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How to Transplant Phlox

blue phlox image by Liga Lauzuma from

Phlox is a colorful addition to any garden, blooming in purples, lavenders and pinks, and there are numerous varieties, from 3 foot tall plants to low growing phlox perfect for ground cover. When placed in a full sun location, tall phlox can attract butterflies and moths, and low phlox will spread out as a ground cover, filling in the edges of a flower bed, or helping control erosion when planted on slopes. Because phlox is a perennial, it will continue to come back year after year to bloom in your garden.

Wait until early spring, after the last frost and dig in a circle starting 6 inches away from the base of your plant. Dig up to a foot deep, as needed, to loosen the area around the roots of phlox without damaging the roots themselves.

Loosen the phlox from the ground, and gently lift it up by holding the root ball on two sides rather than pulling the plant up by its stem or body. Take the transplant to the new location.

Dig a hole two times as large as the root ball of your transplant. If you’re planting multiple phlox plants space tall growing phlox 8 inches apart and creeping phlox up to 3 feet part.

Add a cup of compost or fresh garden soil to the hole and mix it to make an even consistency with the existing soil.

Set your transplant into the hole, and hold it upright. Bring the surface of the transplant’s root ball level with the ground surface.

Fill in the remainder of the hole with soil, and press the soil to the plant to hold it in place without packing the soil in.

Water the new transplants generously and weekly for the first month until you see new growth start to form. Once growth has begun you don’t have to water as regularly, but watering during the heat of summer may be a necessity.

Add a 2 to 4 inch layer of mulch around the base of your new plants to hold in moisture, cut down on weeds and keep the soil cool.


If you want to fertilize your phlox, apply a general purpose fertilizer monthly, following the manufacturer’s instructions for strength and the method of application.

Tall varieties of phlox will perform better for you if you make a habit of deadheading spent flowers. By pulling the dead flowers off the plant, the phlox will be able to use its energy for growing new flowers rather than producing seeds.

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