How to Grow Creeping Phlox & Care Guide

In the spring, a carpet of pastel colours is created by the creeping phlox (Phlox subulata).

Little technical knowledge is needed on how to plant and care for creeping phlox.

Cascading or spreading out across a rockery, creeping phlox requires almost no maintenance as a ground cover plant.

You might also cultivate it in a planter or a bright spring bed.

About Creeping Phlox

Creeping phlox is notable for being both perennial and semi-evergreen.

Small star-shaped blooms with five pointed petals come in red, lavender, pink, white, or bluish-purple on these plants, and have needle-like foliage.

In the spring, creeping phlox produces its showy flowers and long, trailing branches that eventually turn woody.

These woodier expansions eventually stop flowering, so they can be pruned away to make way for the newer, more delicate stalks that continue to produce flowers.

The plant grows at a modest rate, reaching a height of 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 centimetres) and a width of 2 feet (.6 metres).

Creeping Phlox Planting Instructions

Creeping phlox is an easy plant to grow and maintain if you know how.

The plant is adaptable and can survive in many environments.

Creeping phlox thrives in full sun to moderate shade and can be planted in a wide variety of soil types.

However, it does best when planted in full sun and in soils that are moist but well-drained.

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Until the plant is well-rooted, replenish the soil with organic matter and water it regularly.

Avoid burying the stem of your creeping phlox while planting.

Planting creeping phlox is simple and will provide early spring colour for years to come if you follow the guidelines given here.

Care of Creeping Phlox

Creeping phlox requires minimal effort to plant and maintain.

The plant is adaptable and can survive in many settings.

Creeping phlox prefers full sun to partial shade but will grow in almost any soil.

Plant it in a sunny spot with moist but well-drained soil for the greatest results.

Plant in a well-watered area, then work in some organic soil additives to promote healthy root growth.

Keep the stem above ground when planting creeping phlox.

Here are some simple directions for growing creeping phlox that will provide early spring colour for years to come.


These plants can go without pruning if desired. You can shape the plant by cutting back the foliage once flowering has ended.

This will also encourage more robust leaves, which will make the phlox even more attractive as a ground cover.

There is also the option of not pruning and allowing the plants to develop normally.

Propagating Creeping Phlox

The division is the most effective means of spreading creeping phlox.

Aside from being a cheap way to get a new plant, this method can be used to revitalise old, ragged phlox.

Plants can be divided every two or three years without suffering significant damage. How? Read on!

  • Immediately the following flowering, dig up the entire plant, leaving the root ball intact.
  • Use a sterile, sharp spade to cut through the roots and approximately divide them in half.
  • Transplant each section to a new growth location, making sure the soil is just damp.
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Common Pests

However, in hot, dry conditions, spider mites can be a problem for creeping phlox even though it is more resistant to powdery mildew than other phlox species.

Soaps with insecticides in them can be useful for preventing this.

Spraying the plants with a strong stream of water on a regular basis will also help keep the mite population under control by washing away any hiding places the pests may have found.

When the weather is damp and humid, these plants may also be attacked by foliar nematodes.

Lesions on the leaves of plants caused by nematodes turn from brown to black. This soil life is difficult to manage.

Infected vegetation must be uprooted and eliminated, and the soil must be kept clear.

How to Get Creeping Phlox to Bloom

Depending on the region, creeping phlox will begin flowering in the late spring or early summer.

It blooms for weeks at a time, producing fragrant, abundant clusters of flowers.

In general, the five-petal blossoms are very flat, and their rounded, notched lobes set them apart from others.

If you fertilise your creeping phlox every few weeks and give it plenty of light, you’ll get beautiful blooms every year.

Though deadheading (removal of faded flowers) may help these plants bloom for a longer amount of time, it is not required.

If you want flowers from your phlox, wait until after it blooms to prune it.

Common Problems

When cultivated in its preferred environment, creeping phlox rarely experiences issues.

Nonetheless, certain widespread problems can emerge from an unsuitable setting.

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Leaves Turning Yellow

There are several potential causes of yellowing foliage, including illnesses.

However, environmental factors, such as insufficient light or excessive irrigation, are often to blame.

Make sure your phlox doesn’t spend too much time in the shade by keeping an eye on it throughout the day.

Furthermore, ensure there is sufficient soil drainage. If the conditions aren’t right, you may need to relocate the plant.

Poor Blooming

Low flower production on a creeping phlox plant can also be caused by environmental factors such as a lack of light.

The soil may also contain an excess of nitrogen, which encourages the development of leaves but not of flower buds.

Additionally, if a mature plant’s flower production has decreased, the division may be the solution to get it to bloom lavishly again.

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