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How to Grow Phlox Flowers

Annual, Perennial

Phlox plants are an old fashioned annual flower, that deserves more recognition than it gets. The large clusters of flowers are very showy on compact plants. Compact is an understatement, as these plants grow only 6-18 inches tall. The most common Phlox are annuals. There are also perennial varieties. Phlox is native to North America, from New York west to Michigan and south to Maryland.

Despite their small size, Phlox make good cut flowers, and are great in containers or window boxes. A native of North America, the jewel-like flowers grow in clusters at the top of the stems. These bright colored blossoms include shades of red, purple, scarlet, yellow, and white, some with a flirty eye.

The name Phlox comes from a Greek word meaning "flame".

Did you know? Wild Sweet William is a specific variety of Phlox.

Plant Propagation:

Phlox are grown from seeds. Phlox seeds can be directly seeded into your flower garden or seeded indoors for transplanting later. For spring blooms, start indoors six to eight weeks before the last frost. Young seedlings will transplant well into their permanent home.

Plants can also be propagated by division. Divide and replant clumps of Phlox right after the blooming period, or in early fall.

Sow Phlox seeds early in the season and cover lightly with 1/8" of fine garden or potting soil. Water thoroughly once.

Transplant Phlox into your garden after the last frost date for your area. Space them 8-10" apart. They will tolerate a little crowding. They will look great filling in a flowerbed, or as a border edging.

How to Grow Phlox Plants:

Phlox like full sun. They prefer rich, loose soil that drains well. Add a general purpose fertilizer when planting them, then once a month after that.

Once your Phlox plants are established, they should grow well with few problems. Keep the soil moist to slightly dry. Water them during dry periods, once or twice per week. Keep them well weeded, or apply a 2-3 inch layer of mulch for a tidy appearance. Pinch back tall stems to promote a bushier appearance.

Tip: Remove spent blooms to promote additional blooms and extend the blooming period all summer long, and right up to the first killing frost. This will also keep the appearance neat and beautiful.

Phlox are hardy annuals. They will often survive the first few light frosts. They will not survive a hard frost or freeze.

Insect and Disease:

Nematodes can be a problem. Treat early with insecticides specific to nematode. If disease problems occur, treat early with fungicide.

More Gardening Resources:

How to Grow Phlox Plants


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