The Best Way to Use Creeping Phlox in Your Garden

Creeping Phlox is a popular perennial that produces many small flowers on a dense mat of low growing, evergreen foliage. Available in reds, whites and pastel blues, pinks and lavenders, phlox provides a flexible color palette. Used creatively, phlox is a great way to add spring color to many areas of your landscape. 

Growing Creeping Phlox

Variety: Phlox subulata

Zones: 4 to 8
Soil Type: Mostly sandy to light clay soils
Soil pH: 5.6 to 7.6
Sunlight: Full sun to moderate shade
Watering: Moderate until established

Landscape Uses For Creeping Phlox

  • Slopes - Creeping Phlox is a classic landscaping solution for slopes: the dense root system is perfect for preventing erosion and slopes are the best stage for phlox's spring flower display.
  • Edging - The low growing habit of phlox makes it perfect for the front of borders or to define the edges of paths and other hardscape features.
  • Rock gardens - Creeping Phlox is a classic rock garden plant since it thrives in well-drained soil and provides a nice color punch. The flowing, mounded foliage is striking scattered amongst rocks and boulders.
  • Walls - It might be worth it to design your garden walls with planting pockets just to be able to put phlox in them. A rock wall with flowing, blooming phlox creates a natural watercolor worthy of the best Impressionist painter.

When Blooms Are Done

Creeping phlox is best maintained when all of its blooms are spent-typically, this occurs in early summer. At this time, you can prune back the foliage of your plants to encourage denser growth during the summer months. This is also the best time to divide your phlox plants to create a bigger garden or share with friends.

One exception to this rule is dead patches. If you see dead areas after a hard winter, remove the old growth in the spring and amend the soil in the effected area with a mix of one part compost and one part garden soil. Your phlox plants will quickly expand into the open areas.

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