Phlox is a summer treat

Written by Doug Oster on .


I have no idea what cultivar this phlox is, I inherited it when I moved to this garden 12 years ago, but it's beautiful. There's nothing easier to grow than tall garden phlox and it comes in many colors, attracts lots of pollinators and blooms mid-summer. Most have a wonderful old-fashioned fragrance that will drift through the garden. I love watching butterflies, moths and bees as they visit the flowers.

Lots of new varieties are resistant to powdery mildew, but I've got some older ones that get it every year. The disease looks like a dusty gray coating on the leaves. It's rarely fatal, but it's always ugly. Fungal diseases are best controlled before they show up, since I know I'll have powdery mildew on certain plants, I spray the leaves starting in early summer with the Cornell Mixture. It's just one tablespoon of baking soda, one tablespoon of horticultural oil and a couple drops of dish soap in a gallon of water. It works great and suppresses the disease.

When choosing perennials to plant this fall, look for some cool new varieties of garden phlox, you'll be glad you did when you're cutting long stalks for a summer flower arrangement.



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