Phlox can be an easy grown half hardy annual suitable for any garden situation particularly a cottage garden. It’s compact bushy habit makes it ideal for planting as drifts of colour, as border edging or in containers. This Phlox differs from the perennial varieties that grow taller and have more scent. Never the less annual Phlox is worth the little effort that is required
Description of Phlox
- Phlox drummondii is free flowering in a broad range of attractive colours including red, white, blue shades, pastel colours and bright yellowy orange.
- Phlox flowers throughout the summer on 12″ high plants although some varieties are lower growing.
- Phlox hybrida compacta has a stripped flower.
- The flowering period is from June through July & August
- Blooms are about 1″ across in clusters and are trumpet-shaped with a narrow tube.
- The leaves are soft, hairy and sticky.
Cultivation Tips for Annual Phlox
- Grow from seed sown in February- May six weeks before the last frost.
- Sow seed on the surface of good, free-draining, seed compost.
- Do not cover the seed. Place in a propagator or seal container inside a polythene bag and place at 18-20C (64-68F) until after germination which takes about 10-21 days.
- Do not exclude light as this helps germination.
- Transplant seedlings when large enough to handle into trays or pots. Grow on in cooler conditions for a few weeks before planting out 8″ apart after all risk of frost .
- Plants prefer a rich well drained soil in a sunny position.
- A foliar feed of dilute liquid fertiliser will help plants continue flowering through summer.
Special Growing Tips for Phlox
- The Phlox self deadheads to produce a continuing show
- The flowers are attractive to Bees and Butterflies and that makes them worth planting for that alone.
- In USA some species grow will at the roadside so how hard can they be to grow in your garden.
Phlox: A Natural History and Gardener’s Guide by James H. Locklear
Varieties, Species and Types of Annual Phlox
- Phlox drummondii ‘Crème Brûlée’ a variety of orange-yellow shades.
- Phlox Drummondii ‘Dwarf Beauty Mixed’ includes reds blues and white.
- Phlox Drummondii ‘Phlox Of Sheep’ is available in a range of pastel shades
- Phlox hybrida compacta ‘Peppermint Candy’ is an interesting red and white stripped variety
Horticulture Sources and Origins
- In 1835, botanist Thomas Drummond collected the seeds of this annual wildflower in America where a red-colored variety grew with a pink-flowered form.
- You can often obtain seeds or plants from our mail order company of choice Thompson & Morgan
- Read about perennial Phlox
- Night Phlox or Zaluzianskya is a plant closely related to Phlox.
- Pdf article on annual phlox species.
- More Information from University of Texas plant data base