Phlox paniculata, garden phlox, is the tallest variety of phlox. Phlox will all have a strong family resemblance. There are three main types that vary in heights and usage. The other varieties, which may also be of interest, are Phlox subulata(moss phlox), and Phlox stolonifera, (creeping phlox). This article will give you facts and information on growing the tall garden phlox, and a list of the best varieties.
Garden phlox blooms are excellent when fresh cut and will also attract bees and butterflies. Phlox paniculata is a perennial grown in USDA Zones 3-8. They have an upright growth habit that produces stems up to 4’ h x 2-3’ w. This type is most often used in borders and in containers.
Phlox paniculata requires full sun or light afternoon shade and fertile, moist soil, well-drained with a pH of 5.5-7.0. Good air circulation is essential to discourage powdery mildew.
Clusters of white, lavender, pink, rose, and blue flowers are prolific from summer to early autumn. The flowers are sometimes scented, and will attract bees and butterflies to your garden. They make excellent cut flowers to bring indoors. Good companions include ‘Carefree Wonder’ and ‘Bonica’ roses, and daylily cultivars.
Garden Phlox Care
Plant mildew-resistant cultivars 24-36” apart in spring or fall. Apply slow-release granular plant food when planting. In summer and winter, apply 3” of vegetative mulch in summer and winter. Water deeply when the soil is dey. Deadhead spent blooms to encourage reblooming and prevent selfseeding. Cut to the ground in fall after frost disfigures the foliage.
Propagation is done by dividing every 3 years in spring or fall to maintain plant vigor.
Pests and Diseases
Powdery mildew does not need moist air to grow, and will actually flourish in dry weather. It is important to select mildew resistant cultivars and place them where they will get good air circulation. Try to keep the soil moist but not soggy.
Best Varieties of Phlox
Phlox ‘Laura’ bears lavender-rose flowers with a white center
Phlox ‘David’ bears white flowers
Phlox ‘Katherine’ bears lavender flowers
‘Little Boy’ bears two-toned mauve and white flowers
‘Blue Paradise’ bears purple-blue flowers
‘Eva Cullem’ has pink flowers with red centers
‘Robert Poore’ has purple flowers
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