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phlox isn't blooming

Posted by deanna_in_nh 5a (My Page) on
Sun, Aug 30, 09 at 22:44

Everywhere I go I see phlox paniculata blooming. I have 7 phlox. One is a very big phlox that I relocated in spring and it has buds that are just now showing their first hint of color before opening. The other six were bought at a nursery last year after they had bloomed for a discount, so I've never seen them bloom. They are 'David,' 'Orange Perfection,' and 'Blue Boy.' They also have a different structure than my older phlox. The 6 new phlox have fatter leaves, and also have some mildew now, which from everything I've read isn't supposed to affect blooming. My older phlox has skinny pointed leaves that extend practically up to the branching buds with no mildew at all. In June my 3yo decided to pinch the ends of my new ones for me, so I expected them to bloom a little late. But this late? I keep looking for buds on them, but I'm not seeing anything. I guess I'm surprised that my older phlox won't open up until this week. Does anybody else on the border of zones 5a/4b have their phlox already blooming? I guess I thought I would at least see some buds forming on my newer phlox. This is my first time to grow phlox.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: phlox isn't blooming

I have white and pink, both of which I got at swaps, so I don't know names. Quite mildewy, but have been blooming for about 3 weeks now. I have only this narrow experience with phlox, but some varieties of many plants have been bred for earlier or later bloom times, or maybe the location isn't giving the plants something they need? I'd try googling those varieties and see if there is anything on the web about bloom times of yours compared to other phlox, and also requirements for phlox. For instance, with some plants if the soil is too rich, growth goes into foliage rather than blooms, and some plants won't bloom without enough sun. I don't think that adequate moisture should have been a problem this summer ;>) Also, some plants need a year to grow good roots and really settle in before they put energy into flowers. Just some general guesses. Hopefully someone who knows more about phlox will have some more specific suggestions.


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RE: phlox isn't blooming

If you planted them last year after they bloomed, that must have been fairly late. My guess would be they are just not established enough yet for much bloom. Perennials often take a year or two to settle in.

Are they in full sun? That's another thing phlox needs for good bloom.

Did you fertilize in the spring? Are they in good rich soil with decent moisture? More to consider but I'm betting on their being planted a year or less.


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RE: phlox isn't blooming

I have many different varieties/colors of phlox, and they each bloom at different times during late summer and into September. So I think blooming time depends on the specific variety. I like this fact, as my phlox (some of them anyways) are in bloom all during August and beyond. I can't recall the specific names of the phlox I have, but they are all tall and brightly colored, reds, purples, and bright pink, some two tone.

I am surprised that mine have done so well this summer, with hardly any sun.

Your phlox might be one of the later blooming varieties. Or it could just take them a season to settle in, as Ginny said.


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RE: phlox isn't blooming

David is being David. Very sparse blooming and kind of puny the first year; second year better, now it is gigantic. It is a late bloomer, any way. I pinched mined back early summer, and it began blooming 3 weeks ago, max. Side shoots are beginning, main trusses are getting faded. I have a feeling you are colder than I am here, so add a week and half later bloom. Next year, just pinch one and not another, so you can compare growth habit and bloom time. I don't think there is anything wrong.


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RE: phlox isn't blooming

I was looking through photos of my perennial beds and see that way back in mid July several varieties of my phlox were in full bloom. I guess the flowering season is longer than I thought, not for any individual variety, but for each of them by turns. There certainly is a wide diversity of bloom times from one type of phlox to another.


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RE: phlox isn't blooming

My 'Blue Paradise' has been blooming since mid July and is still blooming. 'David' and 'Bright Eyes' began around end of July beginning of August, 'Laura' and 'Nora Leigh' a couple weeks ago. They all still have flowers on them although the 'Blue Paradise' in my back gardens that get less sun is finishing up with just a couple flowers left.

All of these plants are well established and have been in their current locations for years now and that makes a difference. I also top dress all my perennial borders with compost in the spring.

Deanne


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RE: phlox isn't blooming

Thanks for the help. I feel reassured! All seven phlox are in a row, so the fact that the older one is blooming and the others aren't concerned me. I will wait for next year to see what they do. They are in front of a south-facing stone wall in good sun all day with only some light shade from a peach tree passing over them. Since the peach tree is pruned I would think it isn't enough shade to keep them from blooming. I don't know how rich the soil is, so I'll try some ammending either later this year of early next year. I do know that the plants were 1 gallon size last year, normal for a 1 gallon pot, and this year they've enlarged quite nicely, so the soil is at least good enough to support it maturing. Thanks for the reassurance! I really love how phlox looks and don't want to be phlox-incompetent.


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