I found this Phlox at my favorite perennial nursery. It might have easily been overlooked but it was in bloom. Drawn to the wonderfull color I pulled out a plant marker and saw the magic words – “zone 3”. That’s all I needed to see and I loaded 50 of these little beauties in my truck. I had to have them and I’d worry about where to put them later. The excitment of a new discovery outweighed any logical consideration of their requirments and if they would actually take to my garden. The plant tag only gave light conditions – sun to part shade. One way or another I was going to find a spot for them.
This will be the third spring in my garden. I found a spot that gets morning sun in well drained soil with a neutral pH. (I’m blessed with some of the country’s best soil – Madrid Sandy Loam)
Phlox stolonifera with Bloodroot, Vinca, Columbine and Hosta.
I’ve found that this is a shallow rooted plant. Keeping it out of the hot afternoon sun keeps the soil from getting too dry. While it has tolerated some dryness I haven’t taken a chance to see just how dry it can get. During the summer I water the area a little if we haven’t had rain.
I also have tried to grow this on Long Island in soil best described as gravelly clay that too often stays wet. That was not a good idea but I had to try. It did grow but it’s having a hard time holding on. Maybe the soil is too acid or too tight to really develop a good root base. Whatever the reason this Phlox doesn’t seem to like a clay based soil.
This year I’m going to be transplanting the hosta in order to give this Phlox some more room to roam. After all, digging up, dividing and transplanting is half the fun of gardening for me. The other half is expanding the garden and hoping things fall into place like the photo above.