The Q&A Archives: phlox subulata

Question: Yesterday, I planted 21 phlox subulata (emerald blue) to front a boxwood hedge. The area is partially shaded, under the dappled light of tree canopy. I thought phlox was a woodland plant, but am now reading that subulata grows best in full sun. Will it tolerate partial shade?

Answer: There are several different types of phlox. Phlox stolonifera (or woodland phlox) does well in dappled shade. Border phlox (Phlox paniculata) and Phlox subulata (the type you have, sometimes called moss phlox) do best in full sun. Full sun means direct sun all day or for a minimum of six hours including the hour of noon. In too much shade the plants thin out and become stringy, they bloom less, too. I'm sorry I can't be more encouraging.

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