Garden Phlox - Phlox Paniculata
A garden staple for many years, phlox paniculata or "garden phlox" is a favorite among professional and novice gardeners alike for good reason. This garden all-star has slender green stems that support sweet clusters of delicate petals. There are five petals to blossom and several blossoms in each clusters on Garden Phlox. Petals can be found in many different shades of white, red, pink or blue, depending on the variety. Vibrant colors are made the main focus against the simple, green foliage. This pretty perennial pops its fragrant blooms in July and with a little attention, blooms can continue until mid September. Dulling petals should be removed, a process known as deadheading, to encourage new growth.
Mature plants generally grow to around 18 inches wide and depending on the variety, are usually between 2 and 5 feet tall. Phlox is hardy in zones 4-8 and has been known to attract butterflies and hummingbirds, a welcome compliment to any garden space. Although it can grow in partial shade, phlox thrives best in full sun, ideally, in moist, well-drained soil. Like many sun-loving garden plants, phlox can benefit from a light layer of mulch early in the season to help with weed control and also to help retain moisture in the soil. Garden phlox is deer resistant and an excellent choice for many different types of gardens; cut flower gardens, wildflower beds, butterfly gardens, walkways, and borders, just to name a few. Because of their ideal height, phlox is perfect for layering in the middle or back of a garden bed with smaller complimentary plants in front. At the end of the blooming season, phlox should be cut back just above ground level, lightly mulch again the next spring and the plant will take care of the rest.