In an individual pot, a flower box or in the form of a flowery bush, the phlox is a very beautiful and easily-cultivated plant. Perennial or annual, it is an herbaceous and flowery plant which has multi-coloured flowers (white, red, orange, purple and rose) which blossom with a subtle perfume as from the month of August and throughout summer.

The phlox comes from North America and Russia. From the Polemoniaceae family, the variety consists of 70 annual and perennial species. Among the annual ones is the phlox drummondii (15 to 20 cm) which is the most known. Rustic, the perennial plants are definitely the most used in ornamental gardens. Bedding plant segments are often ornamented by the phlox divaricata (around 30 cm tall), the maculata (1 m) and the paniculata (from 80 to 120 cm), all of various colours. The dwarf variety, phlox subulata (from 5 to10 cm), has a compact and covering tuft and is perfect for a ground cover effect.

Growth

These plants enjoy a sunny exposure as well as a humus-rich and well-drained soil. They are planted at intervals of 30 to 40 cm in a bedding plant segment. While planting, mix the casing soil to the garden’s soil and add some manure each year at the end of winter. The blooming will get better as well as the bushy figure.

Maintenance

Easily-maintained, the phlox only needs a cool temperature at the foot of the parent stem, especially during the hot seasons. Be careful to water it regularly in summer and protect it with straw to avoid it drying out. After the flower blossoms, perennial plants have to be cut quite short to trigger regrowth and the next flowers. In order to make the plants multiply and renew, you only have to divide the tuft (every 4 to 5 years approximately).

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Source: Magazine Lacase No48
By | Marie GOUGES
Photos | Jean-Noël AH KEE