How to Grow Annual Phlox Plants

Guide to Growing Phlox

The Phlox Plant can be annual or perennial in nature; this section deals with the annual varieties. Go to this page for information on perennial Phlox.

Phlox drummondii
Phlox drummondii - Annual Phlox by Udo Schröter; creative commons.

Anual Phlox are small plants that bloom from late spring to summer, they flower in mass. The flowers may be white, red, orange, pink, or purple.

Some common names for Annual Phlox varieties include Texas Pride, Phlox Blue Paradise, Bright eyes, Clouds of perfume, Purple, Orange perfection, Creeping, Dwarf, and Drummond Phlox.

Latin names include phlox maculata, phlox paniculata, phlox drummondii, and phlox carolina.

Commonly Grown Annual Phlox Species Photographs and Plant Identification

Phlox drummondii

Phlox drummondii
Phlox drummondii (Annual Phlox plant), photograph by Malcolm Manners; CC.

Commonly Grown Phlox Hybrids Photographs and Plant Identification

Phlox drummondii Twinkle Star

Phlox drummondii Twinkle Star
Phlox drummondii Twinkle Star (Annual Phlox ‘’Twinkle Star’ Cultivar), photograph by 阿橋 HQ; CC.

Phlox drummondii - Red Colored Annual Phloz

Phlox drummondii Red flower
Phlox drummondii Red Color (CommName), picture by Earl McGehee; CC.

Annual Phlox Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Phlox: Northern; Mountain; Largeleaf; Woodland; Meadow; Swordleaf; Moss; Pointed; Garden; Marsh; Drummond.
Family: Polemoniaceae.
Life Cycle: Half hardy annual, hardy annual. (go to this page for Hardy perennial).
Height: 6 to 12 inches (15 to 30 cm).
Native: Americas. East Asia.
Growing Region: Annuals: zones 2 to 10.

Flowers: Spring, summer and/or autumn.
Flower Details: Violet, pink, blue, red, white, cream. Fragrant. Massed. Flat. Star shaped. Tubular.
Foliage: Oval.

Sow Outside:
Annuals: Cover seed. Before the last frost. In warm areas can also be sown at the end of summer. Spacing 4 to 20 inches (20 to 50 cm).
Sow Inside:
Annuals: Use peat pots. Germination time: one to three weeks. Temperature 60°F (16°C). Seven or eight weeks in advance. Transplant outdoors a few weeks before the last frost.

Requirements: Full sunlight or light shade. Good drainage. Soil pH 6.5 to 7. Rich soil. Organic soil. Moist soil. Regular watering. Summer feed. Pinch tips. Deadhead.

How to Grow Annual Phlox Plants in the Garden

If growing phlox outdoors from seeds, then sow at the start of spring (before the last frost). If you live in a warm area then you can start them in the autumn.

The phlox seeds should be lightly covered once sown.

Phlox can be located in either a sunny or partially shaded part of the garden.

They like to grow in a moist soil. Ideallym this should be rich and of pH 6.5 to 7.

If starting Phlox seedlings indoors, then do so about 7 or 8 weeks in advance. The phlox seeds should take one to three weeks to germinate in the dark at 12 to 18 degrees Centigrade (54 to 65°F).

Transplant Annual phlox plant seedlings into the garden with a spacing of 10 cm (4 inches - small) to 45 cm (18 inches - spreading varieties) apart.

Annual Phlox Care

Once the young phlox plants get a footing, pinch them back to encourage branching and bushiness.

They like to grow in moist soil, so regularly water them. The blooming period can be prolonged by deadheading flowers.

Common Questions

How many members does the Annual Phlox genus contain?

The annual Phlox, specifically referred to as Phlox drummondii, is one species within the larger Phlox genus, which contains 67 species.

Do Annual Phlox members make a good garden or landscaping plant?

Yes, the Annual Phlox or Phlox drummondii is an excellent garden plant. With its colourful and abundant flowers, it brings a burst of life to borders, beds, and containers.

Which Annual Phlox species are most frequently grown by gardeners?

Phlox drummondii, it is available in a variety of colours from vibrant reds and pinks to cool blues and purples.

Are Annual Phlox plants fragrant?

Yes, many Phlox drummondii cultivars are fragrant, releasing a sweet aroma, especially in the evening or under the warmth of the sun.

What is the perfect location to grow Annual Phlox?

Annual Phlox thrives in a sunny location with well-drained soil. It's also a good choice for areas with hot, dry conditions.

Is Annual Phlox invasive in the USA, if so in which states?

Currently, Phlox drummondii is not considered invasive in the USA. It's a native plant to Texas and is commonly grown in gardens nationwide.

How do I remove Annual Phlox plants from my garden?

To remove Phlox drummondii, simply pull the plants up from the base. As an annual, it completes its life cycle in one year and won't regrow.


Phlox drummondii, known as annual phlox or Drummond's phlox, is a species within the Phlox genus native to Texas. Noted for its stunning star-shaped, variously colored flowers, it adds vibrant hues to any garden.

Annual phlox prefers a sunny location and moist, well-drained soil. It blooms from early summer through autumn, offering a long display. Notable species include Phlox drummondii '21st Century Series' and Phlox drummondii 'Tapestry Mix' for their colorful arrays.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Annual Phlox plants. You may also enjoy the following Gardener's HQ growing guides: How to grow Cathedral bells, Dioscorea, American smoketree, and Gilia plants.