‘Creeping Phlox’ or ‘Alpine Phlox’
A wonderful groundcover plant for a sunny position in the garden, Phlox subulata is one of two species known as Creeping Phlox, the other is a shade loving species.
This is creeping, matt forming perennial and it is also known as Alpine Phlox. Use it as a ground cover plant or in a container allowing it to spill over the sides, it is also excellent on a gentle slope or in the rock garden.
From a small pot it will spread by underground stolons to cover a good areas, it looks great if left to cascade over a low retaining wall.
Choose the right position for the climate, Creeping Phlox does like sun, however in warmer climates it is best grown in afternoon shade.
One of the main tricks is to prune back after flowering, this encourages good dense new foliage growth and perhaps some more flowers.
Some gardeners like to dig a little lime into the soil before planting. In Australia’s conditions some extra water during the heat of summer will be beneficial. Consider planting where a little afternoon shade is available in hot areas.
Dig in some well rotted compost and aged cow or sheep manure before planting, water in well with a liquid seaweed fertilizer for excellent results.
Over time the plant will slowly spread to form a dense clump. Propagation is possible by division of established clumps.
Easy by division in late winter to early spring. Phlox subulata can also be grown from seed best sown in early spring, or late winter in a greenhouse or cold frame.
Lots of named cultivars are available including :
- The white flowering ‘Amazing Grace’ ,
- The Bright Pink ( Moss pink) P. subulata rosea.
- ‘Emerald Blue’ with its lavender blue flowers.
- Phlox subulata ‘Tamaongalei’ with its striped pink flowers, see picture above.
Alpine or Creeping Phlox is available for sale from the following nurseries.
PO Box 7040 Leura NSW 2780
Rare woodland plants, Trilliums Epimediums, Arisaemas, plus much more.www.lynnsrareplants.com.au