Phlox Paniculata – (Perennial Phlox)
Phlox paniculata grows happily in most parts of New Zealand and, properly planted and sited, they are largely pest and disease free, and provide decades of bloom – the perfect perennial!
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This is a sturdy reliable perennial plant . It has long straight stems which bear large billows of flowers in summer through to March with deadheading to prolong the flower display. The flowers are in the colour range of white, pink, red, and lavender. They are often fragrant and the scent is most noticeable at night.
It is long blooming, hardy and long-lived, easy of culture, often fragrant and never needs staking. Once established it requires very little attention.
It prefers full sun and a fertile free draining soil, but will tolerate partial shade. It can be used as a cut flower.
Plants can be chopped back at the end of November to create shorter bushier plants. You can fertilise in early spring and early summer. Divide crowded plants in Sept-Oct. Trim the plant back to ground level in autumn or early winter when the plant is dormant.
Indoors : winter- early spring, and autumn
Outdoors: spring and autumn
Sow winter-early spring for flowering same year. Sow autumn for flowering following year. Soak seeds for 10 minutes, place in a polythene bag with a little damp compost. Cold stratify ( vege compartment or door or fridge is good) for 4 weeks at 4°C. Then sow seeds onto seed compost, cover with a fine layer of compost. Germination takes 14-28 days at 4°C or 7-14 days at 15-18°C. Transplant seedlings when large enough to handle to 8cm pots and grow on at 10°C. Pinch out growing points when the plant is 8cm tall to encourage a compact habit.
When planting out set the crown of the plant 4cm below the soil surface.
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