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Do I cut the tall garden phlox back ?

Posted by pippi21 Z7 Silver Spring (My Page) on
Thu, Nov 3, 11 at 7:13

It's time to put the flowerbeds to rest for the long cold winter. Just about the only thing that is still blooming might be a few blooms on my tall garden phlox and the marigolds and alyssum. I've decided to leave the alyssum alone and hopefully it will reseed itself. The Malva Zebrina is full of buds but the deer ate all the leaves off, leaving the blooms alone. I think I have one bloom on the Dr. Ruppel clematis left and of course, the snapdragons. I'm sure the first frost will take care of all of those things blooming. Do I go ahead and cut my tall garden phlox down to the basal crown and mulch all around it? I have plant support rings around all the garden phlox..guess it might be a good idea to pull them up and store them into garage away from the winter elements and put them back up in the Spring when the phlox starts growing again. Dr. Ruppel is in Group#2, so that doesn't get cut back until about mid March. Of course, the mums are still blooming but starting to fade out. Pansy's are in bloom because they have only been here about a month. They can hold up to frost I think. Almost forgot to ask this question. How do I collect seeds from my own phlox?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Do I cut the tall garden phlox back ?

I usually cut mine back to about 6 inches just so I remember where they are. I am bad to forget where things are planted and then when they start growing in the spring I cut the brown stick back or just break them off. I don't have a clue about phlox seeds but I do know I had phlox show up all over my gardens this year. Everywhere. I don't know what happened because its never happened before so I moved around a few of them but most of them I just left where they popped up at. Judy

RE: Do I cut the tall garden phlox back ?

  • Posted by pippi21 Z7 Silver Spring Md. (My Page) on
    Thu, Nov 3, 11 at 20:27

Thanks for your reply. I bet they reseeded themselves which is good as long as you recognize them the following year. As long as the new shoots stay around the basal crown of the plant, I will recognize it(Hopefully)but I place a metatl plant marker there anyhow.

Most of my garden phlox a friend from church gave them to me and I rec'd one in a plant swap 2 yrs. ago but it didn't seem to do well so I transplanted it around to the front flower beds and it is doing much better. Still have one to plant out before the ground gets frozen.

RE: Do I cut the tall garden phlox back ?

I cut my phlox back to just a couple of inches above the base. Phlox foliage often gets a bit of powdery mildew late in the season so I want to get that out of the garden before winter.

To collect phlox seed after the flowers fade they will form seeds. They are ripe when they are dark and I pluck them off as they ripen. Some put a nylon or small bag over the seed head to catch ripe seeds as the ripe pods open easily and seed falls to the ground.

I no longer add winter mulch to my phlox as they are hardy and survive well without it.

We've had a couple of nights in the twenties. The few clematis and mums that are blooming seem to be unaffected by the low temps. Same for several other blooming perennials. Think the temps need to be low for a longer period of time to end their bloom.

In my zone pansies are more readily available and displayed in the spring. Some mornings they look terrible from being frozen but as they warm the foliage and blooms perk up and they are lovely again.

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