Help needed with Mystery Phlox

sundazingMay 13, 2007

Hi, I was at the Lowe's tonight and they had a special on "Phlox" for $5 a flat. The flat is about the size of a laptop computer and about 5-6" high. The plants are purplish.

All the sign said was "SHADE -- PHLOX -- SPECIAL". No tags to say what kind of soil and water it needs or if it is annual or perennial? No people to help either.

This was in Zone 6b.

Can anyone help me with soil and water needs; how long the blooming period is; if it sounds like an annual or perennial; can I just cut it up--it is grown in one big clump--to plant it in a few areas; and how big should pieces be and how far planted from one another?

Thanks in advance for any help you can give.

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entling

There are 2 kinds of Phlox that thrive in shade, Phlox divaricata and P. stolonifera. Look at the bottom of the plants. If you see shoots coming straight out, that is stolonifera. Those are stolons, which is how it spreads. If it does not have stolons, then it is divaricata. Divaricata is also taller than stolonifera. I have no experience growing stolonifera, but I have grown 2 varieties of divaricata for years. P. div. is best in part-shade in moist garden soil. It is evergreen and should be divided in Spring. Here it blooms most of May, but the foliage is attractive the rest of the year if it is deaded down to the basal foliage after flowering.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 3:01PM
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sundazing

Thanks a lot, Entling. It is the shorter one, I think, the stolonifera. It's about 8" tall now. When I plant it, I'm thinking of cutting it into 3"x3" pieces. I've got clay and am used to double digging and amending for large perennials. How much prep work do you think I need and how deep will the roots grow? Thanks again!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 4:13AM
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