Phlox subulata, mulch, & landscape cloth. - Knowledgebase Question

Tacoma, Wa
Question by schafer2
May 6, 2010
I bought a house. I wish to add Phlox subulata to a small landscape bed that presently has 1 - 2 inches of beauty bark over landscape cloth. Should I remove the bark and landscape cloth before planting the Phlox, so that the Phlox will spread to cover the area (as I hope). I'm assuming that the bark and landscape cloth will prevent the Phlox from spreading and filling the bed. Am I correct?

Answer from NGA
May 6, 2010


You are correct. Since creeping phlox will root wherever it touches the soil, removing the bark and landscape cloth is your best approach. While the plants will grow and cover the bark, they won't root and won't spread much beyond a 12 inch circle. If you want to completely cover the bed with phlox you'll need to remove the bark and landscape cloth. While you're at it, be sure to dig some organic matter into the soil prior to planting your phlox. Best wishes with your project!

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