For those of you who like to eat, sleep and dream landscaping design you should love the tones and colour of the Phlox flower. Phlox is one of the mainstays of the herbaceous border – in the late Irish summer it provides waist high sheets of colour and scent. Each flat faced flower measures about 1Inch across, nothing very special as individuals but most impressive when seen in large trusses above the narrow pointing leaves. Prolific flowering is the hallmark of this garden favorite of landscapers in Dublin and all across Ireland. These days in garden centres across Ireland you can buy almost any shade from white to deep purple. For landscapers this is not a fussy plant. It likes moist soil (soil in Ireland is quite moist due to the weather conditions) and the flower colours are at their best when it is grown in light shade.
It is recommended for landscapers to mulch in spring and water in the summer if the weather is dry. Some form of support should be provided if the site is exposed and the stems require to be cut down to a couple of inches above ground level in late autumn when flowering is over. No cultural difficulties, but there is one hidden enemy which can cause havoc for landscapers in Ireland. The microscopic phlox eelworm shrivels leaves and distorts the stems. Young shoots are killed and older ones are stunted. If you are a concerned landscaper look for the tell tale signs – narrow strap like foliage.
- Any moisture retentive garden soil will do. The Phlox will thrive in sun or ligh shade.
- Divide clumps in autumn or spring and take root cuttings in winter.