Colorful garden phloxes are one of the most popular and indispensable herbaceous perennials. Their bright pastel colors decorate the gardens with special colored "pillows". From the carpets of bright spring phlox to the blazing sheaves of summer favorites - all phlox conquer their flowering. But all of them are surprisingly different. Even in lighting or soil requirements, different categories of phloxes, and sometimes their types, differ from each other. Selection of growing conditions and adherence to strict planting rules are key factors in the cultivation of phlox.Phlox - the right choice of place and subtleties of landing
Features of the selection of conditions for phlox
A wide variety of phloxes often becomes not only a source of inspiration for finding original solutions in garden design, but also various errors. Phloxes, which are divided into three categories - carpet, bush and rihloderninny - require a different approach to agricultural technology. Despite the fact that any of the representatives of the Phlox genus has many common features, they remain plants requiring an individual approach.
Read more about the classification of phlox in the material Phlox in the design of the garden - use and classification.
The form of growth and the origin of different phloxes, their natural "habits" also determine where plants will feel comfortable in the garden. Even having decided on the category of phloxes, it is still worth checking the requirements of certain types, which may differ from the general preferences of your brothers.
Information about plants is better to clarify when buying or exchanging. Knowledge of the previous conditions in which phloxes grew, as well as their usual care, can prevent many problems.
Despite the status of a universal, unpretentious perennial from the basic category, representatives of the Phlox genus are not so undemanding plants. They will not grow anywhere and in any soil. The quality of the soil is critical for flowering, and the secrecy of the place - for wintering. When choosing conditions for these perennials, you should not ignore any of the parameters.
Lighting for different types of phlox
All phlox can be considered photophilous cultures, poorly blooming in shading. But the requirements for the intensity of lighting in different categories of these plants vary significantly.
All cluster phloxes are more “plastic” in their lighting requirements and can adapt not only to sunny areas. For them, you can choose an open area, and partial shade. The optimal place for any bush phlox, especially of high varieties and phlox with saturated, dark colors, is the area with diffuse lighting, in which the plant will be protected from direct sun in the summer by transparent crowns of bushes and trees.
Strong shading is unacceptable for any phlox, we can only talk about shading in the afternoon hours. Do not forget about the correction of conditions for a climate that differs from the middle band. In conditions of extremely harsh winters, only the warmest, most protected southern areas are acceptable for phloxes, but in the south, shaded, cool-secluded places are chosen for phloxes.
Read more about growing bush phlox in the article Growing bush phlox.
Carpet phloxes and loose phlox are lovely photophilous, they do not create a dense turf and do not bloom with a solid pillow even in light partial shade. But phlox stolononosny and widespread prefer penumbra.
For bush phloxes, you need to choose secluded, not overheating in the sun, but still warm, protected areas. The protection of the transparent crowns of deciduous shrubs and trees is also considered ideal because in such places snow is always better delayed and accumulated, there is no sharp temperature difference even in the most unstable winters.
But it is necessary to take into account the characteristics of the shrub-woody environment: you can not choose either evergreen, nor coniferous, or densely leafy crops, or deciduous shrubs and trees with roots lying close to the surface (like willow or lilac).
Protection from wind and drafts for bush phlox is of great importance, because they fall apart, lose their compactness and accuracy in adverse places. Carpet phloxes are more drought-resistant and do not suffer due to growth patterns even on sites blown by the wind.
The relief of the area where phloxes will be planted can be even, although this is far from ideal. Phloxes do not tolerate only lowlands, hollows, places where there is a high risk of water accumulation during precipitation or melting snow. But if it is possible to plant phlox on the site with an elevated level or a slight slope, making the risk of dampness minimal, it is better to choose this option.
In this case, for slopes, slopes, complex reliefs, phloxes are suitable only if it is not about the southern or western orientation and the ability to provide maintenance compensating for the drying up of the soil. Drought-resistant carpet phloxes are even more sensitive to damp and low places than carpet carpets.
When placing phloxes in compositions near a house, buildings, or objects of small architecture, it is worth considering the orientation of the objects themselves and their influence on the microclimate. Bush phloxes are planted from the eastern, western and partially southern sides of architectural structures and large buildings. The north side categorically does not suit them.Carpet phlox is very photophilous.
Selection of soil characteristics for phlox
One of the most common misconceptions about phlox is that they can be grown on almost any soil. This is true, but only if the soil characteristics are suitable for a particular plant. Among phloxes there are those that can settle in dry or wet, light or medium, fertile and poor soil. But this does not mean that the same phlox can take root in different conditions. In the matter of selecting soil characteristics, it is better to observe the principle of an individual approach.
Bush phlox adores loams, soils with "medium" characteristics - fertile, loose, well-developed, neutral and fresh. The content of mature organic matter and deep study allows phloxes to actively develop, forming dense bushes with innumerable shoots.
Carpet phloxes are afraid of clay, dense and acidic soils, preferring light, not necessarily fertile, but water and breathable soil types (sandstones and light loams), with a drainage tab where there is a risk of stagnation of water during snow melt. Of loose phloxes, only stoloniferous and widespread love moist soils with a light texture.
For more information about growing looselox phloxes, see the article Fluffloder phlox - “medium” in size and flowering time.
The optimal pH response for cluster phlox is from 5.5 to 7.0. Carpet phlox prefer a neutral reaction. Phlox stolononosny and widespread - a slight acid reaction.
Very often, when choosing a landing site, one more important factor is forgotten - soil moisture. Carpet phlox grows well in light, dry soil. But here lohlodernovye and bush much more demanding.
All bush phloxes require a choice of fresh, moist soils similar to the natural conditions of the edges of forests, meadows and floodplains. If phlox bush type is planted in dry soil, then you should be prepared for regular watering. Carpet phlox is drought-tolerant, and loose-leaf prefer wet and fresh soil.
One of the main characteristics of the soil for growing bush phlox is a high-quality biological environment and a high organic content. Nutrient soil is of key importance to them both for normal development and flowering. Humus is a necessary condition for normal development even for carpet and loose phlox (of the latter, only phlox prefers poor soils).
Even high-quality garden soil before planting phloxes is desirable to improve. Processing is carried out in advance, when planting bush phloxes - in the previous season or 3-6 months before planting with the best option. The minimum period that the soil needs to shrink and activate the process of development of the biological environment is 2 weeks before planting for any phlox. Preplant treatment includes standard procedures:
- Removing rhizomes of weeds and debris.
- Correction of soil structure by sand, peat, humus, compost, inert materials. For carpet phlox on heavy or moist soil lay a drainage layer.
- The application of mature compost, mature manure, ash, full mineral fertilizers (only for bush phlox). The latter can be replaced by preplant dressing, the introduction of the bottom of the planting pits a full portion of potassium-phosphorus fertilizers. Amount of fertilizers - a bucket of organics for each square meter of plantings and 50 g of a mixture of mineral fertilizers.
The soil is dug up to a depth of about 10 cm greater than the bedrock of the main root mass of plants - about 30-35 cm. For phlox digging is carried out as many times as necessary to achieve a uniform fine-grained structure.Of loose phloxes, only stoloniferous and widespread love moist soils with a light texture.
The best time to plant phlox
Bush phlox can be planted throughout the active season, but in the spring, summer or autumn when planting phlox, there are risks and advantages. In the autumn, all phloxes of early and medium flowering plants are planted, but with late planting, the risk of their unsuccessful wintering increases.
Spring planting is preferable for dividing into several parts and for later varieties, but it also involves a reduction and delay in flowering and the need for more thorough care of plants. In summer, you can appreciate the beauty of flowering and see the characteristics of the variety, but keeping the delenki will be much more difficult.
Autumn is considered the best time for separation, transplantation and planting for any phlox - with this option and the correctly carried out transplantation procedure, phloxes adapt perfectly, quickly grow and bloom fully in the next season. But, in principle, all three options are acceptable.
Determining the timing of planting, it is necessary to take into account the characteristics of the development of plants:
- In spring, phloxes are planted at the beginning of growth, until the shoots have grown to 10 cm in height, focusing on the general development of plants. The standard dates are the third decade of April and the first decade of May.
- In summer, phloxes are planted at any time when delenki are available, but taking into account the weather and the ability to compensate for the heat and drought with appropriate care of the plants.
- In autumn, planting early and middle phloxes (by flowering dates) is best done in the last decade of August or the first half of September, and late - in the second half of September. Deadlines for phlox planting are limited to the first days of October. Later, phloxes are not planted, but only instilled, sprinkled with soil 10 cm above the points of renewal and covered for the winter with several layers of dry leaves or peat alternating with non-woven materials. A full landing is carried out according to all the rules in the spring.
Carpet and loose phlox are separated in early spring, at the beginning of growth.
Bush phloxes are transplanted with a frequency of 6-7 years. But the frequency of transplantation and separation is always better determined by the state of the plant itself: copiously flowering phloxes often begin to degenerate, lose their decorativeness in the center of the bushes after 5 years.
Carpet phlox is separated every 3-5 years, depending on whether measures have been taken to maintain the density of turf due to timely pruning.
Bush phloxes are transplanted with a frequency of 6-7 years.
For details on the features of growing carpet phlox, see the article Caring for Ground Cover Phlox.
Choosing Phlox Divisions
The choice of a variety, the verification of its winter hardiness, the analysis of the climate in each case are the best keys to success. The harsher the winters, the greater the risk of losing mid-late varieties of bush phloxes and the more important it is to choose early flowering or medium varieties.
Plants grown in local nurseries or local gardeners are always better than those grown in other regions or countries. But if decorativeness is the main guideline, then it is worth clarifying the maximum allowable temperature drop and measures to protect phlox for the winter.
In choosing phlox seedlings, observe the general rules:
- planting material in containers or with a large earthen lump is preferable: they do not allow the roots to dry out;
- the divisions should be strong, with thick intact shoots, clearly visible full-fledged buds of renewal, and quality roots;
- for bush phlox choose delenki with 2 to 3 stems and leaves for autumn and 4 to 5 stems for spring;
- the roots are shortened to 15 cm, and shoots - up to 5-10 cm, in summer seedlings, inflorescences are cut off as quickly as possible;
- the bark should be rough and green, not discolored;
- any traces of drying out, stretching, darkening, breaking off, fading, rotting or other damage to the roots and shoots should be avoided;
- Delenki with full indication of the variety names and its characteristics are preferred.
When planting phloxes, it is important to avoid any compacted options. Bushes should freely develop and grow, without experiencing a lack of free space. To reduce the optimal distance by 10-15 cm is possible only when landing with non-aggressive, slightly growing or slowly growing partners. For bush phlox, the following minimum distances to neighboring plants are observed:
- for undersized varieties and border phlox - about 35-40 cm;
- for medium-sized phlox - 50-55 cm;
- for tall varieties - 60-70 cm.
Carpet phloxes are planted at a distance of 25-30 cm. The loose-hearted phlox require a distance of at least 35-40 cm.
In the process of planting, even for bush phlox there is nothing complicated. Landing pits are prepared immediately before disembarkation. Their sizes are determined by the size of the root coma of the division - they must be sufficiently free to spread the roots. If fertilizers are not applied to the soil in advance, they are poured onto the bottom of the planting pits.
There is only one obligatory procedure - abundant watering prior to plant installation and soaking for several hours in water or in water with growth stimulants for flaccid divisions. Plants are set as evenly as possible, spreading the roots evenly in different directions. The top of the bush phlox rhizome should remain 3-5 cm below the soil line. Planting pits fill the soil gradually, gently ramming the layers. Planting bush phlox complete abundant watering.
Carpet and loose phlox should also be planted in individual pits, with minimal damage to the roots and the preservation of an earthen coma around the rhizome. The less a plant is injured, the faster it adapts.Carpet and loose phlox need to be planted in individual fossa, with minimal damage to the roots.
Phlox care in the first weeks after planting
Landing of any phlox is completed by watering. In the first few weeks after planting, before the onset of symptoms is simple, soil moisture must be maintained stably light. Overmoistening for carpet phlox is very dangerous, but even damp moisture can provoke the development of fungal diseases.
In the first weeks, care comes down to controlling soil moisture, weeds should not be allowed to grow near plants, and in case of unexpected temperature spikes, it is better to take care of protecting the plants with a light shelter.
Phlox, which was planted in spring and summer, requires protection from drought and regular maintenance. In the spring, it is enough to compensate for the vagaries of the weather and take care of prevention from pests and diseases. In the summer, regular watering and morning spraying should be added to the care program, with several treatments with a solution of growth and rooting stimulants.
Autumn planting of phlox is always associated with the risk of insufficient rooting before the period of frost, especially if planting is carried out in early October. To improve the adaptation process and a successful wintering, crops must be mulched with any available material to protect against a sharp drop in temperature.
But mulching after planting is the best option for any other time frame. By stabilizing the conditions, protecting the plants from overheating and preventing the soil from compacting and drying out, the layer of mulch will allow phloxes to quickly adapt to new conditions.