These creeping phlox offer a mostly carefree ground cover. How to Prune Creeping Phlox 1. Cuttings, if done right, are a particularly easy option to propagate, as they root easily after a few months. Work the soil with the garden spade down to a depth of approximately 12 inches. It is as simple as taking an inch or so off the top, just like a haircut. Watering plants with a slow, light trickle of water directly at the root zone can help prevent the spread of many fungal diseases. Follow these easy creeping phlox planting instructions for years of early spring color. Phlox stolonifera benefits from deadheading to permit air circulation and to reduce development of powdery mildew, one of the few phlox problems, according to North Carolina State University Extension. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Prune out dead or damaged portions of creeping phlox at any time of year. After flowering, remove dead stems from your creeping moss phlox, according to Mississippi State University Extension. Work in at least 2 inches of compost to the top of the soil with a garden spade to improve the soil. Managing Dried Out Phlox Plants. What kind of Phlox do you have? You can transplant creeping phlox in early spring before blooming or once the flowers have finished blooming. Moss phlox does well in full sun, according to the Old Farmer's Almanac. Dig in some organic soil amendments to enrich the soil and water the plant until it is established. As the owner of an updated older home, she jumps at the chance to write about the fun and not-so-fun parts of home repair and home upkeep. All you need to do is cut a roughly 6-inch-long section, either from a rooted stem or a lateral shoot near the tip. Tell me which one that you have and I can help you out further. Trim back overgrown stems that reach above the main mat of the plant to maintain its ground-hugging growth habit. Phlox stolonifera is the taller version of creeping phlox, growing up to 1 foot tall, while moss phlox typically tops out at about 6 inches of height. Care of Creeping Phlox Plant creeping phlox at soil level and avoid burying the stem in the earth. Phlox stolonifera prefers a more acidic soil, while Phlox subulata grows well in moderately acidic to slightly alkaline soil with a pH of 6.0 to 8.0, according to Wilson Bros Gardens. Creeping phlox can also add interest when it is planted alongside walkways. If the surrounding plants are in close parameters to the phlox, the moisture can be too much and can contribute to disease, etc. 3. Is it growing upright or cascading? I would also try treating it with a fungicide and make sure that it is getting enough water too. Phlox, while a tolerant and well adapting plant can fall wayside to two different environments. Start to cut back flowering stems once half the blooms are spent. These ground cover flowering plants also have good wildlife value, as both hummingbirds and butterflies will enjoy their nectar. This phlox flowers from late spring to early summer. Both types of creeping phlox can withstand some foot traffic. Creeping phlox will grow well over rock walls, states The Old Farmer's Almanac. Prepare a sunny planting area for the creeping phlox. Pruning is a vital part of caring for your creeping phlox. It can grow well not only in woodland or shade gardens but can also coexist well with spring bulbs. North Carolina State University Extension: Phlox stolonifera, Mississippi State University Extension: Moss Phlox, Wilson Bros Garden: How to Plant, Prune, Fertilize, Water & Care for Creeping Phlox Plants, Meadows Farms Nurseries and Landscape: Creeping Phlox, Missouri Botanical Garden: Phlox stolonifera. Carefully prune any stems sticking out above the plant to even out the plant. Pruning of both types of creeping phlox will encourage better bloom production, especially in the next year. Phlox stolonifera, which has oval-shaped leaves, does well in part shade. The leggy stems of Phlox subulata should be pruned in late spring after the blooms have faded. Most fungal diseases are soil borne and infect phlox plants when water from rain or manual watering splashes back up from infected soil onto plant tissues. Shear back the flowering stems throughout the summer bloom period, or generally once a month. To help the growth and development, after blooming, pinch back buds to promote more growth, and each year, thin out the plant masses to promote better air circulation. If the surrounding plants are in close parameters to the phlox, the moisture can be too much and can contribute to disease, etc. Both plants prefer well-drained soil, but they will also grow well in soils with lots of sand or gravel. To help the growth and development, after blooming, pinch back buds to promote more growth, and each year, thin out the plant masses to promote better air circulation. Karen Gardner spent many years as a home and garden writer and editor, and she is now a freelance writer. Phlox is a perennial plant and depending on where you live it will only come back next year if it is planted in the ground. New growth makes up the top layer of creeping phlox. Creeping phlox is a mostly carefree plant that will not only serve as a ground cover but will also offer fragrance and interest to your garden. North Carolina State University Extension. Grass and other creeping weeds (I'm particularly plagued by sheep sorrel) manage to work their way into perennial plantings and happily intermingle in the … The ground cover phlox, which is the one that cascades, is an early springtime bloomer. She keeps reminding herself that gardening is a process, not an outcome. The Best Low-Growing Ground Cover Between Patios. In many areas, it has been a hot, dry summer and it may just be going dormant due to this but it also may be a fungus attacking the plant. To get to the dying foliage, look beneath the green layer and prune away any dead stems. I’m guessing that is what you have at home. Everything is doing well but my phlox... any tips for reviving sad plants?? It looks like this. Phlox stolonifera is hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 to 9, while Phlox subulata, or moss phlox, is hardy in USDA zones 3 to 9. After the blooms pass, you will only have a green plant and it will not re-bloom this year. Rake the soil surface smooth. With the right amount of water, lots of sun and summer pruning, your creeping phlox will stand out in the garden as an intriguing, beautiful and thriving groundcover. *Phlox need to have good air circulation to the entire plant, overcrowding can lead to disease/mildew, or the inability to develop. *Wet foilage. It is susceptible to getting powdery mildew which looks like this. 0 0. This type of creeping phlox also provides good erosion control when it is planted along stream banks. Phlox is a good alternative to lawns for sloping areas or for rocky areas in the landscape where little else will grow, according to Meadows Farms Nurseries and Landscape. She also enjoys spending time in her garden, each year resolving not to let the weeds overtake them. The upright phlox, will bloom for a long time during the summer. Creeping phlox is easy to propagate through division, stem cuttings, or rooted stems. Shearing topiary can be easy and stress free with a good pair of topiary shears. :)  It's in a barrel with petunias and carnations, so they are all getting an equal amount of water and sun right now. Pruning will also help the plant to better spread. Phlox stolonifera is native to stream banks and the wooded areas of the Appalachian Mountains, according to the Missouri Botanical Garden. Trim the stems back... 2. Creeping phlox (Phlox stolonifera and Phlox subulata) are masses of spring flowering ground covers that offer carpets of lavender, pink, red or white in the spring and emerald green in summer. After blooming is also a good time to divide phlox.