The Q&A Archives: Phlox that Fails to Bloom

Question: Two years ago I planted Creeping Phlox in sunny locations in both front and back yard. They have spread nicely as a ground cover but they don't bloom. Why won't they? Too much nitrogen? This year I fertilized with a "bloom" type fertilizer. No luck. Any ideas? Pat Ready Stoughton, WI

Answer: I'm not sure which phlox you are referring to...Phlox subulata (whose common names include Moss Pink, moss phlox, ground pink or flowering moss) or Phlox stolonifera (common name is creeping phlox). Phlox subulata is usually planted in sunny, well-drained soils while Phlox stolonifera prefers rich, humusy soil in a shaded site. If you planted P. subulata in a sunny site that is not well-drained, that might explain the absence of flowers. If you planted P. stolonifera in full sun that also might explain the absence of flowers. P. subulata has very sparse, shallow roots. It takes time for the plant to become established. Since you say the plant is healthy, wait a while longer.

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