Phlox

Phlox paniculata hybrids:  Full sun  Hardy in zones 3-9.  Indispensable in the perennial garden, there continues to be more color selection available, from white, through pinks and purples, and on to reds and coral.  Tall, leafed stems are topped with large clusters of showy flowers.  Phlox grows and spreads easily, prefers good well drained soil in the sun, but doesn’t seem to mind poor soil or neglect too much.  Tall garden Phlox does best in full sun, which helps to produce larger blooms and stronger stems.  Will tolerate hot dry weather nicely, and light shade.  Phlox is susceptible to powdery mildew, take care to water early in the day or with a drip method.  Propagate by division in fall.  Generally hardy to zone 4, some to zone 3.

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‘Bright Eyes’ has soft pink blooms with deep magenta to red eyes.  Individual blooms top a long corolla tubes and are quite densely produced on very strong stems.  Blooming begins in mid summer and continues through late summer.  Blooming can be extended into fall if your cut the flowers for arrangements and/or remove spent blooms, which will encourage additional blooming and prevent self seeding.  The fragrant blooms will attract butterflies and hummingbirds.  Like most garden phlox, ‘Bright Eyes’ prefers full sun and good air circulation to deter powdery mildew.  Summer mulching will keep the roots cool.  The plant will not tolerate drought, so water during dry periods with the drip method to discourage mildew.  ‘Bright Eyes’ grows to 1 1/2 - 2 feet tall, spreading 1 - 1/2 feet wide.  Hardy in zones 4 - 8.

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‘David’ is a pure white perennial garden phlox with huge flowering clusters that are lightly fragrant.  The bloom clusters are tightly packed in a pyramidal cluster.  ‘David’ blooms from July through September, and reaches 2 - 4 feet tall and spreads 2 -3 feet.  Remove spent blooms to encourage more bloom and discourage seeding.  Cut flowers are very nice in an arrangement.  ‘David’ requires average water and will not tolerate drought periods, but avoid overhead watering to deter mildew.  It may attract butterflies and hummingbirds.  The foliage is light green and is mildew resistant.  Mulch to keep the roots cool in summer.  Prefers a rich, moist soil and is hardy in zones 3 - 8.

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‘Eva Callum’ produces pink blooms with dark pink to red centers.  The fragrant flowers are densely arranged on large pyramid shaped clusters.   A long blooming season begins in midsummer through late summer.  The bloom period may be extended into early fall by removing spent blooms, which will also discourage seeding.  Or cut for arrangements, this is an excellent cut flower.  Flower stalks are sturdy and should not need staking unless exposed to strong winds. ‘Eva Callum’ grows to 2 - 2 1/2 feet tall with a similar spread.  Space well and keep the stalks thinned to discourage powdery mildew.  Grow in rich moist soil in full sun to light shade, but this phlox will do best in full sun.  Hardy in zones 4 - 8, and has been found to be hardy in zones 3, mulch heavily before winter.

PerennialsSharon Dwyer