By: Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer
Can creepingphlox be planted in containers? It certainly can. In fact, keeping creepingphlox (Phlox subulata) in a container is a great way to rein in its vigorousspreading tendencies. This fast-growing plant will soon fill a container or hangingbasket with purple, pink, or white flowers cascading over the rim.
Potted creeping phlox is beautiful and, once planted,requires minimal care. It may also be known as moss pink, moss phlox, ormountain phlox. Hummingbirds,butterflies,and beeslove the nectar-rich blooms. Read on to learn how to grow creeping phlox in acontainer.
Growing Creeping Phlox in Pots
Start creeping phlox seeds indoors about six weeks beforethe last frost in your area. If you prefer, you can start with small plantsfrom a local greenhouse or nursery.
Transplant into a container filled with good qualitycommercial pottingmix after you’re sure any danger of frost has passed. Be sure the containerhas at least one drainage hole in the bottom. Allow at least 6 inches (15 cm.)between each plant so the creeping phlox has room to sprawl.
Add a small amount of all-purposefertilizer if the potting mix doesn’t have fertilizer pre-added.
Caring for Container Grown Phlox
Water potted creeping phlox well immediately after planting.Thereafter, water regularly but allow the soil to dry slightly between eachwatering. In a container, creeping phlox may rot in soggy soil.
Feed container grown phlox every other week using a generalpurpose, water-soluble fertilizer mixed to half strength.
Cut the plant back by one-third to one-half after bloomingto create a neater plant and encourage a second flushof blooms. Cut long runners back to about half their length to create abushier, denser growth.
Creeping phlox tends to be pest resistant, although it cansometimes be bothered by spidermites. The tiny pests are easy to control with insecticidalsoap spray.
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Read more about Creeping Phlox
3 Steps to Growing Creeping Phlox
Creeping phlox is a popular flowering perennial which is often observed growing around the perimeter of a garden or yard as a garden border. These dense plants are appropriately employed as ground cover to grow over large areas of land. Creeping phlox spreads throughout an area hastily and is one of the few spring blooming plants that can be used as both a ground cover and a garden border. Creeping phlox is fairly easy to grow this article will give you step-by-step instructions that will teach you how to successfully grow this plant in your garden.
Step 1 - Choose to Grow from Seedlings or Seeds
Before you can begin to grow creeping phlox you need to determine whether you want to grow the plant from seed or purchase seedlings from a nursery. Purchasing semi-established seedling from a nursery is the easiest and fastest way to populate your garden with creeping phlox. Instead of taking many months to raise the plant from a seed, you will only need to focus your attention on growing and taking care of the seedlings.
If you decide to grow creeping phlox from seed you will need to raise the plant in a container for the first year or two until it is established enough to sustain itself in nature. Growing any plant from seed is a fairly delicate process that takes several months worth of patience and careful attention.
Step 2 - Plant Seedlings in the Garden
If you’re growing your creeping phlox from seeds, you will not execute step 2 for at least a year after growing the plant in a container. Assuming that you have an established creeping phlox seedling in your possession, the first task you have is to determine where to plant the seedling.
Remember that creeping phlox is notorious for its ability to spread throughout an area of land fairly quickly. If you do not have the time in your schedule to do a bi-yearly prune and maintain the plant’s new growth, you should plant in an area where you wish for the ground to be covered. If you’re using creeping phlox as a garden border, bear in mind that it will need to be maintained every year if you don’t want it to encroach on your other plants.
After choosing an appropriate area to plant your seedlings, you will need to dig a hole in the dirt that is 1 inch deeper than the container that you bought the plant in. After digging your hole, remove the seedling from its container by putting your left hand on the largest stem of the seedling and then turning the container upside down. Gently massage the container with your free hand until the contents are liberated. Break apart the root system before placing the seedling in the ground and watering it in.
Step 3 - Learn General Plant Maintenance
Creeping phlox should only be given supplemental water during the hottest summer months and in drought conditions. Mulch around the base of newly established plants and fertilize adults once a year with granular or liquid fertilizer. Prune during the beginning of fall in order to maintain proper shape and health.
Volcano Ruby Tall Garden Phlox
Plant taxonomy classifies this flower as Phlox paniculata 'Barthirtyone.' But the cultivar name, 'Barthirtyone' is seldom used. The flower is more often referred to by the catchier names, "Ruby" or "Volcano Ruby" (it is part of the Volcano series).
Tall garden phlox is categorized as an herbaceous perennial flower.
How to Grow Phlox in a Container
Phlox is a beautiful groundcover perennial that spreads rapidly and can grow to be 6 to 8 inches tall. A hardy plant that grows especially well in zone 4, phlox gives a very pleasant 1 inch bloom with a five petal arrangement. Many gardeners sow the phlox right into the soil so it will retain its hold on the landscape. However, if you do not have a lot of land for a flower garden, or just want to have a low growing flower near, you can successfully grow phlox in a container.
Step One - Start Your Seeds Early
Growing plants in a container is a great way to easily move plants around your yard, add to the decorative touch of your window, or add flowers to your deck, patio, or porch. However, just because they are in pots does not mean that you can plant them at any time. Phlox is a plant that needs a lot of direct sun. They go dormant in the winter time, so planting them in the late summer, or fall will not produce any plants.
Start your seeds early. About six weeks before the frost goes out of the ground, you should plant them in small pots with a light covering of potting soil. Water them, then leave them in a plastic bag until they begin to sprout.
Step Two - Place on Sill
Once the sprout begins to come out, which usually takes about 4 to 5 weeks, take the pot out of the plastic bag and give it some all-purpose fertilizer and water. Set the new plant on the windowsill where it can get plenty of full sunlight.
Step Three - Transplant to Flower Box
After the last frost, the soil temperatures should be warm enough that the young phlox plant can tolerate the outdoors. Phlox does not do well with highly fluctuating temperatures or weather that consistently dips below 20 degrees.
Get a flower box that will handle at least three to four plants. Transplant your phlox to the box and keep the plants at least 6 inches apart for them to grow efficiently. Do not try to overcrowd the box. Put in an all purpose potting soil and water. It is also alright to use some water soluble fertilizer at this point, as it will need some added nutrients to keep its strength for blooming.
Step Four - Transplant to Large Container
If you want to keep your phlox near your deck, patio, or other areas for easy viewing, you should put them in a long container pot. Phlox is a creeping groundcover that likes to stretch out. The low growing blossoms will look great lined up in a long line. Keep the vines, and leaves pruned back for only the blossoms.
Fill the container with potting soil and mix in some all purpose fertilizer. Transplant the young flowers into the pot, again at least 6 to 8 inches apart. After they grow a while they will cover the rest of the space quickly. Water the soil and keep it moist.