11 Types Of Phlox Plants - Urban Agriculture

11 Types Of Phlox Plants

Garden phlox plants are colorful and low maintenance plants that boast a continuous bloom. While more than 60 species of phlox exist, the most popular are garden phlox. The following list outlines 11 types of phlox plants. 

David Phlox (Phlox Paniculata)

The David phlox, also known as border phlox, fall phlox, perennial phlox and summer phlox, is free-flowing and vigorous. It grows white, fragrant flowers through the summer months and early autumn, and toothed, slender, green leaves.

This semi-evergreen plant is rich in nectar, so it attracts a variety of beneficial wildlife, like lacewings, ladybirds, and hoverflies. 

When it comes to cultivating David phlox, you should be using chalky, clay, or loamy soil that’s moist, well-drained, fertile, and humus-rich. Its soil pH can be neutral, alkaline, or acidic, and the plant grows best in either partial shade or full sun.

Its most common uses are for beds and borders, cottage or informal, underplanting, flower arranging, and wildlife. It tends to grow to between three to four feet tall and is particularly resistant to mildew. 

Violet Pinwheels (Pulsatilla Vulgaris)

Also known as pasqueflower, violet pinwheels are a compact, herbaceous perennial. They grow finely divided, bright green to grey-green leaves which are hairy in their early years. Before the leaves emerge, there are bell-shaped, upright, deep purple flowers, which have gold-yellow stamens. Following the flowers, which bloom in spring, are silky seed heads.

Violet pinwheels grow best in normal or sandy soil, and in full sun. In terms of general care, you can deadhead the plant in order to prolong flowering, and they should be cut back around late autumn. Their propagation methods include seeds and root cuttings. They tend not to grow higher than four to six inches.

The only specific pest you should watch out for are slugs. It should be noted that violet pinwheels can be toxic to humans. 

Wagon Wheels (Phlox Adsurgens)

A creeping, herbaceous, semi-evergreen perennial, wagon wheels grow tiny green leaves and narrow pink flowers that resemble the spokes of a wheel, hence the name.

These flowers bloom from late spring through mid-summer. Most suited to small ground covers or rock gardens, wagon wheels can also be grown in alpine scree or a trough garden. 

Wagon wheels grow best in fertile, free-draining soil, and its ideal soil type is loamy, chalky, or sandy. While it’s tolerant of drought, it should be grown in acidic soil that contains plenty of compost and peat.

It can grow in both full sun and partial shade but prefers areas with cool summers. The plant tends to grow between six inches to eight inches, with a spread of 12 to 18 inches. In the spring the clumps can be divided. 

Red Wings (Phlox Subulata)

Also known as moss phlox and alpine phlox, red wings are mat-forming, evergreen perennials. It grows dark green leaves and in the late spring to the early summer, crimson to red-pink flowers will emerge.

In terms of cultivation, red wings prefer well-drained, fertile soil that’s chalky, sandy, or loamy. It prefers full sun or, if in an area with low rainfall, partial shade. Its suggested uses include borders and beds, garden edging, gravel, ground cover, and rock gardens.

It’s an easy plant to cultivate because it requires minimal maintenance and is both salt-tolerant and deer resistant. The plant grows to just four to six inches high, but as many as 12 to 18 inches across. It’s an attractive flower carpet that much resembles moss, hence its name.

Blue Paradise (Phlox Paniculata)

Sometimes referred to as tall phlox or summer phlox, blue paradise is an upright, herbaceous perennial that grows toothed and lance-shaped green leaves. Its upright trusses of flowers are violet with purple centers, and these bloom from summer through to early autumn (usually July through October).

To effectively cultivate blue paradise you’ll need to plant it in fertile soil that’s moist but well-drained. It will tolerate almost all soil types, including clay, chalky, loamy, and sandy. Its ideal sun conditions are the full sun to partial shade.

The plant’s flowers are rich in pollen, and therefore attract beneficial insects, bees, butterflies, moths, as well as other pollinators. 

Peppermint Twist (Phlox Paniculata)

Peppermint twist is an upright, herbaceous perennial whose leaves are lance-shaped and dark green. Its flowers, which bloom from summer through to early autumn, have pink and white stripes. 

The plant grows best in moist but well-drained and fertile soil, and while it can tolerate most types of soil, prefers clay, chalky, loamy, or sandy. It also prefers either partial shade or full sun. It makes for an excellent cut flower.

The plant is known for attracting bees, butterflies, and moths, thanks to its nectar and pollen-rich flowers. There are no reports of toxicity, in humans or in animals. 

White Eye Flame (Phlox Paniculata)

Also known as the flame white eye, white eye flame phlox is a compact, herbaceous perennial that grows lance-shaped, mid-green leaves, and in the summer, panicles of white flowers that have bright pink centers.

These fragrant flowers bloom from mid-summer to late summer and tend to attract butterflies and hummingbirds with their nectar. They’re reasonably resistant to mildew and are perfect for courtyard gardens, containers, and the middle of a border. 

The white eye flame prefers full sun but can tolerate a very light shade. Its ideal soil would be moderately fertile and well-drained but moist. The plant tends to grow to between 15 and 18 inches high, and 18 inches across. It can be planted either as a single specimen or in groups, and deadheading will help to maintain its neat appearance and help new blooms.

Once the flowering is finished the stems should be cut back. Its method of propagation is division, which should take place either in spring or autumn. Many consider the white eye flame phlox as the backbone of the summer border. 

Candy Stripe (Phlox Subulata)

Candy stripe, named for its pink and white stripes that much resemble candy, is an evergreen perennial whose foliage is dark green and glossy. The flowers will blanket the foliage from mid to late spring, and the plant is most suited to slopes, rocky areas, and flower borders. It can grow up to just six inches in height, but as much as two feet across. 

The best soil for growing candy stripe is dry soil that’s either normal or sandy. The pH of its soil should be acid, alkaline, or neutral. 

Emerald Cushion Blue (Phlox Subulata)

An evergreen perennial, the emerald cushion blue phlox grows an abundance of light lavender-blue flowers atop glossy, dark green foliage throughout mid to late spring. Much like other types of creeping phlox, the emerald cushion blue variety grows to six inches tall but two feet across.

It’s most suited to slopes, rock gardens, edgings, or ground covers, and will attract lots of butterflies. The plant prefers full sun (although it can tolerate partial shade), and humusy, well-drained but moist soil. In terms of the types of soil, it can grow in, both sandy and gravelly soils are the best options.

Once it’s established, it will be tolerant to drought. Emerald cushion blue is resistant to deer and tolerant of salt. It’s a very low maintenance plant overall- all you really need to know is that shearing after flowering will help to maintain a neat appearance, and to promote more foliage. 

Red Admiral (Phlox Douglasii)

A compact evergreen plant (as are all phlox douglasii), the red admiral’s flowers are less red and more pink and green. It takes between two and five years to reach full growth, at which point it’ll be between 0.2 to 0.5 feet high and between 0.5 and 6 feet across. The flowers tend to bloom from April to August.

The plant can grow in almost any soil, and in either full sun or partial shade. Its pollen attracts both butterflies and bees, and it makes the ideal ground cover. The plant goes best with a litany of different plants, including grasses, roses, and astilbe. 

Laura (Phlox Paniculata)

Native to the United States, Laura is a perennial or border plant that tends to bloom pink flowers. Best known for these large, colorful flowers, as well as it’s sweet, almost honey-like fragrance, it thrives both in light shade and moist, rich soil, but it can tolerate full sun and dappled shade too. 

The Laura phlox is rich in nectar and pollen, meaning it attracts butterflies, moths, and bees. Laura also makes a great cut flower. There has been no reported toxicity to humans or any animals. Some plants that go well with Laura include Amistad, Mexican feather grass, and blue paradise phlox.

Caroline Roberts
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