Are you looking for a new addition to your flower garden? Why don’t you take Phlox paniculata as an option? This flowery plant is not only beautiful but also easy to care for. Additionally, its showy clustered flowers have a pleasant scent that will be perfect for any bouquet. Here you can find out more all about Phlox paniculata, including how to grow one in your flower garden.
Getting to Know Phlox paniculata
Phlox paniculata, also known as garden phlox,is one of the most attractive kinds of flowers that you can grow in the flower garden. It is defined as perennial flower shrubs which belong to the herbaceous family in genus Phlox. This plant is native to North America. However, certain varieties are also found in several other countries outside the continent, especially in South America and western parts of Canada.
The flowers of Phlox paniculata bloom in clusters with small rounded petals and colorful shades. Purple phlox is one of the most popular colors of this flowery plant. Also, there are some other varieties with different bright colors, such as red, pink, coral, lavender, violet, white, and orange phlox.
Blooming in spring and summer, most phlox varieties are famous for its fragrance—the scent is more noticeable at night. During the day, the fragrance can also attract butterflies and hummingbirds.
Some Varieties of Phlox paniculata
Phlox paniculata has numerous varieties which differ in color, size, and characteristics. Here are some popular varieties that are often recommended as garden flowers.
Phlox Paniculata Jeana
Phlox paniculata Jeana has small flowers in pink and lavender shade. The flowers commonly bloom from summer to early fall. This herbaceous plant is also characterized by stiff stems and narrowed green leaves. ‘Jeana’ cultivar is mildew-resistant so that it can grow for a longer period.
Phlox paniculata Mother of Pearl
‘Mother of Pearl’ features small flowers with overlapping petals and clean white colors. The stem is sturdier than most phlox varieties, so it doesn’t need any staking as the plant grows taller. Due to its elegant beauty, this variety once received a prestigious award from the Royal Horticultural Society.
Phlox Paniculata Laura
Similar to paniculata Jeana, Phlox paniculata Laura is also resistant to mildew. This cultivar has a slightly darker color than Jeana, but its fragrance is more or less the same. Laura flowers bloom throughout the summer. Because of its clustery features, this variety is an excellent choice for bouquet or decoration in a vase.
Phlox paniculata Meaning and Symbolism
Etymologically, the word ‘phlox’ is derived from a Greek word which means flame or fire. However, in the cultural communities of Europe, Phlox paniculataor phlox blue paradise is often associated with a pure expression of love.
The small flowers of phlox are commonly given as a symbolism of the marriage proposal. Young, unmarried women in the Victorian Era often carry a bouquet of phlox as a symbol of their pleasant wish or dream to marry a gentleman.
Phlox paniculata Growing Requirements
Before planting Phlox paniculata, make sure to provide the proper growing environment for this wildflower.
The type of soil to grow Phlox paniculata may vary, depending on the varieties. Garden and Meadow phlox, for instance, prefer to thrive in rich soil, whereas sand phlox-like sandy and loamy soil better. Regardless of their different preferences, all types of phlox should be planted in moist and well-drained soil.
Similar to the soil, light requirements of Phlox paniculata also depends on the varieties you’d like to grow. Sand phlox and some other mounding phlox varieties should be exposed under the full sun daily. Meanwhile, the partial sun is enough to keep a garden or blue phlox happy.
Phlox paniculata Planting Procedure: A Step-by-Step Guide
The best time to plant Phlox paniculata is in the early or mid-spring. Once you’ve provided the proper planting medium and environment for growing this wildflower, you can follow these simple steps to plant it.
- Prepare the garden bed using a tiller or garden fork. The soil should be loosened up for about 12-15 inches deep.
- Mix a layer of compost to the soil for approximately 2-4 inches.
- After the soil and compost are ready, you can sow Phlox paniculata seeds or plant its cuttings and transplants. The latter option is considered easier, and it has a faster growth rate, but this procedure can work for either one.
- If you plant more than one seeds or transplants, remember to space each of them 1-2 feet apart. Therefore, the clusters of flowers have plenty of space as they grow.
- Fill around the planting area with soil and water it thoroughly once you’re done.
Caring for Phlox paniculata
Phlox paniculata care includes regular watering and compost addition to the soil. After one or two years of growth, the plant also needs some additional care.
The soil should be kept moist all the time, so regular watering is needed especially during the summer. Also, you should water the plant when it doesn’t receive an inch of rain within a week.
Besides the first compost layer that you mix with soil when planting phlox, the plant needs additional layers of compost and a two-inch layer of mulch in the next spring. It will keep the soil moist and help the plant control weeds.
In addition to watering and fertilizing, you can make Phlox paniculata bloom better by removing any faded or dead flowers. If you grow tall garden phlox, the stem should be divided and replanted every two years or so. That way, you can keep the plant healthy and free from any disease.
Now that you have enough information about how to grow and care for Phlox paniculata, you can try to plant this lovely wildflower on your own. If you start planting in the early spring, the clusters of flowers will bloom throughout the summer. Its attractive feature and small bright petals will surely become the new favorite in your flower garden.