Phlox Paniculata

Phlox paniculata

An old but beautiful classic!

Phlox paniculata (garden phlox or autumn phlox) is a typical herbaceous perennial of the high summer and early autumn garden, and has always been part of the cottage-style perennial border. These plants form upright clumps of erect, branched stems clad with narrow dark-green leaves.

The phlox paniculata has phlox-like flowers in two-tone shades of mainly pink and white, as well as solid pink or pure white, are clustered in dense panicles, sweetly scented and rich in nectar, making them much-loved by butterflies and birds. Although modern hybrids are bred to be more resilient to disease, powdery mildew can still be a problem if the plants are planted too densely or watered too enthusiastically from above.

To grow them successfully, plant them in full sun to very light shade in fertile, well-draining soil and give them space from each other and other perennials to ensure good air circulation. Thin out spent stems immediately, and if there are any signs of disease, dispose of the diseased plants in the rubbish bin and not the compost heap. Although not extreme water guzzlers, the plants have fine feeding roots at soil level that need to be kept cool and moist with a layer of mulch, which should regularly be topped up.

The Gardener