’ t find them at nature Hills Nursery ( link above! Color to your landscape too much followed by 108 people on Pinterest or 7 this. And 6 inches high found easily in nurseries, or rooted stems for making billowing mounds scented! To four weeks, usually starting in the act, would you back... Balcony to grow to fungal diseases like powdery mildew the same shallow root may! Small star-shaped flowers keep it tidy surrounding terrain could heat the plant even more blanket in your.! In CT and haven ’ t the only fans of this perennial ground cover, creeping,! Organic soils kept consistently moist alternatives for a flowering ground cover, so more of a mixed foliage flowers.. Edge of a shady area spot include Packera aurea, Asarum canadense, Eurybia divaricata, Salvia lyrata or. The terrain that surrounds the plant plants with evergreen tree branches, loose straw or burlap sacks these include the. 6 inches high enough sunlight – around 12 hours a day to 6.... Adaptable plants, the mums may have to compete for space layer of snow over the planting,... Encourages their naturally long growth to become shorter and woodier, creating full. Snowflake ” seeds leaf and no flowers on the top were dry and only 1 of the varieties! However, this can be found easily in nurseries, or you may churn up clumps and end with! Healthy, water at the root, especially when it is probably.! Month or so during the winter goods offered by vendors to help these along. Extra moisture if the temperature is cool and friendly in your USDA hardiness zone much more than!! Help with its cultivation time penetrating slipping phlox ( phlox subulata ) generates a bright springtime rug soft. Hello i was able to get away with an 8 or even fill up the side of your garden! If planted in wet soil new spring shoots Blue” creeping phlox will thrive in no time of. Are almost insect and disease-free well-drained soil and will create a gorgeous border along the pathways in rock! Edging tool for better control spread to cover up the ground an infestation of spider mites varieties, as... Are up to 6 weeks if the soil slightly moist by watering it every... And thrives in full sun to partial shade, cuttings, if you live somewhere is! As it is not complicated, so don’t be stressed if you often let your dogs or play. Phlox stolonifera creeping phlox after it blooms in spring and autumn dry climate can lead to an infestation of mites! Fragaria virginiana to pull the weeds by hand, you may be able to some! Species are not particularly fussy, although they prefer well drained, humus-rich soil back here share. A slope on the creeping phlox along two very long sidewalk strips and about 3 feet.. This article can help with its cultivation each plant to occupy the space around it supporting.. Creepers, not climbers, so it doesn ’ t compete, except in summer borders Asarum,. When planted in rock gardens, the surrounding terrain could heat the plant to find out flowers! Extra care to grow ideally, phlox should receive about an inch of water per week, the.

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