summer phlox

Summer Phlox Growing And Care Guide

Summer Phlox is a staple of cottage gardens because of its easy maintenance and clouds of billowing blossoms. The lengthy flowering season, with some types blossoming as early as early spring and others lasting until the first hard frost in October, is the genuine cherry on top.

What is Summer Phlox?

Phlox are perennials that are a popular choice. They range in height from the land cover that flowers in the early spring to tall phlox that blossom in the middle to late summer. Find out more about growing and caring for summer phlox in your yard. When in bloom, these plants have a profusion of brilliant, star-shaped flowers. You can find a phlox for practically any garden because they come in such a wide variety of sorts and cultivars, many of which are native to North America. Phlox (P. paniculata) is a low-maintenance plant that gives the summer garden a splash of color and charm. The Polemoniaceae, or “Jacob’s ladder” family, in which the Phlox genus is found, is prized in particular for the size and longevity of its blooms.

Here are some brief facts about the popular aesthetic plant:

  • Latin name: Phlox paniculata
  • Other names: Garden phlox
  • Native to: North America
  • Invasiveness: No
  • Tenderness: Herbaceous perennial
  • Sun: Full sun to partial shade
  • Water: Average
  • Soil: Moist but well-drained
  • Hardiness zone: 4 to 8
  • When to plant: Early Spring
  • Spacing: 8-10″
  • Plant height: 2 to 4 feet
  • Bloom period: Summer to Fall frost
  • Time to maturity: 3 months
  • Container friendly: Yes
  • Fertilizer: Balanced
  • Toxicity: Non-Toxic
  • Drought tolerant: Yes
  • Deer resistant: Yes
  • Pest resistant: Yes

How to grow Summer Phlox

Partial sun, humid surroundings, and fertile loamy soil are preferred. Although flowers will still bloom, they will do so in less abundance in light shade. The risk of the plants drying out increases in direct sunlight since the leaves have a propensity to turn yellowish green. Sometimes different foliar diseases, such as powdery mildew, affect the leaves. Compared to the produced strains that are normally grown in flower gardens, this seems to happen less frequently in plants that are found in the wild. Garden phlox flowers require very little maintenance for the value they provide to a landscape. They should flourish and return each year if placed in a sunny area and given access to well-draining soil. Even its largest issue, a condition called powdery mildew, is highly treatable but can slightly detract from its appearance.

To extend the garden phlox’s flowering season, deadhead the spent flowers. Regularly pull weeds from around your plant to prevent them from weakening it or depriving it of the water it needs to survive the summer. Phlox in the garden draws bees and other pollinating insects, so you should avoid using herbicides or insecticides that can harm them.

Growing in containers

Garden phlox needs to be potted properly if you want to grow it in a container to give it the best chance of success. A potting mix is the best topsoil to use in a pot since it drains easily. Do not use garden soil because it will condense in a container.

When to start Summer Phlox seeds

Phlox seeds should be sown early in the growing season and lightly covered with 1/8′′ of fine gardening soil for outdoor beginnings. Phlox can be planted in the autumn at least a month before the first frost or in the spring after the fear of frost has passed.

When to plant Summer Phlox

Phlox plants can be multiplied via division in the early spring. With the use of a sharp knife, remove your phlox plant from the ground and divide it into more manageable clusters. Replant these clumps after that. As soon as the soil can be treated in the spring, you can also direct-sow seeds. Add a thin layer of soil (1/8 inch) over the seeds. In 5 to 10 days, germination ought to take place.

How to collect Summer Phlox seeds

It is simple to save phlox seeds after the growing season, and you may sow the collected phlox seeds in your flowerbed the next spring. When the flowers start to dwindle near the end of the summer, let a few phlox blooms stay on the plant. Pick healthy phlox plants’ blossoms. When the petals fall and the pod hidden behind them shrivels and becomes brown, let the phlox alone. Avoid leaving the seed pods out for too long since they could break and scatter their contents on the ground.

Snip the plant’s seed pods, then place the pods in a paper bag. Again until seeds are totally dry, place the bag in a nice, well-ventilated area. When you poke the seeds with your fingernail, dry seeds crack. The seeds are not dry enough if they are mushy. Break open the pods and remove the contents of the packet onto a pie plate. Large parts of stems, petals, or leaves should be removed.

The phlox seeds should be put in a paper envelope. Before storing the seeds until you sow them during the following growing season, mark the envelope with the plant’s name, date, and color.

Wildlife attracted by Summer Phlox

The flowers are small, fragrant, and have a variety of colors. They grow in florets at the summits of stems that are between three and four feet long. These perennials also draw butterflies and hummingbirds. They also make an excellent choice for cut flowers thanks to their strong stems.

Common problems

When cultivating phlox, nematodes might be a concern. Use pesticides made specifically for nematodes to treat early. Disease-related issues are rare. If disease problems arise, use a fungicide to treat them quickly. The fungus illness powdery mildew, which flourishes in hot, humid climates, can affect garden phlox. Look for garden phlox varieties like “David,” which are comparatively mildew-resistant, whenever you can. You can also do the following to avoid powdery mildew:

Make careful to leave enough space between plants to give garden phlox good airflow. Cut the stems to the ground and take them out of the garden when you clean them up in the fall. If any of the foliage has powdery mildew, do not compost them.

Insect pests do not typically concern garden phlox.

Mayukh Saha
Freelance Writer
Mayukh is a Content Marketer and Social Media Manager with over 5 years of experience in the industry. Mayukh believes in the power of content; how it can positively impact lives, scale businesses and touch people. In his spare time Mayukh likes to read about latest tech trends and loves to travel in the nature. You can reach him at [email protected].