Leaves dying on Phlox - Knowledgebase Question

Aurora, Il
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Question by mbtelephoneq
July 25, 2010
i have Phlox Eva Cullum that loose their leaves at the bottom every year. I have tried to spray for fungus , changed the amount of water and the amount of mulch and nothing seems to work. Am I doing something wrong? I also have a clematis that use to bloom all summer and was beautiful. It started to have only great looking greenery but no blooms. I,m lucky if I get 1 or 2 flowers. Any sugge

Answer from NGA
July 25, 2010
Phlox can lose their lower leaves if they are watered too much or if a powdery mildew fungus attacks. Since you've tried to avoid both problems, yours may be losing the lower leaves because the leaves are aging. It's a natural process and there's not much you can do to stop the leaf loss. Planting a low growing annual in front of your phlox can help hide the leggy stems.

There are many kinds of clematis: the early bloomers flower on buds produced the previous season; the mid summer bloomers flower on new growth and the late bloomers flower on the last 2-3 feet of the summer's growth. If yours is not blooming well you may not be pruning at the right time, or not pruning at all, which will affect the flowering ability. For early bloomers, prune back as soon as possible after bloom but no later than the end of July. This allows time for new growth to produce flower buds for the next season. Remove shoots that have bloomed. For mid season bloomers, prune in February or March to encourge lots of new growth and lots of flowers. For late bloomers, those that bloom on the last 2-3 feet of the current season's growth, you can prune them back hard in early spring to promote healthy new growth and lots of flowers.

Best wishes with your garden!

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