What is Woodland Phlox? – How to Grow and Care for Woodland Phlox Plants?

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What is Woodland Phlox? The scientific name of woodland phlox is Phlox divaricata. They are perennial species and are native to Florida and Texas. Commonly known as Louisiana phlox or wild sweet william, these plants grow quickly in sun and partial shade. They belong to the family Polemoniaceae and have blue-colored flowers that are seen in clusters. In this article, you can know about the Woodland Phlox and also about its growth and care tips.

Quick takeaways:

  • The sticky hairs on the stems and leaves are a part of the defense mechanism of these plants.
  • They form an excellent ground cover and don’t show as much creeping as the creeping moss or phlox.
  • The flowers are fragrant and hardy in zones 3-8.
  • These flowers appear to bloom in the summer season. 

How to grow Woodland phlox?

For growing woodland phlox the various conditions are required like: 

Water: the plants should be watered well to keep them healthy. As soon as the plant gets dry, it needs to be watered. Watering at the root zone is really important if you overwater the plants, which may cause damage to the parts of plants.

Sun: the woodland phlox grows well in the full sun. though a healthy is witnessed in the partial shady spots too. 

Soil: The woodland phlox grows amazingly well in the fertile, moist soil containing natural nutrients. A good supply of organic matter is important. Soil should be well-drained with a pH of neutral to alkaline type. 

Cutting: By cutting the tips and stems the growth can be enhanced after the fall season. 

Make sure the foliage is growing well so that it can attract pollinators which will help them grow 

How to care for Woodland phlox

  • Deadheading spent flowers can help to prolong bloom time and prevent unwanted reseeding. You can simply pinch or cut back the stems in early summer if you want to delay blooming and get bushier plants with more flower heads. This will enhance the cluster formation and bloom with time.
  • After the summer heat, add a layer of mulch to the warm soil so that the temperature of the soil turns back to normal. This will also hinder any weed appearance plus also keep the soil moist.
  • The flowers of woodland phlox should be kept on the stem-like soil so that the seed pod, matures, and seeds can be collected. 


The woodland phlox can be propagated in the following ways 

Propagation of woodland phlox by seeds

The seeds can be planted directly into the soil, it is safe to plant them indoors some examples of other best indoor plants are Areca Palm, Ponytail Palm, Bamboo Palm, Lady Palm, etc. if you wish to see spring blooms 7 weeks before the last frost. Later, you can transplant it to the outdoors like a garden or container.

Propagation of Woodland phlox by division: 

Another way and easiest way considered to propagate the phlox plants is by division. Separating the clumps into tiny parts with a sharp knife in the late summer will let you plant it immediately. Make sure that each decision should have 4 shoots and a root system preferably. 

The stem cutting that is taken in the summer has also been shown to propagate the phlox.

Pest, diseases, and problems of phlox

  • Aphids and spider mites have been seen to attack phlox species. 
  • Caterpillars and whiteflies attack the phlox species and create big holes in parts of plants.
  • Powdery mildew is also a problem for phlox plants that are attacked by these pests.
  • Trimming the old stems can help in reducing such problems.

For more such plant related-articles, you may also read, Why do Rubber Tree Leaves curl? – A few possible reasons for Rubber Plant Leaves curling!

Varieties of phlox

The species of phlox are special as the flowers are attractive. The varieties of phlox involve: 

Phlox divaricata: common name is the blue moon as they bear violet-blue flowers.

Phlox stolonifera: also called creeping phlox as they are great for creating thick groundcovers.

Phlox subulata: commonly called moss phlox, again known for thick mats of colors in springtime.

Phlox paniculata: also called garden phlox, the flowers have long stalks.


How do you care for phlox after they bloom?

As soon as the flowers appear on the plant, avoid overhead watering, instead, provide them water near the soil level. Keep the petals dry, adding mulch will also help in creating moisture in the soil.

Do phlox return every year?

Phlox are self-sufficient perennials that attract a lot of pollinators with them by their fragrant blooms. So, it’s natural and possible that phlox is supposed to return every year.

How do you keep phlox blooming all summer?

The blooms can be made to grow more by doing the deadhead technique on the plants. The overall health get also improved by deadheading

How do you keep phlox from falling over?

Phlox plants love the sun. Maintaining a proper s[ace between the plants helps them to get proper air and sun rays so that the leaves don’t stay too moist. Don’t water the plant later in the day, which will create a more damp condition for the blooms and leaves.

Becky Decker

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