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Creeping Phlox Phlox stolonifera

Other Common Name(s):

Other plants called Creeping Phlox:

Phonetic Spelling
FLOCKS sto-lon-IH-fer-ah
Description

Creeping Phlox is a native ground cover found in the Appalachian mountain areas from PA south to GA. It will perform best in full sun to partial shade, in moist, well-drained, slightly acidic soil. It will spread rapidly by above-ground leafy stems (stolons) that root at the nodes to form a mat. It should be kept moist for the first year, especially during hot and dry conditions, but it is very drought tolerant once established. 

It is an attractive groundcover that will tolerate light foot traffic and is a good addition to rock gardens or used as edging for flower beds. Mass planting on slopes will help control erosion.

Creeping phlox needs good air circulation and deadheading to prevent powdery mildew.  Hot dry sites can lead to problems with spider mites and slugs can become a pest in wet sites.  It is deer and rabbit tolerant.

See this plant in the following landscapes:
Walkway at the Park Lake Wall Garden
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Blue Ridge'
    Clear blue flowers
  • 'Sherwood Purple'
    Purple-blue flowers and very vigorous
'Blue Ridge', 'Sherwood Purple'
Tags:
#rain garden#drought tolerant#white flowers#pink flowers#shade tolerant#blue flowers#shade garden#slopes#riparian#cottage garden#erosion control#dappled shade#moist soil#cpp#edging#well-drained soil#spreading#deer resistant#rhizomes#lavender flowers#rich soil#groundcover#colonies#woodland#naturalizes#rock gardens#self-seeding#native wildflower#clumping#xeriscaping#rocky soils tolerant#rock walls#banks#container#black walnut toxicity tolerant#audubon
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Blue Ridge'
    Clear blue flowers
  • 'Sherwood Purple'
    Purple-blue flowers and very vigorous
'Blue Ridge', 'Sherwood Purple'
Tags:
#rain garden#drought tolerant#white flowers#pink flowers#shade tolerant#blue flowers#shade garden#slopes#riparian#cottage garden#erosion control#dappled shade#moist soil#cpp#edging#well-drained soil#spreading#deer resistant#rhizomes#lavender flowers#rich soil#groundcover#colonies#woodland#naturalizes#rock gardens#self-seeding#native wildflower#clumping#xeriscaping#rocky soils tolerant#rock walls#banks#container#black walnut toxicity tolerant#audubon
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Phlox
    Species:
    stolonifera
    Family:
    Polemoniaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Layering
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern North America
    Distribution:
    Maine and Vermont and from New York west to Ohio and south to Alabama
    Wildlife Value:
    Attracts hummingbirds and butterflies.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    Colorful
    Defines Paths
    Fragrance
    Wildlife Food Source
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 6 in. - 1 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 9 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ground Cover
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Semi-evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Creeping
    Dense
    Horizontal
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Tubular
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Florets have 5 flat blue-violet, rosy-lavender, or white rounded petals that flare from a narrow tube.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Semi-evergreen
    Leaf Feel:
    Leathery
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblong
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves have smooth edges, blunt or pointed tips, and average 3” on sterile stems and ¾” on flowering stems.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Phlox stolonifera has fertile stems, which die back after producing seed, and infertile stems that may form a foliage mat to 3" tall and begin new growth the following season.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Naturalized Area
    Riparian
    Rock Wall
    Slope/Bank
    Small Space
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Cottage Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Native Garden
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Small Mammals
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Black Walnut
    Deer
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Erosion
    Pollution