Discover the Fabulously Flaming Phlox Flowers
The name ‘phlox’ is of Greek origin and means ‘flame’, thus phlox flowers are often referred to as ‘flaming flowers’. The plant is native in North America, but it has spread throughout Europe since the 18th century and has been a favourite ever since. While the original flower was in a fire-like red, the plant has been bred many times over numerous decades and is now available in over 1000 shades, types and variations.
Many people think that phlox flowers only blossom in summer, but there are various types that can grow in early spring. If the winters are not too rough, you can experience the wonderful colour explosion that is the phlox, and enjoy truly beautiful spring scenery.
But not only are the colours stunning, it is also the enchanting scent that is spread throughout the garden and the house. So why not plant your own?
Phlox flowers can certainly be planted in a garden, but they grow just as well in a pot. If you want to plant it in your garden, choose a sunny or semi-shady spot and ensure that the soil is rich and chalky. The plant should never be sitting in dry soil and should be trimmed when the last blossoms died for the season. Depending on what kind of phlox you have chosen, the flowering period ranges between March and August, some may endure frosty winters while others can handle heat very well. It is therefore recommended to discuss your individual climate zone with a professional gardener and pick a phlox type that is guaranteed to adapt easily to the conditions you have to offer.
A successful trimming In late August will not only ensure that there will be more blossoms in the following seasons, but the plant itself will expand and make more roots which can be taken out and planted somewhere else.
If you choose to grow phlox flowers in a pot, there are simple guidelines that promise success. Always allow a little space between root/seeds and the pot’s rim for watering purposes. It is also important to choose the right size of pot as phlox flowers are usually sold in larger bunches and you may need to discuss the amount of flowers and the size of the pot with an experienced gardener or fellow hobbyist. The roots should have enough space to develop in all directions and you should leave around 10cm between the individual plants (this also applies when planting the flowers in the garden).
Once the phlox is planted in the pot, water it generously and avoid filling up the pot with too much soil- you will find that once you have watered the plant, the soil will settle and automatically leave a ‘watering edge’ which you should not top with more soil. Especially during the summer it is important to leave some watering space as the plant may need more water than during the winter.
It is not ruled out that the phlox can suffer from a disease or pest. This is the reason why you should discuss your soil, climate and location with the gardener and make sure that the phlox you purchased is ideal for your conditions. For instance, some types of phlox react very sensitively when it comes to morning dew, and they may start moulding if the amount is excessive. There are more water resistant variations you can pick as there are over 1000 types- surely one of them will be able to survive in your garden!
Making sure the conditions are right is the first step for disease prevention, while fertilisers can also aid the development. However, some phlox flowers are sensitive to commercial fertilisers and the chemical agents in them, and you may want to choose an organic alternative or the good old way of using natural manure. If the situation is very unfortunate and your phlox flowers suffer from disease and pest, throw them in the garbage and do not use them as compost- this may ruin other plants as well.
Once the planting and caring was successful, you can enjoy magnificent views and keep some phlox in your house as well - they are a perfect natural decoration.