Creeping phlox driving me crazy......

flowersandthings(MidAtlantic 6/7)June 15, 2004

I hate creeping phlox....... here's gardening books's description: "lush evergreen carpet studded with charming purple flowers in spring...... pink and white varieties also available...... " This is the worst plant...... looks more terrible every year..... doesn't spread...... I'm not killing it but I'm putting it out of the way where I won't have to look at it!!!!!!

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flowersandthings(MidAtlantic 6/7)

P.S. by creeping phlox I mean phlox subulata.......

    Bookmark   June 15, 2004 at 1:16AM
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twosevenright(central MA)

Funny how one person's pain is another's pleasure. My phlox must be in perfect growing condx because in 3 years they grown from palm sized plants to nearly 3 feet across. When in bloom, the flowers are so dense you cannot see any green, just large blobs of white, pink, and fuscia. The plants are buried in snow from late November to late March, and I would expect them to look terrible, but not so. They are now beginning to creep around and over the bolders and ledge on my hillside garden and look beautiful; just as I wanted them to do.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2004 at 8:44AM
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john_mo(z5/6)

My experience is like the other poster's -- this stuff is a reliable, slow spreader that looks great in bloom and out (at least for most of the summer).

Perhaps your plant needs a better site. I think they prefer quite a bit of sun and well-drained soil or they may languish.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2004 at 12:41PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Yes, P. subulata really wants full sun to live up to the garden books' descriptions, and you've posted on the woodlands forum. P. stolonifera, which is also called creeping phlox (which is an arguement for botanic names!) is very shade tolerant. The two plants are very different looking.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2004 at 5:56PM
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Phlox99(7b)

Yes, Phlox subulata along with Phlox paniculata, Phlox carolina and even Phlox divaricata (often also called woodland phlox), do better in the sun. The only reliable phlox I've seen for shade is as mentioned above, Phlox stolonifera.

Phlox subulata often looks better if you shear it right after it blooms. Then it flushes with new green growth that looks pretty good the rest of the season.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2004 at 9:31PM
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sahoyaref(Alberta z3a)

My creeping phlox is in the shadiest part of my garden and it was doing fabulously until this year, when my mom killed it. *sigh* One small part appears to still be alive, so I hope it comes back. The carpet of pink flowers in early summer/spring is amazing!

    Bookmark   June 15, 2004 at 9:32PM
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shadowgarden(z5OH)

I don't have creeping phlox I have galloping phlox. It grew about a foot over my sidewalk and I had to keep chopping it. Maybe it is because it is near the roses which I fertilize.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2004 at 11:46PM
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vegangirl(z6 VA)

I have Phlox sublata that is in full sun before the trees leaf out and later just gets morning sun. It is doing well. My favorite phlox is Phlox divaricata. It does well in light/part shade and is the most heavenly blue for 6 weeks in spring.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2004 at 1:48PM
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Aston_Barrett(Zone 5)

I found a few links on the Internet regarding
a specific problem with creeping phlox and a
particular nematode (Ditylenchus dispaci).

Please see:

http://www.ipm.msu.edu/CAT03_land/L05-30-03.htm#9
http://www.ipm.msu.edu/CAT04_land/L06-25-04txt.htm

Do you think it possible that nematodes may
have been the cause of the poor performance
of your phlox subulata?

    Bookmark   October 31, 2004 at 11:25PM
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vegangirl(z6 VA)

Another thought, our soil is acid and my creeping phlox started to do well only after I started adding a little lime around it every spring.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2004 at 6:37PM
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mdmbgrc_charter_net

so if my phlox subulata that was once full and beautiful is now dying out, what do i do to the soil to make it happy?

    Bookmark   April 28, 2007 at 7:52PM
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oakleif(z6 AR)

I would try the things mentioned above. Is it in well drained soil? Is it in acidic soil tho mine is and also semi shade and does great.It also made it through a 3 year drought and stayed great looking. When i found out how well it did in the dry weather i went and bought a bunch more. I totally love the stuff and it looks good in among my roses along with daylilies,all in semi shade.
oakleif

    Bookmark   April 30, 2007 at 12:23AM
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symnseddina_yahoo_com

Creeping phlox have been super for four years, but now the center of the plants are dying out. All the good plant, and blossoms, are on the outside. Why does this happen? What can I do about it?

    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 10:38PM
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symnseddina_yahoo_com

Creeping phlox have been super for four years, but now the
center of the plants are dying out. All the good plant, and blossoms, are on the outside. Why does this happen? What can I do about it?

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 6:01AM
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mackmail_execulink_com

Hi
I was searching the web about creeping phlox, and came across the link below, which tells what to do if you have a patch of dead phlox in amongst an otherwise healthy growing plant. My phlox is the full sun kind and is looking great just now (SW Ontario).

http://www.gardening-tips-perennials.com/creepingphlox.html

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 9:44AM
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JuniperLee

It's been my experience that creeping phlox eventually get leggy and the foliage from the layers underneath, and eventually the centers, die out. I like to shear my back twice a year, once lightly right after the first round of blooms, and a bit more hefty shearing in Feb/early March to tidy up the plant for the coming Spring. If shearing them back isn't enough, dig up the plants, divide them, and replant them. I like to amend my soil with humus and rotted manure, before I plant my perennials. I hope that helps. Happy planting!

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 7:42AM
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purple-gal

bought my creeping phlox in a 1 qt container--in full bloom--planted a month ago in a sunny place and now all the blooms are gone and it looks awful. it has been watered and given some Miracle Grow to help get it established. What did i do wrong? i am so disappointed. the plant is not dead--it is just not growing .

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 4:05PM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

Mine is doing fine and has for years. Good drainage and plenty of sun. Easy to divide and replant.
Mike

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 2:07AM
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dog_wood_2010(7)

Hi purple-gal. Your Phlox was probably forced into bloom by artificial means. Nurseries and big box stores often do this to increase buying appeal. Plus it is in transplant shock. It needs to adjust to it's natural growing cycle and acclimate to its new location. Just keep the ground moist and add a little fertilizer late winter. Next spring you should get at least 6 weeks of straight blooms. In a couple years you could divide it to make multiple plants and make a display like mine.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 5:32PM
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ncrescue

Great photos, both of you. Where I grew up in SC, a homewoner on the side of a mountain had ac. of this phlox in multiple colors. People drove from miles around to see the spring display. Magnificent!

Sorry to say there is now a housing development there and no wide expanses of anything but roofs.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 7:56PM
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