How to Plant & Care for Phlox Wildflowers


Phlox comes in several varieties, and can serve as a hardy flowering plant for a garden, whether it's the low-growing carpet phlox, or the taller, bigger-blossomed summer phlox. All types have lovely, fragrant flowers, and spread quickly, so are suited for many growing conditions. As another bonus, the wildflowers attract bees, birds, butterflies and other pollinators.

Step 1

Check your phlox variety's care requirements. Some like full sun, while others do well in light or partial shade. Choose a location that will suit the phlox flowers. It should also have moist, well-drained and rich soil if possible, although phlox are hardy plants that can withstand some drought and poor soil.

Step 2

Plant in the spring. Get the bed where you want to plant phlox ready by tilling it up, at least a foot deep, and turning over the soil. Mix in a layer, about 2 to 4 inches deep, of rich compost to boost the soil.

Step 3

Space the phlox 1 to 2 feet apart, depending on the variety's spacing requirements. If you're planting seeds, sow them shallowly, just 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch deep. If planting seedlings, dig holes about twice the diameter of the soil ball the plant comes with. Place the whole soil ball into the hole and fill in around it with the removed soil. Water right after planting.

Step 4

Cover the new plants, once sprouted or settled, with a 2-inch layer of compost and a 2-inch layer of mulch on top of that. This should be done after the plants have grown enough not to be covered by the additions.

Step 5

Care for the phlox regularly by watering when rainfall is lacking. The plants should get about 1 inch of water a week; a rain gauge can help you know when you need to water. Keep the beds weed-free and keep an eye out for bugs, disease or pests.

Step 6

Keep phlox blooming prettily all summer by cutting back old, faded flower heads and stems, to promote new growth. Phlox will die back in the fall and winter, so if you have a tall variety, cut it down to two or three inches above the soil after the first killing frost, so it will re-bloom free of dead material in the spring.

Things You'll Need

  • Tiller or fork
  • Compost
  • Phlox seeds or seedlings
  • Mulch
  • Rain gauge


  • National Gardening Association: Phlox Guide
Keywords: phlox, wildflower gardens, low-maintenance plants

About this Author

Kim Hoyum is a Michigan-based freelance writer. She has been a proofreader, writer, reporter and editor at monthly, weekly and daily publications for five years. She has a Bachelor of Science in writing and minor in journalism from Northern Michigan University.