How to Prune Phlox Before Blooming


The tall and glorious garden phlox, towering abundantly in a sunny growing area, brings many gardeners significant satisfaction. With their showy blossoms and long blooming times, phlox will carry a summer flower bed colorfully through a substantial portion of the growing season. Keep these beauties adequately watered to ensure ample blooms, and your efforts will produce an abundance of large flowers. Prune phlox before blooming to encourage bushy lateral growth and even more blooms.

Step 1

Watch the emerging phlox carefully in the beginning of the growing season so you can prune the phlox at just the right time. Wait until the phlox are approximately 6 inches high to prune them.

Step 2

Clip back stems on each phlox plant with the pruning shears to leave only about five stems growing on each plant. Remove these stems back to the base of the plant.

Step 3

Trim the remaining stems off by removing the top 1/3 of each stem. Cut these stems just above a leaf node.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears


  • Maryland Cooperative Extension: Pruning Ornamental Plants
  • University of Minnesota Extension: Tall Garden Phlox
Keywords: garden phlox, prune phlox, cut back phlox, improve phlox, phlox care

About this Author

Kathryn Hatter is a 42-year-old veteran homeschool educator and regular contributor to Natural News. She is an accomplished gardener, seamstress, quilter, painter, cook, decorator, digital graphics creator and she enjoys technical and computer gadgets. She began writing for Internet publications in 2007. She is interested in natural health and hopes to continue her formal education in the health field (nursing) when family commitments will allow.