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Phlox Planting Guide

Long-blooming and incredibly easy to grow, Phlox is known for delivering gorgeous mid-summer color without any hassle. These quintessential garden staples have been relied on for generations to provide bushy clumps of fragrant blossoms that are excellent for easy bouquets. Whether you fancy the tried-and-true varieties that have been reliably grown for years or are more intrigued by some of the new, disease-resistant cultivars, these charmers are more than worthy of a spot in your perennial garden and are hardy to zone 4. Pure and simple, Phlox plants are a joy to grow and have available for cut arrangements. Learn more about how to plant, grow, and care for Phlox with this fantastic guide!

Success Snapshot

PLANTING
DEPTH

Plant Eyes 1" below soil; Crown near soil line.

WATER
QUANTITY

Moderate

SUNLIGHT
QUANTITY

Full to Partial Sun

PLANTING
PROXIMITY

18" Apart

BLOOM
SEASON

Summer

HARDINESS
ZONES

Zones 4-8

Where to Plant

While Phlox plants are relatively easy to grow, plenty of sunlight and well-drained soil are key to their happiness. If you notice puddles of water 5–6 hours after a hard rain, scout out another site or amend the soil with organic material to raise the level 2–3 inches. Phlox fancies a spot with full sun to partial shade, but in areas where the sun is very strong, they may need a little extra shade.


When to Plant

Bare root Phlox should be planted immediately upon receiving, in the spring after the danger of frost has passed. Those gardening in warmer climates can also plant Phlox in the fall. After planting, you can expect top growth to form in a few weeks, depending on the soil and air temperatures.


How to Plant

  • For outdoor landscape planting, find a spot where the soil drains well, and your Phlox will receive full sun to light shade. Dig holes and tuck the bare root plants into the ground with the roots pointing downwards. Fan them out a bit and situate the growing points, the site where new sprouts will emerge, at soil level. Space Volcano Phlox plants roughly 14-20" apart and other varieties, which grow larger, 24-30" apart.
  • For container planting, select a vessel large enough to accommodate the mature size of your plants and fill it with well-drained, humus-rich potting soil. Ensure there are adequate drainage holes in your pots, as Phlox must never sit in waterlogged soil. Dig holes and tuck the bare root plants into the soil with the roots pointing downwards. Fan them out a bit and situate the growing points, the site where new sprouts will emerge, at soil level. Space Volcano Phlox plants roughly 14–20" apart and other varieties, which grow larger, 24–30" apart.
  • Water thoroughly, soaking the soil to settle it around the bulbs without air pockets.

How to Grow

  • Water periodically during the growing season if rain does not occur, bearing in mind that weekly deep waterings are better than lighter drinks every day or two. An estimate of 1" of moisture per week is a good place to start.
  • Clip the stems to within 2" of the soil level in the late fall when the foliage begins to fade and wilt unless you live in an area where the weather stays warm year-round.
  • Trim out the dead stems or spent flowers to keep your plants looking their best until fresh growth emerges in the spring if gardening in a warmer climate.
  • Allow your plants to rest for a few months before beginning the next growing cycle.

Phlox Tips & Tricks

  • Allow space for decent air circulation between your Phlox plants and their neighbors to protect against powdery mildew.
  • Expect your plants to be shipped "bare root," meaning the soil has been washed from the roots while the plant is in a dormant state. Bare root plants are easy to handle and quick to settle into the soil, but should be planted as soon as possible upon receipt.
  • Amend the soil with compost, finely ground bark, or decomposed manure to improve the drainage as needed.
  • Feel free to snip stems for bouquets while in bloom, as doing so will not hurt the plants, and Phlox flowers are exceptional for arrangements. Plus, for some varieties, snipping blossoms elongates the blooming period.
  • Avoid overhead watering or watering at night, which can promote conditions conducive to mildew. Drip irrigation or soaker hoses are the best watering methods.