Phlox paniculata, also known as garden phlox or summer phlox, is an herbaceous perennial native to North America. Hardy in USDA Plant Hardiness zones 4 through 8, the plant requires only minimal care to thrive in most areas of the United States. Phlox paniculata reaches heights of up to 4 feet and produces flowers in shades of white, red, pink, violet, orange and bicolors, depending on variety. Blossoms typically appear in late spring through summer and plants are often grown in rock gardens, sunny perennial borders and cutting gardens.
Plant Phlox paniculata during spring in a location that receives six to eight hours of sunlight each day. Make sure the planting site is composed of fertile, well-drained soil for optimal growth. Space plants 8 to 24 inches apart.
Spread a 4-inch layer of organic mulch over the soil surrounding the plant to increase moisture retention and deter weeds. Allow at least 3 inches between the layer of mulch and the base of the plant to allow plenty of room for growth.
Water thoroughly once per week to keep the soil consistently moist at all times. Apply water directly to the soil to avoid moistening the leaves, as wet foliage is more susceptible to disease. Do not water during winter when the plant is dormant.
Feed Phlox paniculata once every two months to provide adequate nutrition for root, flower and foliage formation. Use a balanced 10-10-10 NPK fertilizer at the rate recommended by the manufacturer for the best results.
Pinch off dead or faded flowers to prolong the blooming period and encourage the growth of additional blossoms. Sever the flowers near their point of origin to promote rapid regrowth and reduce the risk of disease.