Phlox: If You Plant It, They Will Come
Phlox is not only a gorgeous plant with romantic charm, it’s also a hardy, long-lived perennial. From midsummer to early fall, Phlox offers upright plants topped with large clusters of fragrant flowers that come in an array of vibrant colors including white, pink, fuchsia, red, lavender, purple, orange, and even bicolors! The sweet-smelling, nectar-rich blossoms not only fill the air with comforting aromas, they also attract butterflies and hummingbirds.
Phlox make a great companion to other summer-blooming perennials like lilies, clematis, and black-eyed susans, and provide a good backdrop for shorter plants. Another benefit is that the long, stiff stems of Phlox are easy to arrange, making them a great option to create beautiful centerpieces.
Plant your Phlox in fertile, well-drained soil in spring when the weather is cool and the soil is moist. Phlox may be grown in full sun or partial shade, but tend to produce more flowers when they are grown in full sun. Your Phlox will do best with a consistent supply of moisture. To get bushier plants with more flower heads, you can pinch back the growing tips when the plants are 6 to 8 inches tall.Once the flowers have faded, cut off the dead heads. This will often promote a second batch of flowers. In the fall, cut back all the stems to the ground and remove them from the area. This will help minimize future disease.
If you ever feel the Phlox in your landscape is becoming overcrowded, keep an eye on its productivity. If it is flowering well, then there is no need to worry. However, if you notice low production, divide the plants and continue to do so every 3 to 4 years.
Voila! You now have a Phlox-filled landscape with butterflies and hummingbirds. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the nature you’ve helped create.
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