80815Those outside California sometimes envy our ideal climates and soils. More of a variety of plants can be grown here than in most other places in America. There are not many plants that can be grown elsewhere that will not grow here. However, phlox, Phlox paniculata, is an example of a plant that can do well here, but for some reason or another, is much more popular everywhere else.

Phlox is native to much of the eastern half of North America, and has naturalized in other areas where it escaped cultivation in home gardens. Locally, it needs to be watered regularly to bloom on time in late summer. It is quite happy out in the open but might prefer a bit of partial shade in the afternoon here where summers are warm and dry. Powdery mildew can sometimes be a problem.

Bloom can be various hues of pink, purplish pink, red or white. The inch wide flowers are neatly arranged on conical terminal panicles about four to six inches wide. Blooming stems stand almost three feet tall and spread almost as wide. The somewhat narrow leaves are about four inches long. Phlox is mostly grown from seed, and can be propagated by division of perennial basal growth.

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10 thoughts on “Phlox

  1. A while back I planted some Phlox ‘David’. It grew vigorously but I decided it wasn’t a good fit with the look I was aiming for, so I dug it up and gave it to a friend. Two years later it had regrown from bits of leftover root and was just as vigorous as ever. So I decided it was a good fit after all. Phlox divaritica, on the other hand, can never get itself established as it is always being nibbled by rabbits.

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  2. A while back I planted some Phlox ‘David’. It was vigorous and beautiful but I decided it was not quite the right look, so I dug it up and gave it to a friend. Two years later it is back and just as vigorous as ever, regrowing from leftover bits of root. So I decided it was a good fit after all. Phlox divaritica, on the other hand, can never get really established in my garden because of all the nibbling rabbits.

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    1. They ‘were’ wild? Are they gone now? Our native California poppy got crowded out be invasive exotic specie. It is still out and about, but not nearly as prolific as I remember when I was young, which was not nearly as prolific as my Pa remembers it to have been.

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  3. I grew up around phlox as a kid in New Jersey and remember one of my favorite things to do was to pluck the little flowers off and suck the sweet nectar out of the base of the flower! I have always had some in my gardens wherever I have gardened as an adult – partly because of that pleasant association from my childhood… I love the way some varieties will bloom from the same “head” several times!

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