Moss phlox or creeping phlox–botanical name Phlox subulata–is a dense evergreen perennial that forms cushions of bright green leaves. Starry purple or red, sometimes violet-purple, lilac, pink, or white flowers appear in groups in late spring and early summer.
Moss Phlox–Phlox subulata–can be used as a small-scale ground cover or foreground plant in beds and borders. Moss phlox flowers for a month starting in late spring. The plant is smothered in small blossoms, lavender-blue, white, and shades of pink and violet.
Get to Know Moss Phlox
- Plant type: Evergreen perennial
- Growing Zones and range: 2-9
- Hardiness: Hardy to -30ºF (-34ºC); moss phlox does not like heat or drought.
- Height and width: 2 to 6 inches (5-15cm) tall; to 20 inches (50cm) wide
- Habit: Lax, forming cushions or mats
- Foliage: Hairy, linear to elliptic, bright green leaves to 3/4 inch long
- Flowers: Star-shaped petal lobes; white, pink, or lavender blooms
- Bloom time: Spring blooms followed by lush green foliage
- Uses: Matlike groundcover, hillsides
- Common name: Moss Phlox, creeping phlox
- Botanical name: Phlox subulata
- Family: Polemoniaceae
- Origin: North America
Where to Plant Moss Phlox
- Plant moss phlox in full sun.
- Grow moss phlox in average or poor, rocky soil that is dry. Moss phlox prefers alkaline soil.
Moss Phlox Uses and Companions
- Use Phlox subulata as a groundcover or ending in informal beds and borders.
- Plant Phlox subulata in a rock garden.
- Good companions for moss phlox include Aster, Chrysanthemum, Monarda, Physostegia viginiana, Platycodon grandiflorus.
When to Plant Moss Phlox
- Set established moss phlox in the garden in spring. Divide plants in the fall.
Planting and Spacing Moss Phlox
- Space moss phlox 18 to 24 inches apart.
How to Water and Feed Moss Phlox
- Moss phlox grows in soil that is just moist, not wet; water moss phlox occasionally after it is established. Moss phlox does not like heat or drought.
- Moss phlox does not require fertilizing.
Moss Phlox Care
- Cut moss phlox back to encourage dense growth and continued flowering.
- Moss phlox is susceptible to spider mites in hot, dry conditions. It is susceptible to root rot in wet winter conditions.
Moss Phlox Propagation
- Phlox subulata seeds will germinate in 5 to 10 days at 60-65°F (16-18°C)
Moss Phlox Varieties to Grow
- Phlox nana grows well in the arid Southwest.
- ‘Amazing Grace’ bears pale pink flowers with pinkish-purple eyes.
- ‘Apple Blossom’ bears pale lilac flowers.
- ‘Candy Stripe’ has bicolored flowers of white and pink.
- ‘Emerald Blue’ has light blue flowers.
- ‘May Snow’ and ‘White Delight’ has white flowers.
- ‘Red Wings’ has crimson flowers.