Summer phlox stand tall and splendid in the hot summer garden and grace the air with their sweet per-fume. They perform well for us and are magnets for butterflies and hummingbirds.
John Fanick is the name of the phlox you see here. You will find John Fanick in both the Tyler Rose Garden’s IDEA and Heritage gardens.
We have had this one for many years and it is a keeper. You plant a pot of it and in three years you will have a large clump.
Phlox paniculata includes John Fanick, David (white), and the old tall garden phlox that is hot pink-magenta. There are many more colors and varieties but mildew is a problem with most; so John Fanick prevails in our gardens.
These tall (to 4 feet) phlox add the much needed height that is lacking in many of today’s gardens.
Plant it in full sun where it will do best, although a half day of shade will not prevent it from blooming.
Phlox need good soil but not fertilizer. If they grow too fertile, they flop badly. Water when you notice them beginning to wilt.
They are fairly drought-tolerant.
If you do not dead-head phlox, they will seed out profusely and the offspring will be the old time magenta which is the original.
It is lovely but taller than John Fanick’s three feet.
We like to keep ours dead-headed which means clipping the old bloom heads off once they finish blooming. The stalks will branch and you will get more blooms.
Phlox are perennials; so in a few years you can share with others or plant clumps all around your yard.
Plant a pot of summer phlox and watch the butterflies and hummingbirds fight over the delicious blooms. Sit out where you can enjoy the luscious perfume and watch a beautiful thing happen.
Dee Bishop is a Smith County Master Gardener. She writes about things growing in Tyler Rose Garden.