The Q&A Archives: Dividing Creeping Phlox

Question: How and when is creeping phlox best divided? I tried to find something to divide in my four-year-old plant, but it seemed to be simply a mat with a central root. Is all the outgrowth from the center something to divide? Or is it divided at the center?

Answer: Creeping Phlox is a trailing plant that grows from a central crown. It's difficult to divide, but you can propagate your plant by taking root cuttings in the autumn and winter months, or by encouraging the stems of the plant to form roots by covering them with a small amount of soil in the springtime. To take root cuttings, wait until your phlox is dormant (to lessen the shock). Dig the plant, wash most of the soil off the roots by gently dunking them in a bucket of water. Find 2-3 of the largest roots and cut them from the parent plant, using a sharp knife. Then replant your phlox. Cut the root pieces into 2-3 inch sections, and place them (right to the tops of the cuttings) in a tray or pot filled with moistened potting soil or sand. Place them outdoors in a protected place, and make sure the medium is not allowed to dry out. In the spring you should see new growth.

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