I cut back one of my tall garden phlox that was planted in the Fall when my church friend divided hers. I cut it all the way back because the bottom leaves curl up and turn brown. Anybody know what causes this? They are planted at the edge of the eves of the house. I water the beds every other day or every day if it is in 90's or above and if we don't have any rain. I think it might be because of its location. It gets full morning and early afternoon sun. The phlox plant beside of it didn't seem to be as bad, so I left it alone. Is there something that you can suggest besides moving it elsewhere. I think I might have experienced the same on my first phlox which hasn't done much growing this year and that one probably needs to be moved too. Have no idea of ID on any of the tall phlox that has been given me except the donor said " it's a pink or purple one." Do you think I need to feed it some plant food or fertilizer?
Right off the bat I will tell you I am no expert...but could it be that it is getting too much water and/or not enough air circulating around it. I had a clump that did the same thing last year. It was in a pretty crowded bed. It was in full sun all day so I watered pretty often. Once I divided it and moved it to morning and early afternoon sun only, it has shot up and I have not had any problems with the leaves. I do not have to water as often where it is now, only once a week if we don't get rain.
It is planted where it gets morning and afternoon Sun but it is planted at back of our sunroom, under the eaves of the house. I had the same problem with the first garden phlox and I cut it back and now it is doing fine but doesn't grow much. I notice that the phlox that get the afternoon sun seem to be doing better. In fact, one is starting to bloom I noticed buds yesterday. In front of this phlox that I mention in the sunroom bed are california poppy seedling that I grew this winter, and also dianthus seedlings. They don't seem to be doing that well. The calif. poppy is blooming but not many blooms. Maybe I need to admend the soil there again. There are a lot of fiberous roots in these beds to deal with. Maybe making these beds into rock gardens would be the best thing. Azaleas and black-eye susans grow best in these beds. It appears when the houses were built in 1977, the contractor was sloppy when floating the concrete patios level and just leaving the excess concrete stay there, so it is hard to grow anything around the foundation at some places. Another thing is that there are very large tree roots from a tree between our house and the house behind us. The seem to run as far as the concrete and then branch out to the side. It is hard to work in the soil because of all the tree roots. I keep running into a lot of small fiberous roots when digging and adding more soil. Maybe a rock garden with low, spreading flowers would be the answer and wouldn't it still be low maintence for me? I already have some things in mind. yellow creeping sedum, portulaca, creeping phlox which only last a few weeks but it is a perennial. Carpet of snow alyssum, The dwarf fairy candytuft would probably grow there, maybe marigolds, and I bet pinks would grow there. Probably a lot more that I can't think of right now. Getting to these flowerbeds means walking around the side of house on one side and there is a swale between the two houses, which also creates another problem. I have difficulty pushing a wheelbarrow in the swale area. Maybe this is why a lot of residents don't plant anything but yews back of their houses.
The elderly man that lives behind us has just opened the blinds and drapes in his sunroom for the first time in the 6 yrs. we have been here. That is because his house is on the market for sale and realtors and prospective clients are coming through his house.
Most of you that know me or my username, probably have figured out that not only am I an insecure gardener but don't have very much patience either. Back in 2009 a church friend divided her tall garden phlox with me, again in 2010. The ones from 2009 in the last few weeks have grown taller, and have filled out so nicely. Tomorrow, I plan to take a picture so I'll have it to remind myself to be patient, that some flowers are worth waiting for. A gardening friend told me today that she would show me how to post pictures but she's expecting company from out of the country in a month or less so she will not have time to show me but I will be patient. In the meantime, if somebody else can sit and show me how, I'll take advantage of the lesson and tuitorial. Have no idea what variety the garden phlox are but they are lavender/pink, more on the pink side so far. I wintersowed seeds of "David" and after planting out, he croaked. I will try again in 2012 or if I happen to see a starter plant at my garden center/nursery. I will buy it, then wait till it starts maturing.