The Q&A Archives: Creeping Phlox

Question: I have had mixed success planting creeping phlox in a relatively sunny part of my yard. Sometimes it takes hold and slowly spread. This year I put in 4 flats as it was just starting to bloom. By now 3 of them are dead and the last isn't looking too good. I watered them frequently. Is there any fertilizer I could use to increase the chances of survival?

Answer: Creeping phlox (P. stolonifera) is a great plant for a rock garden because it gets along with very little water. It's possible that you've killed yours with kindness by supplying too much water. Creeping phlox will thrive in full sunshine if given rich, well-draining soil, and watered only when the soil is fairly dry. Don't feed your ailing plants right now, but allow the soil to dry out between waterings. If the plants begin to recover and start putting out new growth, apply fertilizer to help them on their way.

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