Phlox flowers - perennial fragrant plants, which have become popular thanks to the beauty of flowering and ease of cultivation and reproduction. There are many types of phlox, which differ in height and color. On fertile soil, these flowers grow rapidly, forming a colorful decorative layer.
Planting and care
Phlox - unpretentious and hardy perennials. Thanks to their large supply of vitality, planting and care will be able even to a novice gardener.
Choosing a place
Perennial phlox is preferable to be grown in open sunny terrain or partial shade areas. It is undesirable to plant these plants in a dense shade, because there they quickly degenerate. Take care when choosing a seat near large trees and shrubs. There the phloxes will have to enter into an unequal battle for the sun's rays, moisture and nutrients. When planting should avoid the raw, low-lying areas of the garden. The ideal choice for a flower bed - raised beds.
It is desirable that the landing site of perennial phlox was protected from the wind. If this is not possible, make a support for the cultivated bushes (especially tall ones). It is important to take into account the colors of plants. So dark phlox should coexist with light-colored, so as not to "get lost" in the dark. Low-growing varieties should be planted in well-lit areas.
To grow phlox you need a loose and fertile soil with a high content of organic elements. Plant phlox preferably in loamy soil mixed with sand. If the earth is too acidic, it should be added quicklime, which will favorably affect the growth of seedlings. Sandy soil with peat is also suitable for planting.
The growing of seedlings will be effectively affected by the addition of natural fertilizers: humus or ash. To grow healthy phlox you need to dig up good ground in the fall. And if you plant seedlings of stunted varieties, you will have to get rid of the roots of weeds.
Cultivation of phlox can be practiced throughout the growing season. Since you can plant seedlings of this plant at any time while it grows and develops, you can select the time for this process yourself. For planting of these perennial bushes cloudy weather or evening time is necessary.
In spring, the first half of May is preferable for planting, when the soil has finally thawed out after winter frosts. Please note that the flowering period in this case is slightly delayed (approximately 2 weeks). In summer, bushes can only be planted with soil on the rhizome. Be sure to water and remove plenty of inflorescences so that the flower could take root. Autumn planting season starts in the second half of August and lasts the whole of September. In this case, the sooner you plant a plant, the more chances it has to take root and survive the winter.
It is imperative to divide and transplant phlox. Over the years, the rhizome grows and becomes like a hummock, in which a lot of dying tissue has accumulated. New shoots of plants appear on the periphery, and the center weakens over time and barely blooms. Transplantation for rejuvenation is carried out every 5-7 years, but it can be a little more often. You can carry out the transplant procedure in spring, summer or autumn.
For spring transplantation (April-May) the soil is prepared in the fall. To do this, dig holes, the distance between which is at least 50 cm for tall varieties and 20-30 cm for stunted species. The pits are filled with compost and fertilizers, they reduce the acidity of the soil with the help of lime. Additives are mixed and watered. Shoots 10-15 cm long are placed in pits for transplanting. At the same time, the buds for renewal should be covered by 4 cm. After that, the compost layer is poured, everything is compacted and covered with a layer of mulch of 10 cm.
You can replant phlox in flowering condition. In this case, the seedling must be carefully dug out so as not to damage the root system. In the summer, abundant watering is required so that the roots do not dry out and safely take root. Pits need to be prepared in advance: 2 weeks before transplantation. Plus divisions at this time of year - mistakes are excluded when choosing certain varieties.
Phlox can be transplanted in the fall until mid-September. Usually, the upper part of the seedlings is cut off during this period, which contributes to better rooting. If phloxes do not have time to take root before the cold, they will die in winter.
There are several ways of breeding perennial phlox:
- Stem, leaf and root cuttings;
Growing from seed is usually used for creeping species. Dense dark green seeds are harvested in the fall before opening the seed pods and peeled. After that, they are sown in the prepared soil, laid out at a distance of 5 cm and sprinkled with a layer of earth. After the snow melts the seeds begin to germinate. Strengthened shoots can be planted.
A common and effective way is grafting. Shoots from 5 to 15 cm are separated along with a part of the rhizome, placed in a moist soil and left in a greenhouse. Three weeks stalk spends in a warm darkened room to take root.
One of the easiest ways of reproduction is division. In this way, the popular species is often propagated - awl-shaped phlox. For this, a bush is dug up and divided into parts, which are planted in different pits, carefully submerging the roots in the soil.
The awl-shaped phlox can be propagated by layering. For this, the stems bend down to the ground. After the plant ottsvetet stem fix and spud peat. By the autumn, the sprouted shoot becomes a full-fledged flower that can be transplanted.
Preparing for the winter
With the onset of autumn, it is time for gardeners to prepare for the arrival of frost. Among the perennial phlox there are many varieties that are not afraid of long winters. Zoned varieties are considered the most resistant, but foreign selection varieties will not be able to survive without additional insulation.
Some gardeners in the warm autumn days are engaged in digging bushes. Then the plants are packed in buckets, pots or boxes and transferred to the basement, where they have to spend time until spring. This process does not justify itself due to the excessive complexity and complexity. This option should be used in the case when the seeds did not have time to ripen before the arrival of frost.
Phloxes can safely spend the winter in the garden if they are prepared in advance. This is done like this:
- From mid-October to early November, the ground part of the bushes is cut off. Some gardeners leave hemp (10-15 cm tall), others cut the flower almost flush with the ground. In the first case, it is possible to protect the renewal of the kidneys (they give new shoots), but there is a risk that the stumps overwinter with diseases on the stumps. In the second variant it is impossible.
- It is necessary to make preventive treatment of the soil and base of the plant. Especially if phloxes were subject to fungal or viral diseases.
- After 10 days, the planting site is mulched with peat, garden soil, or a layer of manure and humus. Carefully cover the cuttings that were planted this year.
Before the emergence of shoots mound should be removed from the bush, leveled slides.
Diseases and pests
Diseases can occur not only in plants, which are poorly cared for, but with poor care and the wrong planting site, diseases occur much more often. And without timely treatment, the bright and fragrant “inhabitants” of the flowerbeds will quickly turn into dried flowers.
The most common disease that plagues phlox is powdery mildew. This disease begins to infect the stems and leaves of the plant in late July - August. The attractive appearance of phloxes quickly deteriorates: the surface of the flower is gradually covered with white bloom. First, the fungus appears on the lower leaves. Then spiderwebs appear on the stalks and upper leaves. Over time, the disease progresses, and the leaves affected by the fungus curl and dry. So a perennial plant weakens and may die.
Treatment of perennial phlox should be started immediately, as soon as you notice the first signs of the disease. Removal of the affected leaves helps only partially, mealy dew will soon appear on the neighboring leaves. The main treatment is the treatment of the plant surface with a solution of soda and soap (dilute 2 teaspoons of soda and 40 g of soap in 10 liters of water). It is possible to get rid of the disease only with the help of regular (once in 7-10 days) spraying with this solution.
Pests also cause harm to these colorful flowers: wireworms, earwigs and nematodes. The wireworm damages the root system of phlox, which is why plants not only suffer from various diseases, but also die. Get rid of this malicious pest will help slices of potatoes and carrots. They need to be buried in a flowerbed to a depth of 10 cm. Once every 5 days, the bait is dug up and destroyed along with the wireworms that have got inside. Earwigs provoke diseases of the leaves and spoil the buds, get rid of them with preparations based on diazinon. And you can fight nematodes by planting marigold, marigold or nasturtium next to phlox.
In order to not spend a lot of time on the treatment of plants, they should be periodically carefully examined. Timely detection of disease is necessary, pay special attention to newly acquired seedlings. If the shoots are curved, most likely they are prone to disease. To treat young bushes is not worth it, they need to be destroyed so as not to infect healthy plants.
Phlox - beautiful and not very demanding plants. Breeders brought a huge variety of varieties of different colors. This variety makes it easy to create a unique landscape composition in your garden.