by KYW’s Phran Novelli
Oooh, you’ve got to get some Phlox. Phlox paniculata – also known as ‘Garden Phlox’ or ‘Tall Phlox,’ is a perennial with big, poofy flower heads, in colors from zappy shades of pink and purple to pure white – most with a cute contrasting eye.
Garden Phlox can grow 2’ to 4’ high, but there are compact cultivars now that are perfect for containers or the front of a border. Phlox has the kind of scent I love – subtle and spicy, not strong and flowery. It blooms in the heat of summer and goes on for weeks in full sun and rich soil.
Garden Phlox used to be famous for powdery mildew, which is why I never planted it before, but new cultivars are very mildew-resistant; like the compact ‘Flame’ series and a taller series with names like Bubblegum and Grape Lollipop. Like a kid in a candy shop, I can’t resist Phlox, and I’m not the only one – this native plant is an absolute magnet for hummingbirds and butterflies.
(Photo: by Phran Novelli)