Phlox paniculata or garden phlox as it is more commonly
known is one of the most widely grown perennials in the US. The
plants colorful flower heads are found in nearly all sunny perennial
gardens and are considered to be a one of the best plants available
for midsummer color. Phlox begins to bloom just as the summer
heat set's in - here in zone 6 this is around the middle of July. The
plants continue to put on their wonderful show of color for about
8 - 10 weeks, depending upon variety. (Laura
is a very long blooming variety) Plants vary in heights ranging
from 24 - 48 inches so pay close attention to this when planning
your garden. Butterflies find phlox plants irresistible as
do many night time pollinators - many species of moths are drawn
to the sweet smells of the flowers as well.
Growing Garden Phlox
Phlox should be grown in full sun to very light shade. Plants
prefer a rich, well drained, soil that has been amended with plenty
of organic material. Feed in very early spring, just as new
growth begins with a side dressing of composted manure and
bone meal. Liquid feed in late spring, just as buds are beginning
to show with fish emulsion or compost tea. Mulch plants well
to help keep the roots from drying out but be careful not to mulch
to deeply around the crowns as this can lead to crown rot. In
areas with high humidity powdery mildew can become a problem - to
help prevent this fungus do not water plants late in the evening.
Plants flower better and longer when deadheaded. Remove spent
flower heads as they fade and cut plants back to the ground in late
fall. Large clumps of Phlox should be divided to keep them
healthy - usually about every 3 - 4 years.
Size: Range from 24" to 60"
Light: Full sun to partial shade
Watering: Average - may need watering during extended dry
Propagation: Division & stem cuttings
Problems: Powdery mildew can be a problem
Notes: One of the best ways to combat powdery
mildew is to spay plants with a milk mixture. Mix 1 part milk
with 4 parts water. Plants that are stressed due to lack of
water are more likely to be infected with powdery mildew - always
water your Phlox during dry spells.