Loose Turf Phlox - "medium" In Size And Flowering Time. Kinds. Care. Photo

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Loose Turf Phlox - "medium" In Size And Flowering Time. Kinds. Care. Photo
Loose Turf Phlox - "medium" In Size And Flowering Time. Kinds. Care. Photo
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Among fans of garden phlox there are both lovers of ground cover and lush flowering bush plants. The third group of phloxes - loose sows - is deprived of attention and has long been in the shadow of its competitors. Thanks to the return of landscape styles to fashion, special, beautifully flowering, occupying a kind of intermediate link between the two main classes, these phloxes again return to the lists of fashionable cultures. Loose sod phlox have many advantages. And not the least of them is simple care. Although you should not forget about the average flowering time.

Loose sod phlox - "medium" in size and flowering time
Loose sod phlox - "medium" in size and flowering time


  • Description of loose shed phlox
  • Two types of loose shed phlox
  • Loose-leaf phlox in garden design
  • Conditions for growing loose sod phlox
  • Care of loose sod phlox
  • Reproduction of loose sod phlox

Description of loose shed phlox

The allocation of loose sod phlox into a separate group is attributed to the legendary domestic breeder P.G. Gaganov. Such a classification is more characteristic of the Russian school and literature, but the species belonging to the number of loose-baked phlox are considered as special and easily recognizable in the West as well.

Loose sod phlox are types of phlox, which are characterized by the same form of growth in the form of loose sod formed from creeping vegetative and upright growing generative shoots. Non-flowering, densely branching stems lying on the ground release many flowering shoots, creating special lush pillow bushes. With a height of vertically rising shoots of only 30-35 cm, the plants are medium-sized, fairly compact and dense. These phloxes cannot be counted either among the creeping or ground cover species, or among the bushy ones, because the nature of their growth is completely different.

Many gardeners consider loose turf phlox to be a kind of "middle" or combination between the other two categories of phlox. They, in fact, partially possess the characteristics of both bush and creeping species, and at the same time they are absolutely unique. This status is also confirmed by the flowering period: blooming only at the end of May or early June, loose turf phloxes enter the garden scene when carpet plants are already finishing their parade, and bush plants are just about to bloom. These are "average" phlox in size, flowering time and abundance.

Split phlox (Phlox divaricata)
Split phlox (Phlox divaricata)
Phlox stoloniferous, creeping or escaping (Phlox stolonifera)
Phlox stoloniferous, creeping or escaping (Phlox stolonifera)

Two types of loose shed phlox

There are only two types of plants that are used as decorative crops in modern landscape design to the loose sod phlox. But both of them are almost irreplaceable for him.

Phlox divaricata (Phlox divaricata), in the West known as wild blue phlox - came to us from North America, a landscape plant from among quite spectacular, capable to grow arrays and carpets sredneroslye phlox. The height of the sods of this herbaceous perennial is limited to 30 cm. Lying vegetative shoots can form adventitious roots in the nodes of the leaves, they are vertical, slender, straight, unbranched.

The leaves of this type of phlox are lanceolate or oval-lanceolate, with a pointed tip, whole, sitting opposite, surprising to the touch with both velvety and hardness. The maximum length of the leaves is up to 5 cm. The medium green color allows the splayed phlox to stand out effectively against the background of other perennials. Because of the narrow leaves, the curtains do not seem too thick, they look airy, spreading, translucent, often quite sloppy, and this property allows us to call this type of phlox one of the best for landscape compositions and natural, natural accents.

The flowering of phlox paniculata does not seem so catchy and spectacular. Loose brushes, in which up to 10 two-centimeter flowers are collected, crown the shoots. A unique shade of lilac-blue, reminiscent of light periwinkle, color makes the flowers especially touching. And the subtle scent attracts insects. Graceful teardrop-shaped, notched petals are decorated with a dark eye. The flowering period of the splay phlox lasts from late spring to mid-summer, depending on the weather. On average, flowering lasts from 3 to 4.5 weeks.

This type of phlox is one of the most popular among breeders. With the "participation" of splayed phlox, several dozen hybrid plants were obtained, which are now considered as separate species. In horticultural culture, the base plant is not found as often as varieties. Of the decorative forms, only the snow-white alba and pink-fuchsia rosea are popular. The best cultivars of the splayed phlox include:

  • "Dirigo Ice" is an interesting large-flowered variety with a unique creamy shade of color, surprising with a powerful growth rate;
  • "Blue Perfume" - a light blue, with a lilac shade, a variety with a very strong aroma and strikingly bright greens;
  • "Blue Dreams" - light lavender, with a cold tint of color and a very aromatic variety with bright leaves and accelerated growth;
  • "Clouds of Perfume" - lavender, with a warm shade of color, fragrant variety with dark leaves;
  • "Montrose Tricolor" - periwinkle blue variety with variegated leaves decorated with a white border around the edge;
  • "Violet Queen" - light purple variety with dark buds and grayish leaves;
  • "Chattahoochee" - the legendary dark purple variety with a bright purple eye, famous for its modest size and capriciousness;
  • Laphamii is an even darker, violet- flowered variety with unusual, round petals and an elongated flower tube.

Phlox stoloniferous, creeping or escaping (Phlox stolonifera) is also an American phlox species, widely represented in the United States and considered one of the most striking native plants. The height of the bushes is about 30 cm, they seem strikingly dense and lush, captivating with both the texture and beauty of the turf pattern, and wintering leaves. Non-flowering shoots spread, densely branching and rooting at the nodes, which only enhances the effect of density.

The plant is constantly expanding, forming whole tracts, can develop large free areas, but not too aggressively in relation to other herbaceous perennials. The leaves of the stoloniferous phlox are oval, simple, up to 6 cm in length with a muted forest dark green color. Matte greenery emphasizes the density of the sods.

Flowering shoots are straight, upright, 20 to 30 cm in height. Blooming shoots are crowned with dense inflorescences, in which up to 10 flowers can be collected. Due to the multi-flowered nature, the bushes seem to be covered with a hat of umbrella-shields. Thin stalks emphasize the beauty of individual flowers. The flowers are medium-sized, up to 2 cm in diameter, but on such a plant they seem strikingly spectacular. Candy pink, with a cold shade, the color looks very fresh.

Stolon phlox has a number of varieties that have become much more popular than the original species, mainly due to the brighter colors and the accelerated ability to grow and fill free soil. The best varieties of this type of phlox include:

  • "Ariane" is a white-flowered variety with snow-white, almost round and denser inflorescences;
  • "White Ridge" - white-flowered, delicate variety with very dense inflorescences, surprising with a dark cold shade of green color;
  • "Pink Ridge" is a pink-colored variety with a cold lilac-pink color of flowers, in which peduncles rise above rather light leaves higher than in other varieties;
  • "Blue Ridge" is a light lilac, lavender-tinged variety that blooms relatively late, in June, but blooms for more than one month
In garden design, loose shed phlox can be used to decorate the front edge of flower beds and mixborders, fill the soil
In garden design, loose shed phlox can be used to decorate the front edge of flower beds and mixborders, fill the soil

Loose-leaf phlox in garden design

The beautiful texture of the friable phlox allows them to be used as a framing plant. In strict ribbons-borders, table-bearing and spread-out phloxes cannot be planted, but they are more than suitable for creating soft frames, natural transitions, decorating the front edge of compositions with soft lines. These plants perfectly frame landscape groups and massifs, can be used to decorate the front edge of flower beds and mixborders, fill the soil.

Dense, spectacular, looking at the same time natural and catchy, the sods of phlox of a loose sod type are as if created to decorate rock gardens. They create very different texture spots than carpet phloxes, bring volume and interesting transitions to rocky gardens.

But it is worth placing loose shed phlox so that they do not suffer from excessive heat and sun - in shady places, in extreme cases - on the western or eastern side of the alpine hills. These phloxes feel great on large boulders and can be used in terracing.

Loose-leaf phlox are excellent ground cover plants. They can fill in voids, glades or entire areas, create spots in patterned lawns, or bring an interesting play of textures to clearings of ground cover that are not going to be walked on. They are irreplaceable as an alternative to the classic low carpets in the forest or for filling the soil between ornamental shrubs and trees.

There is a place for splayed and stolon-bearing phloxes and near water bodies. They are often included in coastal plantings, but the plants reveal their special beauty near streams.

All loose turf phloxes can be cut for bright flowers. They are suitable for decorating potted gardens and mixed arrangements in flower girls.

Loose-grass phlox partners can be selected from any plant that is also suitable for similar growing conditions. They are not afraid of the neighborhood of ground cover, bulbous, herbaceous perennials, ornamental shrubs or dwarf trees.

Effectively, the beauty of loose-sourced phlox is emphasized by primroses, lungwort, tulips, thyme, purse, wormwood, pansies, heuchera, bergenia, spurge, chickweed, irises, saxifrage and carnations. Interesting duets are obtained from splayed phlox with forget-me-nots, nivyaniks, geraniums, hosts. Creeping conifers, spireas, barberries surrounded by phlox seem surprisingly textured.

Loose sod phlox sods seem to be created for decorating rock gardens
Loose sod phlox sods seem to be created for decorating rock gardens

Growing conditions for loose turf phlox

One of the main advantages and a key feature of loose turf phlox is the love of secluded lighting. Unlike species from the other two groups, the loose-baked phlox loves shading. In nature, the stolon-bearing and splayed phlox are accustomed to shady and rather damp places, and they do not change their character in garden culture, but with proper care they demonstrate amazing plasticity.

The splayed phlox is less sensitive to the sun. It can be planted almost anywhere - from shade to partial shade and sunny areas. Stolon-bearing phlox in sunny southern locations is not planted. When choosing a place for loose shed phlox, it is worth stopping at such sites in which the plants will not suffer from the midday sun and strong drafts.

Despite the reputation of being more hardy and unpretentious plants, loose sward phlox is quite demanding on the soil. They bloom profusely only on nutritious soil and require high-quality processing before planting. Wide-spread phlox is much less demanding on the soil, it grows even on poor, rocky and dry soil.

But still, the full beauty of flowering can be observed only under the condition of either the initial nutritional value of the soil, or high-quality dressings. Loose sod phlox like moist or fresh, but not moist, neutral or slightly acidic soils containing organic matter. For these types of phlox, sandy loam is preferred.

The place for planting loose sward phlox does not have to be prepared in advance. But deep digging with the introduction of organic fertilizers (compost or humus in the amount of 1 bucket per square meter) allows plants to quickly adapt and actively develop. Phlox are planted carefully, to the same depth at which they grew earlier, immediately mulching the planting with any available materials and providing maintenance watering in drought to accelerate rooting.

The full beauty of the flowering of loose sward phlox can be observed only under the condition of either the initial nutritional value of the soil, or high-quality fertilizing
The full beauty of the flowering of loose sward phlox can be observed only under the condition of either the initial nutritional value of the soil, or high-quality fertilizing

Care of loose sod phlox

Unlike bush phlox, loose turf does not require complex feeding for its spectacular flowering. For them, it is enough to take care of watering during the flowering period, several dressings and weeding.

Loose sod phlox are watered only during drought. For these plants, the period of preparation for flowering and the flowering itself are critical: if the plants experience a lack of moisture, the total duration of flowering will be reduced. Phlox is rarely watered, deeply soaking the soil, only when there is not enough natural precipitation.

For loose sod phlox, feeding is carried out 1-3 times per season. Usually, early spring top dressing with full mineral fertilizer or a solution of organic fertilizers in a standard amount is sufficient. If you want to get the most spectacular flowering or grow phlox for cutting, then fertilizing is carried out three times - with nitrogen fertilizers in early spring, during the budding period or at the beginning of flowering - with potassium-phosphorus fertilizers, and after flowering - with full mineral fertilizer.

Weed weeding, combined with gentle loosening of the soil, maintains optimal water and air permeability and allows phlox to grow actively. Weeds are not afraid of curtains: weeding is carried out around the plants.

Loose stern phloxes love mulching. For them, you can choose both organic fertilizers and decorative mulch. The mulch layer is renewed 1-2 times a year.

They do not need protection for the winter, but young plants, as well as varieties with unknown winter hardiness, are better insulated from snowless periods by additional mulching with dry leaves. A protective layer is created only after the soil freezes and is removed after the first warming, preventing the sod from extracting.

Loose turf phloxes reproduce only vegetatively
Loose turf phloxes reproduce only vegetatively

Reproduction of loose sod phlox

Phloxes of this group do not form or practically do not form seeds. They are propagated only vegetatively. The most popular option is to separate the adult curtains. Loose sod phloxes are divided only in spring, into large divisions with powerful roots. Dense turf is best cut with a knife or shovel. Plants are not afraid of replanting, but they require careful maintenance and maintenance of stable moisture in order to accelerate development in summer.

You can also get new plants by rooting the layers. At the edge of the sod, shoots are laid and fixed in the soil, spilling the rooting site with nutritious soil and maintaining constant moisture to accelerate rooting. The resulting plants are separated from the mother bush the next spring.

Before and after the flowering of loose sward phlox, you can cut stem cuttings, leaving 3-4 internodes and be sure to remove the side shoots and lower leaves. In a light, nutritious soil mixture under a greenhouse, cuttings take root quickly enough. They are deepened at an angle, to a depth of about 3 cm. Plants are planted in new places in the spring of next year.

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