Phlox belong to the family of cyanosis.
Their homeland (with the exception of Siberian phlox) is the USA and Canada.
In the genus of phloxes, there are about 50 species, of which only one species is Drummond Phlox is an annual plant, all other species are perennial.
The founder of most garden hybrid varieties - panic phlox. In the wild, it grows in glades of moist forests, in lowlands located along river valleys in the states of Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Kansas, etc.
This is a tall bush of erect smooth stems, 60 to 180 cm high, ending with a large paniculate inflorescence.
The leaves are oval-lanceolate, green and dark green, smooth, up to 15 cm long, 1.5-4.0 cm wide, opposite, each pair of leaves is located crosswise in relation to each other.
The flowers are bisexual, on short pedicels, purple or clove-red (rarely white), about 2-2.5 cm in diameter, gathered in panicle-shaped inflorescences. The corolla of the flower has five petals, at the base fused into a long narrow tube, where there are five stamens and a pistil.
All varieties of phlox are grouped by flowering time on early, middle, mid-late and late.
Early in the spring, almost immediately after the snow melts, aboveground shoots begin to grow from the rhizome.
During the intensive growth of shoots, the formation of new roots, elongation and branching of the old ones occur. At this time, the plant should be given abundant watering and top dressing.
It blooms in July - September, very plentifully.
© Keith Pomakis
Flowers bloom at the same time. The inflorescence reaches full decorativeness only after 8-10 days, when a significant part of the flowers bloom. The blossoming flower keeps on the inflorescence for 7-10 days, then its corolla crumbles, and the adjacent bud blossoms instead, thanks to which the decorative effect of the inflorescence remains for a long time. In addition to the main panicle, inflorescences are often formed from the axils of the leaves and the upper part of the stem, they bloom later.
The duration of flowering in different varieties from three to four to five to six weeks.
After flowering, the plant enters the stage of accumulation of nutrient reserves in rhizomes and roots for the next year's vegetation. At this point, on the rhizomes and lignified shoots near the surface of the soil, growth buds begin to be laid, from which shoots will develop next year.
After seed ripening, drying of inflorescences, leaves and stems begins. By winter, the entire aerial part dies away, vital processes slow down significantly and the plant goes into a dormant state
Site selection and soil preparation
Successful cultivation of phlox requires open, even areas with a slight slope, sufficiently moist, protected from winds. Glades in gardens and parks, illuminated paths and alleys are the best places for planting phlox.
Phloxes develop well, abundantly, and bloom for a long time on sandy, medium loamy, moist and loose soils, well seasoned (at the rate of 800-1000 kg per 1 ha) with mineral fertilizers. The acidity of the soil should be close to neutral, however, phloxes are quite well tolerated and somewhat acidified soil.
Organic fertilizers (semi-decomposed manure 1-1.5 buckets, bone meal 120 g and ashes 180 g per 1 sq. M) should be applied together with minerals for autumn plowing. The depth of plowing is 20 - 25 cm. In phloxes, the bulk of the roots is located at a depth of 3 to 15 cm, so deep incorporation of organic fertilizers is impractical, even harmful.
On heavy clay soils in autumn, when plowing, in addition to organic and mineral fertilizers, sand and lime are also added at the rate of 250-300 kg / ha, and on sandy - clay.
In the spring, as soon as the soil is ready for cultivation, the plots are plowed to a depth of 20-25 cm and additionally introduced semi-decomposed manure or other organic fertilizers, one and a half buckets per square meter. m on loamy soils. On acid podzolic soils, the dose of organic fertilizers is increased and at the same time lime (200-300 g) and bone meal (100-150 g per 1 sq. M) are added.
In spring, fertilizers are applied (per 1 sq. M): 30 g of ammonium nitrate, 50-60 g of superphosphate, 30 g of potassium salt.
In the fall, parts of the bush with two to three stems and a well-developed root system are used as planting material. For spring planting, the bush is divided so that the seedling has three to four buds and a good root system.
If seedlings obtained from rooted cuttings are used as planting material, then those that are formed in the second year after rooting and have two or three shoots during autumn planting, and three or four buds during spring planting, are allowed to plant. The distances between plants during planting are selected taking into account the height of the bush and the duration of the phlox in one place: 35–45 X 30–40 cm, 50–60 X 40–50 cm.
Perennial phlox can be planted in early spring, as soon as the soil is thawed and suitable for cultivation and planting, or in autumn, in the first half of August, so that seedlings can take root before frost.
In early spring, plants (if they were covered for the winter with peat, humus, foliage, etc.) are exempted from shelters. Further care consists in regular cultivation of row-spacing, top dressing and weeding of weeds.
The first feeding with a solution of mullein, slurry, bird droppings or feces is carried out in a dilution of 1: 15 during the period of mass regrowth of the stems. You can use mineral fertilizers at the rate of 20-30 g of ammonium nitrate, 15-20 g of superphosphate and potassium salt per 10 l of water.
The second top dressing is carried out at the beginning of budding. It is better to make it in liquid form, adding to the solution of slurry, mullein or feces, phosphorus and potassium fertilizer at the rate of 20-25 g each per 10 l of solution.
The third top dressing is given at the beginning of flowering: 15-20 g of superphosphate, 10 g of ammonium nitrate, 10-15 g of potassium salt or 30-40 g of ash per 10 l of water.
At the end of flowering (August), phlox is fed with phosphorus and potassium (15-20 g of superphosphate, 25 g of potassium chloride per 10 l of water). This top dressing contributes to the accumulation of nutrients and hardening of plants.
When the air temperature drops to –10–20® in areas with poor snow cover, plants are covered with peat, humus, foliage.
Phlox propagate division of bushes, stem, stem with a heel or leaf cuttings, axillary cuttings with a heel.
Reproduction of phlox by dividing the bushes is the easiest and most common way. Dig a bush and divide it with a shovel or knife into parts so that each planting unit has three to four buds (in spring) and two or three shoots (in autumn) with a well-branched root system.
In production conditions, a method of reproduction is effective. stem cuttings.
Before budding, the stem is cut across into cuttings so that each of them has at least two nodes. A lower cut is made in the lower part of the knot under paired leaves, in the upper part of the handle a knot with paired leaves is left. The upper cut is done 1-2 cm above the knot.
At the lower leaves, 2/3 of the leaf blade is cut off and the stalk is immersed in a layer of wet sand of a distribution ridge or greenhouse. Timely cuttings made it possible to obtain rooted seedlings for planting in the spring of next year.
Stem cuttings with a heel. In the early spring, at the beginning of plant growth at the uterine bush, shoots (4-6 cm long) with a heel are broken out, separating them directly from the rhizome, these cuttings take root most quickly and give a normally developed flowering plant by autumn.
Leaf cuttings. To propagate valuable varieties represented by a limited amount of source material, leafy cuttings can be used. For grafting, take the stem before budding (you can use lignified stems that had inflorescences, but the yield of rooted cuttings will be lower).
Leaves are cut out with a part of the stem, up to 2-3 mm thick and up to 1 cm long. The lower part of the leaf with the heel is immersed in an inclined position in the moist sand of a nursery or a drawer and covered with glass. Rooted cuttings give small plants that develop well during spring planting in the ground.
Axillary heel cuttings. In the stems, on the eve of budding, pinch the top. In the axils of the leaves, stepsons are formed. When they reach a length of 4-6 cm, they are broken out with part of the main stem. Such cuttings are well rooted.