How to Grow Phlox stolonifera — Creeping Phlox


Creeping phlox–botanical name Phlox stolonifera– is a low-spreading perennial that bears a profusion of pale to deep purple starry flowers. Creeping phlox is a perennial with obovate, dark green leaves two inches long.

Creeping phlox generally remains under 12 inches tall. Creeping phlox has slightly larger flowers than other phlox.

Get to Know Creeping Phlox — Phlox stolonifera

  • Plant type: Perennial
  • Growing Zones and range: 2-8
  • Hardiness: Hardy to -35°F (-37°C)
  • Height and width: 6 to 12 inches tall; 8 to 12 inches wide
  • Foliage: Obovate, dark green leaves to 2 inches (5cm) long
  • Flowers: Salverform flowers on upright stems; flowers appear in small clusters
  • Flower colors: Pale to deep purple, pink
  • Bloom time: Summer
  • Uses: Groundcover, shade gardens, woodland gardens
  • Common name: Creeping Phlox
  • Botanical name: Phlox stolonifera
  • Family: Polemoniaceae
  • Origin: Woodlands in Central America

Where to Plant Creeping Phlox stolonifera

  • Plant creeping phlox in light shade in Zones 2-6; plant in full or dappled shade in Zones 7-8. Plants in cool summer regions can tolerate the sun.
  • Creeping phlox need humus-rich, well-drained soil that is moisture retentive.

Phlox stolonifera Uses and Companions

  • Use Phlox stolonifera as a ground cover.
  • Grow Phlox stolonifera in a shade or woodland garden.
  • Good companions for Phlox stolonifera include Aster, Chrysanthemum, Monarda, Physostegia, Platycodon.
White and purple creeping phlox cascading over an old stone wall in the spring
White and purple creeping phlox cascading over an old stone wall in the spring

When to Plant Creeping Phlox stolonifera

  • Set creeping phlox in the garden in spring.
  • Add aged compost to the soil at planting time.

Planting and Spacing Creeping Phlox stolonifera

  • Space creeping phlox 8 to 12 inches apart.

How to Water and Feed Creeping Phlox stolonifera

  • Creeping phlox need to be kept well-watered. Do not let the soil dry out.
  • Fertilize creeping phlox with aged compost.

Creeping Phlox stolonifera Care

  • Mulch around creeping phlox to conserve soil moisture. Be careful that mulch does not cover leaves.
  • Creeping phlox will reseed if you let the flowers go to seed.
  • Creeping phlox also spreads by underground runners.
  • Mildew and slug can attack creeping phlox.

Phlox stolonifera Propagation

  • Phlox stolonifera seeds will germinate in 5 to 10 days at 608° to 65°F (16°-18°C). 

Creeping Phlox stolonifera Varieties to Grow

There are several Phlox subulata cultivars:

  • ‘Ariane’ and ‘Bruce’s White’ has white flowers.
  • ‘Blue Ridge’ has sky blue flowers and grows to 12 inches tall.
  • ‘Home Fires’ and ‘Pink Ridge’ has deep pink flowers.
  • ‘Sherwood Purple’ bears purple-blue fragrant flowers.

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