Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Creeping Phlox, Moss Phlox
Phlox subulata

Family: Polemoniaceae (po-le-moh-nee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Phlox (floks) (Info)
Species: subulata (sub-yoo-LAH-tuh) (Info)

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

29 members have or want this plant for trade.

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under 6 in. (15 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
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

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Magenta (Pink-Purple)
Fuchsia (Red-Purple)
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring


Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

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:
From herbaceous stem cuttings
By simple layering
By stooling or mound layering

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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There are a total of 38 photos.
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13 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive madgrace On May 25, 2010, madgrace from Hershey, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:

We have a large patch of this in the purple color that has spread and is doing its best to vanquish the vinca around it on our rock garden. I've had mixed results with cuttings. So far it seems the shorter the cutting, the better they root directly in the ground.

A patch that was by the curb seems to have turned brown and died thanks to the salting of the snow on the road this winter.

Our patch is on the lower part of a west-facing hill and seems to be happy there.

Positive lee_ro On Jun 17, 2007, lee_ro from Raleigh, NC wrote:

One of my absolute favorite spring flowers, I have loved this plant since I was a little girl. My parents had it covering a huge hill in their Pennsylvania driveway that looked breathtaking once winter eased up and the enbankment became a carpet of dense color. My mom has always called creeping phlox by the name "Mountain Pinks" (maybe because they turned the big hill completely pink!) and so that is how I've known them until I got out on my own and started my own garden here in NC.

I've got creeping phlox in several areas of my garden that I had planted last year and I can't wait for it to keep spreading. It's impressively floriferous and a beautiful complement to spring bulbs. Definitely recommended- it's a low maintenence joy!

Positive eldn829 On May 26, 2007, eldn829 from Harrisburg, PA wrote:

I needed something to replace an obnoxious yucca plant that we dug up around our pond. I planted three different colors of phlox last spring (06) and have been amazed at how much they spread on one year. They add so much beauty to our pond and are virtually maintenence free....which we needed with two little ones to take care of.

Positive YuccaShawn On Apr 6, 2007, YuccaShawn from Brooklyn, NY wrote:

Hear in Brooklyn, NY this plant is great! I have had it for three years now. It is spreading like crazy. I put it under my 5 ft tall Yucca Rostrata along with another great evergreen Rohdea Japonica. They look so tropical together in the "dead of winter"! Anybody thinking of this plant for the northeastern USA..... Do it!

Positive berrygirl On Mar 22, 2007, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

I uploaded a pic showing a close-up of an unknown cultivar. As all the creeping phlox, they do well for me and are evergreen in my zone. These plants are absolutely care-free and pest and disease reisistant.

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

I love Creeping Phlox, but wish it grew a bit faster. My information says it is hardy in zones 2-10. Cut back to 3 inches in spring to encourage new growth. Blooms in April-May in my garden.

Positive carrielamont On Nov 5, 2005, carrielamont from Milton, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:

Perfect underplanting for bulbs. We've always loved the blooming period. Benefits from light shearing when it's finished blooming - you get a whole new bunch of lush green foliage. When the cooler rainier weather started in the fall, the phlox valiantly tried to bloom again! We have it several colors.

Positive woodspirit1 On Feb 26, 2005, woodspirit1 from Lake Toxaway, NC (Zone 7a) wrote:

Mine are on the bank of a driveway and in my rock garden so they show up much nicer than if they were on level ground. They keep spreading, although once I had some die-off, but they recovered in that area. It is so funny to have some folks say they do well in full hot sun and others in shadier areas. My property is quite shady and rainy but they do great here.

Positive pokerboy On Oct 3, 2004, pokerboy from Canberra
Australia (Zone 8b) wrote:

This plant blooms so intensly in early to mid Spring that you can barely see the foliage. I bought a Phlox Subulata in the reduced section of a supermarket in my area for $1.50AU. The plant had seen better days as it was in dry soil, it was wilted and it looked as if someone has tried to pull it out of its pot. It is now blooming and almost everyone who comes to our house comments on its intense pink colour. I am going to buy some white ones and more pink ones as well. Right now its is growing in clay soil. I can't believe it. pokerboy.

Positive lady_fuchsia On Jun 17, 2004, lady_fuchsia from Clarkesville, GA (Zone 7a) wrote:

I love this plant, too. We have a lot of granite boulders here in our garden and we have planted this to grow among and over the rocks. It is one of the first to bloom in the spring and the waves of color are a beautiful thing. The butterflies seem to like it, too.

Positive MrsTexasMom On Sep 7, 2003, MrsTexasMom wrote:

I love this beautiful plant. I made a Little hill on one side of my drive way , the front of this area begans with a 3 foot rail fence ,a large Pink Bougainvillea drapes over the fence , than I planted my lavender Creeping Phlox with a couple of white rocks in them. Theres is a Pink Crape Myrtle tree behind . When the phlox are in bloom that area is just beautiful. I had people stop and tell how pretty that area was.

This summer after it was so hot , grass kind of took over and it got weedy looking so I had my husband use the weed eater on them BIG mistake. now most of it has died out and still have grass in it. So I'm taking it all including the dirt. Going to spread some grass killer down over it than after a week or so after all grass is gone going to put dirt back in and start over, wish me luck, I just love creeping Phlox. I also wanted to add that I'm in Fort Worth Texas so I know this plant goes well here.It loves the sun.

Positive SunshineSue On Jul 28, 2003, SunshineSue from Mississauga, ON (Zone 6a) wrote:

Creeping Phlox loves full sun, flowers profusely in the spring, requires minimal care/watering/soil requirements & although weeds can grow within the mat the Creeping Phlox forms, it's a simple a matter of pulling out the few that I do get.

Indeed, the flowers are close to the ground & one would have to be on hands & knees to get a close-up look, but it is sold as a ground cover, edging plant or for rock garden's & it does perfectly well in those situations & for the purpose that was intended for this plant.

I'm in zone 6 a/b in Southern Ontario & Creeping Phlox does very well for me in soil that has been amended with plenty of store bought cattle manure although this isn't a requirement.

If there's one thing that I don't care for about it, it's that this is an early blooming perennial (May/June) & once the bloom fades, it is simply a mat of foliage. It's the promise of next spring & the striking mat of color that prevents me from taking it out.

Creeping Phlox benefits from a "haircut" or light shearing after it has bloomed & should never be cut-back to the ground in the spring, fall or anytime as this may kill the plant. However, trimming the edges where it may be out-growing it's space is perfectly fine & snipping off any dead bits from winter kill is fine as well.

Neutral PurplePansies On Jul 26, 2003, PurplePansies from Deal, NJ (Zone 7a) wrote:

Although it is a pretty plant, I found it flowers sparsely and is too low to the ground to be appreciated. Mine was grown in full sun and seemed to dislike it. I think they do better in partial sun to partial shade, and do not seem to like drought. Watering well produces the best plants. Not bothered by insects or diseases, but bothered by weeds because of shallow roots. Shallow roots also make hand-pulling problematic. Not the best plant, but not the worst.

Positive jerdy On May 16, 2002, jerdy from Altstaedten
Germany wrote:

Our garden is in South Bavaria, 160 Km south-west of Munich. We had a very hard winter, dry and with the temperature under minus 20 Celsius for a number of weeks. The Creeping Phlox seems to have loved it! Amazingly enough, all three plantings, all in quite different situations around the garden, have bloomed this spring as never before. Just beautiful. Was it the dryness or the cold? Who knows?

Neutral smiln32 On Aug 31, 2001, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Moss pink is an eastern species of phlox whose evergreen foliage, made up of tiny needle-like leaves 1/4 to 1/2 inch long, is attractive even in winter. The plant is spectacular when it flowers in spring, forming a dense carpet of color. This species thrives in full sun in almost any well-drained soil. Little maintenance is needed. It is hardy to -40 and does well in full sun in Zones 3-9. Pests and diseases are seldom a problem.


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

Mobile, Alabama
Oakhurst, California
San Leandro, California
Parker, Colorado
Old Lyme, Connecticut
Ellendale, Delaware
Bradenton, Florida
Deltona, Florida
Keystone Heights, Florida
Pensacola, Florida
Braselton, Georgia
Clarkesville, Georgia
Decatur, Georgia
Norcross, Georgia
Stone Mountain, Georgia
Tyrone, Georgia
Quincy, Illinois
Washington, Illinois
Bloomington, Indiana
Fishers, Indiana
Sioux Center, Iowa
Barbourville, Kentucky
Covington, Louisiana
Franklin, Louisiana
Milton, Massachusetts
Eastpointe, Michigan
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Royal Oak, Michigan
Minneapolis, Minnesota (2 reports)
Marietta, Mississippi
Mathiston, Mississippi
Cape Girardeau, Missouri
Monett, Missouri
Piedmont, Missouri
Franklin, New Hampshire
Manchester, New Hampshire
Frenchtown, New Jersey
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Los Alamos, New Mexico
Ballston Lake, New York
Binghamton, New York
Brooklyn, New York
East Islip, New York
Wellsville, New York
Charlotte, North Carolina
Lake Toxaway, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina
Rowland, North Carolina
Minot, North Dakota
Akron, Ohio
Cincinnati, Ohio
Cleveland, Ohio
Glouster, Ohio
North Ridgeville, Ohio
Garber, Oklahoma
Hulbert, Oklahoma
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Red Rock, Ontario
Altamont, Oregon
Ashland, Oregon
Baker City, Oregon
Klamath Falls, Oregon
Conneaut Lake, Pennsylvania
Hershey, Pennsylvania
Watsontown, Pennsylvania
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Hope Valley, Rhode Island
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Greeneville, Tennessee
Hendersonville, Tennessee
Boerne, Texas
Dallas, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Katy, Texas
Mc Kinney, Texas
Palestine, Texas
Plano, Texas (2 reports)
San Antonio, Texas
Broadway, Virginia
Prince George, Virginia
Springfield, Virginia
Bothell, Washington
Seattle, Washington
Spokane, Washington
Parkersburg, West Virginia
Mount Horeb, Wisconsin
Riverton, Wyoming

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