This week’s Plant of the Week is the Woodland Blue Phlox, Phlox divaricata. This North American native is found on the edges of forests and riparian areas. It prefers moist to well-drained soils and part to full sun. I have found this plant in near deep shade conditions in Northeast Kansas.
Woodland blue phlox grows short, just 6 inches tall with the flowers, but spreads nicely over the ground. As a groundcover, this perennial is perfect for borders or mixed under-plantings. The flowers are typically lavender blue to pale blue, but can also be pink or white.
This tough as nails phlox looks better than typical creeping phlox in a border. It has shiny green leaves through the year, and is semi-evergreen in winter. The flowers attract a wide range of pollinators, from bees to butterflies. The flowers bloom from April to June. An under-planting of crocuses would look good with this plant.
Woodland blue phlox is also known as wild Sweet William or blue phlox. It has no problems with powdery mildew like the other phlox species. I have not seen a single pest to it since I started growing it 5 years ago.
Woodland blue phlox is a wonderful substitute for creeping phlox. It blooms longer and the foliage is not prickly. It makes a great border plant in any garden bed. – Andrew Mitchell, Grimm’s Gardens Horticulturalist
Here at Grimm’s Gardens, we pride ourselves on finding the best plants for your yard and garden, by trialing them in our gardens first. You can find our plants in the nursery or at our webstore.