Phlox, a genus in the Polemoniaceae family, is comprised of more than 60 annual and perennial flowering plants. Ground cover varieties such as creeping phlox and moss phlox grow in low mats that are ideal for covering bare spots in the landscape. Taller varieties, like the garden phlox, are perfect for bordering sidewalks and accenting flowerbeds. Phlox are also widely recognized wildflowers that spread a blanket of color and fragrance that feeds wildlife.
The growth cycle of the phlox begins when the seed is planted. As the seed absorbs moisture and nutrients from the soil, the root and shoot structures begin to form. Once the seed casing has reached capacity, it cracks open to allow the plant to form its root system and vegetation.
After germination, vegetative growth begins. The root system starts to establish itself beneath the soil, while the stem and foliage of the phlox grow above ground. During this process the stem, leaves and buds grow and form.
When the foliage and buds are fully developed, the blooming process begins. Many phlox varieties will bloom continuously throughout the season. Those plants that have the spent blooms removed will create new blooms more readily than those plants that have dead blooms remaining on the stems.
After the phlox blooms, the seed pod forms beneath. When the flower dies off and falls away, the pod continues to grow until the seeds have developed inside, and the outer pod dries and turns brown. Each phlox seed pod contains two to three seeds.
After the seed pod matures, the final stage of phlox life is death. The foliage and stems turn brown and die at the end of the growing season.