7 Things You Didn’t Know About Creeping Phlox

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Sure, you may know creeping phlox for its stunning pink and purple hues and its low-growing and mat-forming look, but did you know it can survive even the harshest winters and that it looks beautiful even after it blooms? Yes! This incredibly versatile plant is a staple in many outdoor gardens because its diversity allows it to thrive in several landscape environments. Here, Great Garden Plants dives into seven things you probably didn’t know about creeping phlox and how these unique traits make it the powerhouse of ground covers. Click the links to jump to specific sections regarding phlox:

  1. Creeping Phlox Naturally Suppresses Weeds.
  2. Winterizing Creeping Phlox Is a Breeze.
  3. Creeping Phlox is Pet & Pollinator Friendly.
  4. There Are Over 60 Species of Creeping Phlox.
  5. Creeping Phlox Is An Excellent Choice For Slopes & Hillsides.
  6. Creeping Phlox Spreads Slowly.
  7. Creeping Phlox Are Beautiful Even After Bloom.

#1. Creeping Phlox Naturally Suppresses Weeds

Who likes dealing with pesky weeds? Not us! Creeping phlox is a fast-spreading and hardy ground cover that has been used by gardeners to naturally suppress weeds in their garden or landscape. The secret is in the soil. It’s a carpet of flowers chokes out weeds by stretching underground through the soil. Once established, ground covers like creeping phlox begin suppressing weeds by giving them no space to grow – essentially crowding them out. 

Try weeding before planting your creeping phlox during the spring or fall – this should help with suppression and keep weeds at bay next bloom.

Discover other varieties of ground covers that are best for suppressing weeds:

Caring For Creeping Phlox
Winterizing Creeping Phlox

#2. Winterizing Creeping Phlox Is a Breeze

Not only is winterizing creeping phlox a breeze: it’s practically nonexistent! No special care is needed to protect creeping phlox in the winter. Even when frigid temps and frost hit your plants, roots still remain alive deep within the soil. In fact, snow provides a nice blanket of protection to your creeping phlox throughout the winter months, so don’t bother knocking it off your plants. 

If you wanted to give your creeping phlox some special attention, try pruning your phlox by cutting them back once the flowers have faded. Otherwise, this plant will do just fine throughout the winter if you decide to pay it no mind.

Learn more about caring for creeping phlox: 

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#3. Creeping Phlox Is Pet & Pollinator Friendly

When searching for plants for your garden you may be shocked at the number of plant varieties that are toxic to dogs, cats, and other animals. According to the ASPCA, the systemic effects of toxic plants on animals can cause vomiting and other gastrointestinal issues.

That isn’t the case for creeping phlox. This plant powerhouse is both pet and pollinator friendly, so you can not only ensure your fury friend stays safe, but you can also give yourself a pat on the back for promoting an environment for native wildlife like bees and butterflies. As an added bonus, this non-toxic variety is also deer resistant, meaning they likely won’t bother messing with your plants. Watch out for rabbits though!

For more information on other pet-friendly plants, check out our blog:

Pet Friendly Plants
Creeping Phlox Varieties for Your Garden

#4. There Are Over 60 Species Of Phlox

You may know about the variety of colors of phlox, but did you know about the several different species that permeate these beautiful hues? There are over 60 species of Phlox, including Phlox paniculata (garden phlox), Phlox divaricata (woodland phlox), and Phlox adsurgens (northern phlox). Native to North America and Eastern United States, most varieties of phlox thrive in areas of full-sun and fairly moist soil.

Unlike its family members, creeping phlox (Phlox subulata) grows closer to the ground, reaching about 6 inches in height at a maximum. Plant them alongside tall garden phlox, like ‘Cloudburst’ or Luminary™ ‘Backlight’ which can reach up to 30″ tall at maturity!

Discover more plants native to North America:

#5. Creeping Phlox Is An Excellent Choice For Slopes & Hillsides

Ground covers in general make excellent choices for slopes and hillsides. It can be difficult maintaining gardens alongside sloped landscapes. Still, creeping phlox requires minimal maintenance after planting, meaning you won’t have to climb any steep hills often to keep these plants alive and well. Just opt for a garden hose nozzle for safe watering!  

As an added bonus, creeping phlox and other ground covers are excellent at preventing erosion on slopes and hillsides because their spreading roots hold soil in their place. This can be ideal for environments with heavy rainfall. 

Shop creeping phlox and other plants suitable for slopes:

'Violet Pinwheels' Creeping Phlox
Creeping Phlox Grow Time

#6. It Takes Over a Year For Creeping Phlox To Show It's True Potential

Yes, creeping phlox often comes back better than ever! Similar to other ground cover varieties, creeping phlox can take some time to reach it’s true potential. Even though it’s fast-growing, creeping phlox take about two years to reach maturity. Its rate of growth could depend on a variety of conditions during it’s planting time. Don’t give up on it though! Even if your phlox wasn’t as prosperous and vibrant after initial planting, check back with it the coming spring.

These incredibly resilient plants can withstand many harsh growing conditions and can come back faster growing the following spring in the right conditions. 

Learn more about other spring blooming flowers:

#7. Creeping Phlox Is Beautiful Even After Bloom

We can’t get enough of plants with garden appeal year-round, and creeping phlox is no exception. Creeping phlox foliage will develop vibrant green leaves after they are done blooming before going dormant in the winter. In addition, its mossy look (i.e., the name moss phlox) adds an earthy appeal to your garden. This makes phlox a fantastic addition to a cottage landscape by adding an “overgrown look” to rock and retaining walls as it creeps down the sides.

Because of its thick mossy texture, phlox can handle a high volume of foot traffic during after its bloom and before its dormant period. 

Get more gardening inspiration for your landscape:

'Candy Stripe' Creeping Phlox

Creeping Phlox From Great Garden Plants

We hope you learned something new! Creeping phlox is a vigorous perennial that can add a splash of color to any garden or landscape. This low ground cover can thrive even in the most difficult soils, requires minimal maintenance, and has significant curb appeal year-round. What’s not to love about this gorgeous plant? Shop the collection of creeping phlox for sale from Great Garden Plants today. 

'Drummond's Pink' Creeping Phlox For Sale
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‘Drummond’s Pink’ Creeping Phlox

DESCRIPTION

  • Thrives in tough soil sites.
  • Excellent on banks, slopes and along pathways!
  • Fast growing, deer-resistant evergreen groundcover.
  • Enjoy a blanket of bright pink blooms in late spring!
  • Zones 3-9, full sun, 6″ tall x 20″ wide at maturity.

‘Emerald Blue’ Creeping Phlox

DESCRIPTION

  • Hundreds of fragrant blue flowers bloom in spring!
  • Spreads vigorously as a low-growing carpet.
  • Ultra-hardy to cold zone 3 winters.
  • Thrives in challenging sites.
  • Zones 3-9, sun, 6″ tall x 24″ wide at maturity.

‘Violet Pinwheels’ Creeping Phlox

DESCRIPTION

  • More intense flower color compared to other creeping phlox.
  • Enjoy 100s of fragrant purple flowers each spring!
  • Perfect for slopes or pathways.
  • Trouble-free plant! Drought tolerant and deer resistant.
  • Zones 4-8, sun/part sun, 5″ tall x 36″ wide at maturity.

Questions, comments, or concerns? Let us know! We have an experienced, knowledgeable staff ready to make sure your garden turns out perfect. Or check out our other blogs, here.