Most phlox are natives of North America. With the exception of P. drummondii (annual phlox), the species described here are perennial. The many types show wide variation in form, but all have showy flower clusters. Tall kinds are excellent border plants; dwarf ones are mainstays of the rock garden. Unless otherwise noted, grow in ordinary garden soil and provide regular moisture. Two major problems affect phlox: red spider mites (attack almost all species) and powdery mildew (P. paniculata is especially susceptible).
Native to Texas. Grows to 6–18 in. high and 10–12 in. wide, with erect, leafy stems more or less covered with rather sticky hairs. Lance-shaped to oval, nearly stalkless leaves are 1–3 in. long. Profuse blossoms in tight clusters at tops of stems. Comes in bright and pastel colors (no blue or orange), some with a contrasting eye. Tall strains (about 1 1/2 ft. high) in mixed colors include Finest and Fordhook Finest. The Astoria and Intensia strains are intermediate in size (8–12 in. tall) and so freely branching that they take on a rounded shape; both are available in a wide range of colors and are just right for large containers. Dwarf (6–8-in.) strains include Beauty and Globe, both with roundish flowers; and starry-blossomed Petticoat and Twinkle. Bloom period lasts from early summer until frost if faded flowers are removed. Plant in spring in cold-winter regions, in fall in mild climates. Grow in light, rich soil well amended with organic matter. Full sun.
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