Phlox Species, 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)
View this plant in a garden



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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:

Unknown - Tell us

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


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

Columbus, 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

South Jordan, Utah

Broadway, Virginia

Prince George, Virginia

Springfield, Virginia

Bothell, Washington

Seattle, Washington

Spokane, Washington

Parkersburg, West Virginia

Mount Horeb, Wisconsin

Riverton, Wyoming

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


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.


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!


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.


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!


On Mar 22, 2007, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 8a) 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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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 an... read more


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... read more


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.


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?


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.