Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Garden Phlox
Phlox paniculata

Family: Polemoniaceae (po-le-moh-nee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Phlox (floks) (Info)
Species: paniculata (pan-ick-yoo-LAY-tuh) (Info)

4 vendors have this plant for sale.

31 members have or want this plant for trade.

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36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:
Magenta (Pink-Purple)

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Flowers are fragrant
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From herbaceous stem cuttings
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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6 positives
No neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive coriaceous On Jun 3, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

The species is generally quite mildew resistant and more vigorous than the cultivars. Height varies, but some forms can reach 6' tall. Even the tallest rarely need staking. Flowers are usually magenta.

Despite the common belief, most of the cultivars are selections of P. paniculata and few if any in commerce today are hybrids. In buying them, I consider resistance to powdery mildew first.

Performance is generally best with regular division every 2-3 years. Plants are best divided in early spring before they reach 6". If you have to divide later, the top growth should be cut back to 6". I don't recommend fall division.

Seedlings of cultivars can give interesting results, but if allowed to self-sow freely eventually tend to revert to type, with magenta flowers---and the vigor of these descendants leads them to outcompete the cultivars in your garden.

Tall forms rarely need staking, and our gardens need more of them. The recent emphasis on breeding very short cultivars is demanded by the 18" shelving on which they're transported to the retailer, and not by the needs of the gardener.

Garden phlox performs best where summer night temperatures routinely drop below 70F.

In the wild, this species is usually found in moist woodland edges and clearings in partial or light shade, not in open fields in full sun. In cultivation, performance is generally best with some protection from hot afternoon sun, even in the north.

The leaf extract was once used medicinally, both orally and topically. The pollen has low allergenicity.

Positive FlowerManiac On Sep 8, 2009, FlowerManiac from Coppell, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

This one is the 'Texas Pink' cultivar, bred to take the hot humid Texas summers and supposedly resistent to powdery mildew. That certainly has been my experience, I have never seen a single speck of that stuff on these babies. They are continuing to thrive and spread with a real minimum of care, close to ten years since I planted them there.

Negative eliasastro On Oct 23, 2008, eliasastro from Athens
Greece (Zone 10a) wrote:

Didn' t thrive in my area, obviously needs cold at dormancy period.

Positive Gabrielle On Jan 28, 2006, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

Garden Phlox has always done okay for me. They looked good for awhile, powdery mildew hit, they flopped, blooms ended, I cut them back. But last year I did something different, and I don't know if that is what helped or if it was a coincidence, but they were amazing! In the early spring, while they were still fairly short, I thinned out a lot of the smaller stems. I know that would help make them stronger and reduce powdery mildew, but what was amazing was they bloomed continuously for months. As the blooms would start to fade, new ones would form in the old clusters. I never deadheaded them, never fertilized them, nothing. No powdery mildew, no flopping. I will definitely thin them again. Blooms July-September in my garden.

Positive SalmonMe On Oct 23, 2004, SalmonMe from Springboro, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

Found this plant to be susceptible to powdery mildew (even the "disease resistent" cultivars) in Virginia - zone 7. HOWEVER, it is gorgeous and has a very long bloom time with regular deadheading. Adequate spacing is enough to keep most of the mildew threat at bay, also try to avoid watering from above. Water at base of plant. Given room for air circulation, this plant is fabulous. Bonus: it attracts Black Swallowtail butterflies :)

Positive pokerboy On Sep 17, 2004, pokerboy from Canberra
Australia (Zone 8b) wrote:

A perennial plant with fragrant pink or white flowers in summer. Likes a moist and well drained soil in full sun to light shade. Divide clumps every 4 years. Very cold tolerant. Great for lightly shaded woodland gardens. pokerboy.

Positive lupinelover On Jan 29, 2003, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

The unimproved species is magenta in color, but many cultivars have been introduced in a wide variety of single and bi-colors. The species has good mildew tolerance, as well as compact plants that seldom need to be staked.

Grow this by silver-foliaged plants to make it a good neighbor.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Calgary, Alberta
Fayetteville, Arkansas
Jacksonville, Florida
Lula, Georgia
Aurora, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois
Machesney Park, Illinois
Niles, Illinois
Washington, Illinois
Floyds Knobs, Indiana
Goshen, Indiana
Shawnee Mission, Kansas
La Grange, Kentucky
Roslindale, Massachusetts
Mason, Michigan
Owosso, Michigan
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Sedalia, Missouri
Loudon, New Hampshire
Baldwinsville, New York
Hurley, New York
Jordan, New York
Whiteville, North Carolina
Pembina, North Dakota
Bucyrus, Ohio
Columbia Station, Ohio
Springboro, Ohio
Harrah, Oklahoma
Newalla, Oklahoma
Baker City, Oregon
Bend, Oregon
Sumter, South Carolina
Fairview, Tennessee
Viola, Tennessee
Kerrville, Texas
Lubbock, Texas
Broadway, Virginia
Palmyra, Virginia
Kalama, Washington
Spokane, Washington
Marinette, Wisconsin
Pulaski, Wisconsin
Wittenberg, Wisconsin
Cody, Wyoming

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