Easy Tips to Grow Phlox Paniculata aka Garden Phlox!
If you’re looking for a beautiful, easy-to-care-for flower to add to your garden, look no further than Phlox Paniculata also known as Garden Phlox.
Phlox Paniculata is a hardy perennial perfect for any landscape and can be planted in just about any soil type.
Here are some great tips for planting tall Phlox (pronounced Flocks) that will help you get the most out of this lovely plant.
Today we talk about:
- What Are Phlox Paniculata
- How to Successfully Plant Phlox
- Planting Phlox from Bare root
- Plant Potted Phlox
- How to Care for Phlox in your Garden
- Grow Phlox Paniculata in Containers
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Phlox Paniculata aka Perennial Phlox
Phlox Paniculata is a tall, erect herbaceous perennial topped with large clusters of fragrant flowers that may grow up to 4 feet tall and form clumps. They can become so large they look like a bush.
The flowers come in various colors and bloom from mid-summer to mid-fall.
Perrenial Phlox are typically hardy in Zones 4-8 and are not considered drought tolerant. (though mine put up with drier conditions, I mulch deeply)
These garden phlox mix well with other perennials such as Echinacea, Daisies, roses, monarda and sea holly. The sweet-smelling, nectar-rich blossoms attract butterflies and hummingbirds.
They can also be used as cut flowers! So what is not to love?
Phlox Paniculata is also known as Garden Phlox, Perennial Phlox, Fall Phlox, and Summer Phlox.
Successfully Plant Summer Phlox in your Garden
Choose a sunny spot in your garden for planting. Phlox paniculata prefers at least 6 hours of direct sunshine per day, but in hotter climates, it will appreciate some afternoon shade.
If planted in an area that gets more shade they will grow and bloom but just not as much as when planted in more sun.
Phlox do best in fertile, well-draining soil and receive consistent watering throughout the summer.
Planting Phlox Bare Root
Spring is the best time to plant bare root phlox. The soil is moist and the temps cool enough for them to get started before the high heat of summer.
Spring is also when you should be able to find perennial phlox in bare-root form.
When you remove the bare root phlox from the packaging give the roots a good soak in Organic Rev (or water for about an hour). This ensures they are well hydrated.
When planting bare-root (which is very cost-effective) loosen the soil and place the crown (where the roots meet the stem, though this can sometimes be hard to spot) right at the soil line.
In my video, some areas of the roots were sprouting too so I just carefully planted the entire mass about an inch deep. (video at end of post)
Cover the roots with soil and water well.
When planting, space the phlox paniculata plants about 18 inches apart. This helps in providing good circulation which can help keep powdery mildew at bay.
Water the plants deeply immediately after planting and then on a regular basis throughout the growing season.
Want to see me planting bare root Phlox Paniculata, then watch my video to see how I do it.
Planting Phlox Paniculata from Potted Plants
Prepare the soil by digging a hole that is twice the size of the plant’s root ball.
Gently remove the phlox plant from its container and loosen the roots. Place the plant in the hole and backfill with soil.
Water the plant deeply and mulch around the base to help retain moisture. Many will tell you to fertilize monthly but usually rely on adding compost to my garden beds instead.
When I do feel I need to add fertilizer I love AgroThrive, it not only feeds the plants but it feeds the soil!
Again, plant Phlox plant 18 inches apart if you are planting more than one.
How to Care for Garden Phlox
Throughout the growing season, Summer Phlox prefer to be watered at least 1” each week. To prevent the foliage from developing powdery mildew water at the root zone and avoid wetting the leaves.
Mulching around the plants with compost or shredded leaves will help keep the soil moist and reduce weeds.
To get your plants to bush out with more flower heads, you can pinch back the growing tips when the plants are 6 to 8” tall.
Deadhead spent flowers regularly to encourage continued blooming. To use tall phlox as a cut flower you may wish to pick before some of the flowers are open, extending vase life.
Prune garden Phlox back hard in Fall (to the ground) and clean up to prevent any fungus carry over to the next season.
Divide overcrowded plants every 3-4 years. Flowering will decrease if they become overcrowded and this also contributes to susceptibility to fungal disease.
Planting Phlox Paniculata in Containers
Choose a container that is at least 12 inches wide and has drainage holes.
Fill the container with a quality potting mix.
Gently remove the plant from its growing pot and loosen the roots. (or plant bare root as stated above)
Place the Phlox plant in the container and backfill with soil.
Water deeply and mulch around the base to help retain moisture.
Fertilize weekly during the growing season using this liquid fertilizer at 1/4 strength
Deadhead spent flowers regularly to encourage continued blooming or cut for bouquets.
Grow a Cut Flower Garden
Though it may seem daunting to beginner gardeners, growing a cut flower garden can be easy and so satisfying! See how you can get started today!
I purchased the phlox I planted in my video from Longfield Gardens, they have many more colors available. I think Orange Perfection is next on my list!
There are many new hybrids of Phlox that grow a bit shorter and bloom earlier. Check them out on the Proven Winners site for more information.
I’m also thinking about planting Phlox Paniculata flowers in my garden. Thank you for sharing this useful information about how to grow and care for them at the right time.