Phlox subulata, also known as creeping phlox, moss pink or moss phlox, is a harbinger of spring. It blends into the grass until early spring when its colourful blooms spread across neighbourhood gardens. Creeping phlox thrives in a wide range of climates, from U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3B through 10.
Creeping phlox, as its name suggests, is suitable for use as a ground cover, in rock gardens or in containers, where its flowers and leaves cascade down the side. Its low, clump-forming habit is also used to stabilise a sloped area.
Creeping phlox prefers full sun, and grows about 6 inches high. It comes in many colours, among them red, lavender, pink and white. It has stiff narrow leaves about 1 inch long and 1/16 inch wide. Depending on the climate and species, creeping phlox is grown as an annual, an herbaceous perennial or a perennial.
Creeping phlox is propagated by division or layering, and garden centres sell them as plants. Some annual varieties, however, are available as seed. Annual creeping phlox is available in two different varieties from Burpee.
Swap with gardeners who saved creeping phlox seed from their own flower gardens. The Seed Savers Exchange and National Gardening Association are two organisations whose members share seeds.
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