Phlox is a genus of flowering plants in the family Polemoniaceae. There are over 100 species of phlox, and they are commonly known as bluebells or snowdrops.
They are native to temperate regions of North America and Eurasia, and some species are naturalized elsewhere.
There are three main types of phlox: spring, summer and fall. Spring phlox bloom in early spring, summer phlox bloom in late spring and early summer, and fall phlox bloom in autumn.
The flowers of these three types of phlox are very similar, but their foliage differs. Spring phlox has leaves that are dark green and glossy, summer phlox has bright yellowish-green leaves, and fall phlox has light green leaves.
Spring Phlox (Polemonium Caeruleum)
The most common type of phlox is spring phlox. It blooms in early spring before the first frost. This variety can be found growing wild throughout much of eastern Canada, the United States, and northern Mexico.
In the U.S., it grows best in moist soil with good drainage. Spring Phlox prefers full sun and average temperatures between 45 °F and 65 °F.
Summer Phlox is also called “wild phlox” because it often grows wild in meadows and along roadsides.
It was originally thought to have originated in Europe, but recent research suggests that this plant may have been brought to North America by Native Americans.
In any case, summer phlox is now considered an American native. It is found across the entire continent except for Alaska and Hawaii.
Like spring phlox, summer phlox needs well-drained, fertile soil and full sun. It likes temperatures between 50 °F and 85 °F.
Fall Phlox (Pleuropogon Spicatus)
Fall Phlox is a small, delicate perennial that usually only lasts one season. It is native to western North America and is found mostly in California and Oregon.
It is frequently confused with winter Phlox, which is actually a different kind of flower. Fall phlox is distinguished from winter phlox by its smaller size, more delicate appearance, and lack of white markings on the petals.
Fall phlox blooms in autumn, when temperatures drop below 60 °F. It thrives in rich, well-drained soils with lots of organic matter. It requires full sun and average temperatures around 55 °F.
How Do You Grow Phlox?
Here are some tips for how to grow phlox successfully:
• Choose a sunny location where you won’t get too cold during the winter. If possible, select a spot that gets at least six hours of direct sunlight per day.
• Plant your phlox in a container if you want to move them indoors. Make sure the potting mix drains well, so water doesn’t sit inside the pot.
• Don’t fertilize your phlox until after all danger of frost has passed. Fertilizing will encourage growth and make your phlox bushier than normal.
• Keep your phlox watered regularly. Water deeply once every two weeks, then wait another week before watering again. Use rainwater whenever possible.
• To keep away pests like aphids, cut back on the amount of fertilizer you use. Aphids love nitrogen-rich plants, so they multiply quickly on phlox.
• When you prune your phlox, remove dead or damaged parts as soon as you see them. Dead phlox leaves look brown and dry out easily. Pruning encourages new growth and makes your phlox bush thicker.
• Remove spent flowers to prolong flowering time.
• Once your phlox starts to bloom, don’t let it go unpruned. Cut off branches that aren’t needed any more.
• After you harvest your Phlox, leave enough foliage behind to continue producing seeds. That way next year you can start over with a fresh batch.
Alternative Types Of Phlox
There are many other types of phlox available today. Here are just a few:
• Dwarf phlox (Phlox divaricata): This variety is ideal for containers. It reaches about 12 inches tall and spreads slowly.
• Giant phlox (Phylis gigantea): This variety is perfect for large gardens and borders. It grows up to 24 inches tall and is very vigorous.
• Winter phlox (P. sanguinea): This variety looks similar to fall phlox, but it blooms in late winter instead of early autumn.
• Spring phlox: This variety is much larger than most varieties of phlox. It can reach heights of up to 10 feet!
• Summer phlox: This variety is also known as summer phlox because it blooms in the heat of summer. It is a hybrid between spring and fall phlox.
Best Phlox Plants For Containers
Containers are an excellent choice for growing phlox. They offer easy access to water and nutrients, and they provide plenty of room for sprawling roots.
However, there are certain things to consider when choosing a container plant.
• Select a container that is deep enough to accommodate the root ball of your Phlox. A good rule of thumb is to add three times the height of the plant to the depth of the pot.
So if your phlox measures 6 inches high, your container should be at least 18 inches deep. The deeper the container, the more space your phlox will have to spread its roots.
• Consider what kind of soil you plan to use in your container. Some soils work better than others. If you live in a cold climate, select a soil that retains moisture and warms up quickly.
If you live in warmer climates, select a soil that dries out quickly.
• Pick a container that is wide enough to allow ample air circulation around the base of your phlox plant.
Too little air circulating around the roots means less oxygen gets to them, which leads to disease and rot.
• Look for a container that has drainage holes in the bottom. You want to make sure that any excess water drains from the pot without pooling near the top.
• Don’t place your phlox directly into the ground. Instead, dig a hole big enough for the root ball of your plant. Then fill the hole with a mixture of peat moss and perlite.
Place the phlox in the center of the hole and cover the roots with soil. Water well after planting.
• To keep your phlox looking healthy and attractive, fertilize regularly. Use a fertilizer specifically designed for houseplants, such as Plant-Tek or Miracle Gro.
Fertilizing once every two weeks keeps plants happy and healthy.
• Keep your phlox away from direct sunlight. Direct exposure to sunlight causes leaves to turn yellow and eventually die off.
• When selecting new plants for your garden, look for ones that are already established. New plants may need time to develop before they become hardy.
• Avoid using old pots. Old pots hold too much water, making them difficult to drain properly.
• Be careful not to overwater your phlox. Overwatering encourages diseases, which can kill your plant.
• Don’t let your phlox get too dry. Drought conditions cause leaves to curl and wilt.
• Repotting is necessary if your phlox starts to grow too large for its current pot. In this case, dig up the entire root system and replant it in a larger pot.
• Never cut back on watering. Your Phlox requires regular doses of water to thrive.
• Keep your containers out of direct sun. If possible, move them to a shaded area during midday hours.
• Check your phlox frequently. Watch for signs of pests and diseases. Remove and destroy diseased parts immediately.
What Is Phlox Used For?
Phlox is used as an ornamental flower because of its beautiful flowers and long blooming season. It also makes a great addition to borders, rock gardens, and hanging baskets.
This perennial herbaceous plant grows best in full sun but tolerates light shade. It prefers average to slightly acidic soil and requires plenty of water.
Where Can I Buy Phlox Plants?
You can find phlox plants at most nurseries and home improvement stores. They usually sell one variety of phlox, but there are many varieties available.
What Type Of Phlox Can Be Grown Indoors?
There are several types of Phlox that can be grown indoors. The common type, called “Mountain Glory”, is very easy to grow. Other popular indoor varieties include “Alba” (white), “Aurea” (golden yellow), and “Rosea” (red). These types are more tolerant to the cold than the Mountain Glory.
What Is The Best Type Of Phlox?
The best type of phlox depends upon what you like best. If you prefer red flowers, then you should choose the Rosea type. If you prefer white flowers, then go with Alba and if you enjoy both colors, then try growing some of each type of phlox.
How Long Do Phlox Flowers Last?
Phlox flowers last anywhere from three to four days. After that, the petals fall off naturally. You can prolong their lifespan by pinching off the tips of the stems.
When Should I Water My Phlox?
Water your Phlox when the top inch of soil feels dry. Wait until the morning to water so that the soil dries out overnight. If you don’t do this, you risk having puddles form under your plants.
To conclude, there are many varieties of phlox plants. Some are easier to grow than others. However, regardless of the type, all phlox plants require the same care to flourish.
Follow these simple guidelines, and you will have healthy plants that bloom beautifully year after year!