Creeping Phlox: Uses in the Garden

If you’re like me you’re a sucker for phlox in the spring time. I’ve seen photos of phlox completely covering hillsides and it looks just like a painting, wouldn’t it be cool to mimic that idea in your own garden? Maybe just on a small scale though because once the phlox blooms in the spring all you see is green foliage. The green may make for a nice ground cover but the blooms are really the most attractive feature. Over the last couple years I’ve been adding phlox from the discount rack and from propagation to various areas of the garden.

Here’s how I’ve used creeping phlox (Phlox subulata) in my garden:

The mailbox garden phlox consists of two kinds: one pale blue and the other closer to purple. As they grow I hope to expand them outward toward the curb and have them overflow just slightly.

I really enjoy seeing bulbs coming up through other plants and I tried to accomplish that idea with these daffodils coming up through the phlox.

One of the first places I planted phlox was along our sidewalk garden. It’s actually covering a decorative rock that probably needs moved since you can’t even see it now! The phlox on the left (the smaller one) came from a cutting.

I took this photo today of the phlox and tulips. It’s kind of the ant’s eye view perspective. The purple phlox blends very well with the ‘Negrita’ and ‘Shirley’ tulips.

While different this phlox and spirea combination works, at least I think it does!

This phlox in the birdbath garden is very spotty. It’s grown together with some mums to the point that it would be very difficult to separate them.

The other place I like using phlox is between rocks along garden bed borders. Creeping phlox is one of those plants that lends itself very easily to rock walls and borders. Here in the front porch garden I purposely left gaps in the border for the phlox to grow through. The effect won’t be complete until next year after the plants get one more year of growth.

After the creeping phlox has finished blooming for the year I plan to make more phlox cuttings to help fill in gaps in the phlox all over the garden. I would love to have an area like this in my garden:

My parent’s have gradually filled in this area with phlox and it is almost complete!

16 thoughts on “Creeping Phlox: Uses in the Garden”

  1. I love phlox! Your parents planted area looks super~~Is it planted with dianthus? I just realized I haven't any creeping phlox?~I have every other kind! gail

  2. Gail,

    Originally the area was full of dianthus. They removed it and the dianthus came back from seed so they just decided to leave it. I told them if they didn't want it I'd be happy to give it a home! Some creeping phlox along your driveway would look great!

  3. All of these combos look great Dave. Now, how do YOU propagate your creeping Phlox? I have it in several different areas and love it. I purchased some that is supposed to bloom until the first frost.

  4. Like you, I love phlox! I wish it bloomed even longer, but mine is still going strong. I actually photographed it too soon for my blog story awhile back! I've found the allium bulbs are great interplanted. I do hope they can continue to come up through the phlox in future years.

  5. I haven't had much luck with creeping phlox, I think the area was too wet then too dry. Our landscape guy wants to put in a bunch in our front yard, I am not jumping up and down about it. I have been proven wrong before, so I will wait and see how it does.
    I do like the look of the mass of color in the spring.

  6. Love the Phlox. Have thought about using it for what we call the front ditch, where our front yard slopes at the very beginning to form a drainage area. Very pretty in your yard.

  7. How many years ago did your parents put out the phlox? I can't seem to fill an area, although now I have varigated vinca battling it out and I'm afraid the phlox is losing. I'm going to have to move some of it and pull out vinca.

  8. Phlox and Daffys scream spring to me! I don’t know why it took so long for me to add Phlox to my gardens (last year). I added a bit more this year when finding a few bargain containers for .75 cents! I just love the stuff and yes, creeping down a hillside and in rock gardens is wonderful…

  9. Yes, this is a winner, Dave! I love the idea of growing bulbs through it. We have a number of gardens around here with various shades of creeping phlox spilling down steep inclines to the road. Like your parent's phlox bed, they are so gorgeous, and they solve a mowing problem that we have here at hawk's haven as well. I should try replacing some of our grass!

  10. Hi Dave. I am a fan of creeping Phlox also. The stuff is so pretty in the spring, green all summer and will grow in any soil. Even my old stone hard clay. We have a banking on the sides of our garage that needed a ground cover to keep it from slipping and I planted it full of phlox.It did the trick and shows off so pretty in the spring.
    Yours looks so pretty in the corner bed with the different shades.

  11. Love that Phlox. I had it in N.C. on the banks. Lovely. I need to get it started here.
    Love the corner of different colors at your parents.

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