Caring For Ground Cover Phlox. Perennial, Creeping. Photo

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Caring For Ground Cover Phlox. Perennial, Creeping. Photo
Caring For Ground Cover Phlox. Perennial, Creeping. Photo
Video: Caring For Ground Cover Phlox. Perennial, Creeping. Photo
Video: Ground cover: planting creeping phlox and more.🏝🍃 2023, February

It is no coincidence that creeping and loose-growing phloxes are considered one of the most beloved perennial ground covers. Their high winter hardiness and unpretentiousness are valued no less than bright flowering. And phlox has it, and it is true, unique: turning the whole plant into a pink carpet, the flowers offer you to admire the pure candy and acrylic shades. Carpet phloxes do not require complex care, but they will still need minimal care and mandatory procedures.

Phlox subulata (Phlox subulata)
Phlox subulata (Phlox subulata)


  • Using groundcover phlox in garden design
  • Conditions required for ground cover phlox
  • Humidity and watering requirements
  • Feeding for carpet phlox
  • Wintering ground cover phlox
  • Pest and disease control

Using groundcover phlox in garden design

Among spring-flowering ground covers, it is difficult to find a plant that is as hardy and unpretentious. The smallest leaves of a dark green color on creeping and ascending branches of styloid phlox, Douglas, snowy, spreading and Co. create a dense cover not only in rock gardens, but also on flower beds, in rockeries, on slopes, between conifers and bushes, in curbs.

But phloxes reveal their true beauty only when they are covered with a seemingly continuous veil of thousands of flowers. These dwarf shrubs and evergreen creeping perennials blooming in spring and early summer, forming dense or loose sods and cushions, fully justify their reputation as an absolutely undemanding plant.

Conditions required for ground cover phlox

The selection of comfortable lighting and soil for phlox is the main guarantee of success in their cultivation. For these plants, you need to choose sunny, brightly lit places. Creeping and friable phloxes are not equally light-loving and drought-resistant crops. Two representatives of sod phlox - stallion and spread-out - can also settle in shade. But phlox is adorable, like its creeping cousins ​​- only in a sunny place. Even in partial shade, these carpet phloxes do not bloom and form unattractive, loose, loose sods.

These plants prefer to grow in the garden under the same conditions as in nature - on dry, sandy or stony, rather poor soils. Breathability and drainage are essential. Sandstones and loams are preferred, to which humus, compost and sand are added. Carpet phlox cannot stand acidic, clayey, damp, compacted, unworked soils, as well as stagnant water at any time of the year.

If there is a risk of waterlogging, drainage is desirable. When growing in the garden, it is better to use not poor, but medium nutritious soils with a high humus content. Only the adorable phlox, one of the loose-hulled phlox, prefers poor soils.

Planting creeping phlox

Creeping phloxes are placed at a distance of 20-30 cm between the bushes. Plants are planted with a lump of earth, trying not to contact the roots. Immediately after planting, the bushes are watered abundantly.

Split phlox, or split phlox (Phlox divaricata)
Split phlox, or split phlox (Phlox divaricata)

Humidity and watering requirements

Carpet phlox can do without watering at all. But for more abundant flowering, it is better to protect the plants from too long droughts in the spring (if there is enough moisture, neither before nor during flowering, carpet phlox is not watered).

The main watering for creeping phlox is carried out not during the flowering period, and not even when the buds are forming, but after flowering, when the plants grow back and can potentially form a beautiful pillow or turf. Phloxes usually start watering from mid-July. In a drought, the plant is watered minimally - with a frequency of 1 every 2 weeks. Watering should not be too intense: 10 liters of water is enough for 3-4 square meters of plantings.

Phlox with loose sods love watering in drought, regardless of the stage of development (except for the lovely phlox, which does not need watering at all).

One of the main features of ground cover phlox is that they cannot stand cold water. For watering these plants, they use settled and warmed up water in the sun, watering is carried out in the evening, and not in the early morning.

Feeding for carpet phlox

In order to achieve more lush flowering from phlox, preferably 2 weeks before the first flowers start blooming, approximately at the end of April or early May, feed with a full mineral fertilizer (diluted in water with nitrophosphate or other fertilizers in a standard dose).

Approximately 10 days before flowering, foliar feeding is also useful - spraying with a solution of nitrogen fertilizer (15 g of urea or nitrate per 1 bucket of water for 3-4 square meters of planting.

With poor regrowth of the phlox rug, the formation of bald patches, sod build-up in July additionally stimulates:

  • feeding with a half dose of nitrogen fertilizers (15 g of urea per 10 liters of water);
  • full mineral fertilizers in a half dose (10-15 g of nitrogen, potassium and phosphate fertilizers per 1 bucket of water or 30-45 g of nitroammofoska).

For loose black phlox, three mandatory dressings are made:

  1. Nitrogen in early spring.
  2. Complete mineral fertilizer before flowering.
  3. Complete mineral fertilizer after flowering.
Douglas phlox (Phlox douglasii)
Douglas phlox (Phlox douglasii)
  1. In order for creeping or loose-knit phloxes to retain their decorative effect, in early spring, it is better to direct the shoots that have begun to grow back to exposed places in early spring, and pinch the too-elongated "lashes", stimulating thickening. Shoots can be fixed in the soil for rooting and thickening by pinning in any convenient way and lightly covering them with soil). This direction of shoots is considered mandatory in the first two years of growing for young phlox in order to accelerate the formation of a dense cover. In the future, it is carried out as needed.
  2. If necessary, maintain the compact shape of the pillow and form the plant, excess shoots can be removed, independently controlling the size of the bushes and bumps. Formation is carried out after the end of flowering.
  3. After flowering is complete, it is advisable to cut off all shoots by a third of the height, stimulating the growth of new branches and thickening of the phlox. Such pruning also contributes to the renewal of the rug, allows you to abandon regular rejuvenation.
  4. Loose black phlox prefer constant light mulching with nutritious soil (they renew mulch in early spring and late summer).
  5. It is better to clean phlox mats with a light fan rake, manually or with a garden vacuum cleaner - after cutting, during leaf fall and in spring - removing all plant debris.
  6. Carpet phloxes require renewal with a frequency of 3-5 years. If pruning is carried out annually after flowering, then rejuvenation is carried out as needed (much less often, once every 6-7 years). For rejuvenation, phlox is carefully dug out, dead old parts and dry areas are removed, divided into divisions and planted in a new place.

Wintering ground cover phlox

Carpet phlox are considered crops with a high degree of winter hardiness. But the main problem of growing them in the middle lane is related to the fact that these plants love snowy and dry winters. During humid and unstable winters, thaws or in snowless winters, both creeping and sod phlox can partially freeze out and vanish. On slopes, windy areas, in case of little snow, it is advisable to protect creeping phlox with spruce branches and throw snow on top to protect against temperature fluctuations.

In early spring, when the snow melts, phloxes often burn out like conifers, and if no cover was created for the winter by spruce branches, then you can additionally protect the rugs from burnout with a light cover.

Snow phlox (Phlox nivalis)
Snow phlox (Phlox nivalis)

Pest and disease control

Ground cover phloxes rarely get sick, but with dampness, improper selection of conditions or a violation of care, they can become infected with powdery mildew and variegation. They fight diseases in the same way: remove and cut out the damaged parts, treat phlox with Bordeaux liquid in early spring to prevent the recurrence of these problems. Less common are phomosis and septoria, requiring the removal of affected plants and the same copper-containing fungicides.

Of the pests on carpet phlox, mostly nematodes are dangerous. When infected, diseased plants are destroyed.

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