Most are natives of North America. With the exception of Phlox 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).
From eastern North America. To 3–5 ft. tall, 2 ft.wide,with narrow, 2–5-in.- long leaves tapering to a slender point. Fragrant, 1-in. flowers in large, dome-shaped clusters throughout summer. Colors include white and shades of lavender, pink, rose, and red; blooms of some varieties have a contrasting eye. Plants do not come true from seed–most seedlings tend toward an uncertain purplish pink, though some may be attractive. Summer phlox thrives in full sun, but flower color may bleach in hottest areas; performance is better in northern than in southern climates. After setting out young plants, pinch stem tips to induce branching.Mulch to keep roots cool. Divide every few years, replanting young shoots from outside of clump. Very susceptible to mildew at end of bloom season. To minimize the problem, provide good air circulation: don–t crowd plants, and thin mature plants to leave only six to eight stems.
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