Drummond Phlox Care Tricks: How to Grow a Luxurious Flower from a Seed

  • Type: flowering
  • Flowering Period: June, July, August, September, October
  • Height: 10-50cm
  • Color: White, Pink, Red, Purple, Cyan, Blue
  • Annual
  • Winters
  • Sun loving
  • Drought resistant

Experienced gardeners rarely arrange compositions only from perennials, since their decorativeness cannot last all season. Combined flower beds look much more impressive, in which annual and perennial plants with different flowering periods are adjacent. This flower bed is beautiful all season until the frost, especially if it has annuals that bloom for 3 months or more. One of such spectacular plants is Drummond phlox. If you like the place, it forms a stunted lush bush covered with flowers so that leaves are not visible. Consider the full cycle of work that a plant requires: growing from seeds, planting and care rules.

Decorative and variety variety

Phlox drummondii was brought to Europe from Texas. Phlox - translated as “flame”, drummondii - from the name of the English traveler Henry Drummond, who first sent the seeds of this plant from the USA to England and thus opened a new flower for Europeans.

Most phloxes are perennials. But, unlike Drummond, they are tall, so it is difficult to use perennials in borders, discounts or rock gardens. But their one-year “brother” does not grow more than half a meter, and the bulk of the varieties is about 30 cm. The diameter of the flower is 2 cm, but it does not seem small, since the flowers are collected in corymbose or umbrella-shaped inflorescences, giving a beautiful shape to the bush. The plant blooms for a long time, from June to late autumn.

The shape of the flowers of the annual phlox drummond is much more spectacular and diverse than the panicled perennial “brothers”, for which gardeners love it

Varieties vary in the shape of the flower, each petal and the color of the plant. The most popular of them:

  • “Buttons” is a series of two-color phloxes, the flowers of which have an “eye” in the middle. Low-growing (up to 20 cm in height), drought tolerant.
  • Varieties "Milky Way" and "Star Lace" are appreciated for the unique shape of the flower, similar to an asterisk.
  • “Chanel” and “Strawberry with cream” are distinguished by terry lush flowers.
  • Tetra Riesen and Grandiflora are rare tetraploid varieties with large, up to 4 cm in diameter, flowers that are resistant to cold.

The color scheme of the plant is huge: from pure white tones to blue-lilac. The most common salmon and pastel varieties.

The Tetra Riesen variety has a tetraploid set of chromosomes (doubled), due to which the plant has a large flower shape and high survival under any conditions

The right conditions for growing Phlox drummond

To flowering lasted as long as possible and was plentiful, he needs to choose the right place in the garden. Annuals tolerate heat and drought, so it can be planted in open areas where there is no shade. Successfully the plant withstands the first frosts. Frost spoils only the flower petals, and the rest of the aerial part remains green. With an increase in air temperature, flowering will continue until stable low night temperatures occur.

But there are two factors that harm the development of phlox drummond. These are heavy and too light sandy soils. The first accumulate a lot of moisture, which is why the root system of the annual is affected by all kinds of rot. If the earth is too light, unable to retain moisture, then in the hot summer it overheats, which also negatively affects the roots of the plant. Therefore, when preparing the flower garden, it is necessary to adjust the soil composition by adding the appropriate components (peat, humus, humus, etc.).

A plant is able to bloom continuously from the beginning of June to October, if it is fed in time and flowers are removed after they have withered

The right landing technology

Phlox can be planted in two ways: seeds in the ground or seedlings grown on the windowsill. The first option saves the summer resident from unnecessary trouble in caring for seedlings, but growing seedlings at home speeds up flowering. Already in June, young plants begin to bloom.

Features of planting seeds

If you do not have the opportunity or time to grow a plant on the windowsill, sow it with seeds directly into the ground.

The first of May is the best time for sowing. Make shallow grooves, spill them and wait for the moisture to absorb. Seeds are laid out in 2-3 pieces at one point, leaving a distance of 15 cm between plantings. If all 3 seeds sprout in the nest, the weak ones are nipped off.

Until the moment of entry (and this lasts about two weeks), plantings must be covered with lutrasil or spanbond to keep moisture in the soil. As soon as the sprouts appeared, the soil is loosened, the extra plantlets are removed and liquid nitrogen supplementation is applied. After a week, nitrogen supplementation is repeated.

When flower buds begin to form, complex fertilizers are applied (2-3 times per season). The first flowers at Drummond will appear in July.

As soon as flower buds begin to form in the center of the phlox, feed the plant with a complex of fertilizers to add strength to the lush flowering

In addition to spring sowing, you can plant a flower in the winter, as its seeds are characterized by good frost resistance. But there is one caveat - with prolonged thaws, the seeds can start to grow in advance, and then will be spoiled by the returning frosts. To prevent this from happening, autumn sowing is carried out only after the last leaf fell from a cherry tree (this is a popular sign!). If plus temperatures inadvertently return, the flower bed is covered with non-woven material so that it does not thaw under the sun. As soon as the weather becomes cold again, the shelter is removed.

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If the winter is warm in your area, it is better to sow phlox in late December - January. To do this, in the fall in the utility room leave half a bucket of chernozem. In December, heavy snowfalls are expected to completely hide under the snow. They trample the rows thoroughly, in which the plants will be sown, and poke 3-4 seeds in one nest.

Sprinkle the seeds with dry chernozem, and a layer of snow (at least 20 cm) is sprayed on top with a shovel. Under such a snow blanket, the flowers doze off until spring and begin to awaken around April.

When seeds are planted directly in the ground, the first phlox flowers will bloom by the end of May, and in cold areas after June 10

Growing seedlings

To enjoy the flowering bushes at the end of May - you have to tinker with seedlings:

  • Seeds are planted in boxes in March (in warm areas - at the beginning of the month, in cold - after the 20th). Do not press seeds into the ground, but sprinkle with soil. So they sprout faster.
  • The container is covered with a film to preserve moisture, but is ventilated daily.
  • After the appearance of sprouts (on days 7-8), the film is removed, the boxes are placed in a well-lit place and make sure that the soil does not dry out.
  • When 2 real leaflets appear - phlox dive into separate pots. Even if the plants have sprouted weakly, dive them, since the root system will then be easier to take root in the ground.
  • As soon as the plantlet takes root - it is fed with nitrogen. Water the seedlings without fanaticism, sparingly, so that there are no conditions for the development of the black leg and root rot.
  • In order for the plant to form a compact and lush bush, you need to pinch the top. This is done after 6 leaflets have grown in seedlings.
  • If you plant several varieties and want them to bloom at the same time, you need to plant higher species (40-50 cm) a week earlier than undersized (up to 30 cm). So you even out the flowering time.
  • In April, they conduct hardening of plants, exposing pots on the street. First, an hour or two and gradually increasing the time.
  • The grown plants are planted in the ground in May, after the end of the last frost. As a rule, dwarf varieties already manage to form buds at this time.

Flowering when planting seedlings begins at the end of May. If you remove wilted inflorescences in time and carry out regular complex dressings, there will be no breaks between flowering waves. For good ventilation of the roots, loosening is carried out at least 1 time per week.

Do not expose the newly-emerged plantlets on the windowsill, otherwise the bright sun can burn the young leaves and slow down development

The appearance of two true leaves is a signal that phlox should be peaked in separate seedling pots filled with nutrient soil

Feed with nitrogen fertilizers only after the plant has taken root in the ground and releases a few new leaves

How to get your own seeds?

If you have mastered the rules of planting and caring for plants bought in stores, you can stock up on your own seeds in the fall.

What plants are suitable for propagation?

First, notice in some way during flowering each variety. You can stick on the stem self-adhesive price tags that are sold in commercials by writing on each number of the variety (and in a separate notebook indicating which variety goes under which number). Some gardeners knit ribbons or threads of different colors on stems.

It’s good if at the time of planting seed planting you pay attention to the packaging information. Plants marked F1 are not suitable for future seed collection, as they are hybrids. Of these, flowers will never grow similar to the variety from which you collected them. But as an experiment, you can plant seeds collected from hybrids somewhere in an inconspicuous place on the site. It happens that flowers grow with an unusual color or shape of the petals, which do not retain the characteristics of the variety, but in themselves are quite spectacular.

Obtaining high-quality seed material at home from F1 hybrids or tetraploid varieties is almost impossible, since the seeds do not retain the signs of a “parent”

Plant bags without F1 marking separately, so that it is from these plants then to collect seeds. During flowering, sweep the most lush and well-blooming phlox. They will make good seed material.

Seed Drying Rules

Plant seeds ripen almost all at the same time, so after shedding the petals, you can cut the plant under the root and put it to ripen in a warm room (23-25 ​​degrees) without direct sunlight.

To collect seeds, it is better to choose a dry sunny day. Cutting is done after dinner, so that the morning dew is completely dry on the petals.

Prepared flowers are laid out on newspaper sheets, each variety separately, and left to dry. As a rule, green mass dries completely in 3 weeks. In order for the drying to be uniform, it is necessary to mix the flowers periodically. The signal that the phlox is completely dry is a dry stem that breaks easily in the hands.

Then they do this:

  • The dried inflorescences are carefully rubbed in their hands over a clean newspaper so that seed boxes spill out. Annuals have noticeable seeds, so you’ll see if they all fell out or not. You can immerse the plants in a linen bag and trample on your feet.
  • All large debris is removed by hand. A dry mass of leaves, seeds and dust should remain mixed on the newspaper.
  • To separate the seeds from this mass, sieves with cells of different fractions are used. First, with large ones to filter out large debris, and then with small ones to remove dust. As a result, the seed will remain on the table mixed with garbage of the same fraction.
  • You can remove unnecessary by flowing seeds. To do this, on a windy day, spread a wide sheet on the grass and slowly pour seeds onto it from a bowl. Keep the container about a meter from the ground. Seeds fall on the sheet, and light trash will blow away in the wind. At home, this procedure can be carried out using a hair dryer.

After all the above steps, the peeled seeds are scattered on paper or cloth bags, signing where which grade is, and hidden in a dry, dark place for storage.

Tips and tricks from experienced summer residents

Experienced gardeners know that flowering can be extended for almost a month, if you use the following tricks:

  • In the event of heat, mulch the flower bed with sawdust or bark to reduce the temperature in the soil.
  • Loosen the soil carefully and without deepening, since the root system of the phlox is superficial and easily damaged.
  • These plants do not like drafts, so on the north side of the flower bed should be protected by coniferous or tall perennials.
  • Flowers respond perfectly to yeast top dressing. If bread is moldy in the house, soak it in water (a loaf per bucket, 100 grams per liter) and let stand for a day. Feed the plants with a ready-made solution. Place the rest of the bread in the ground.

Drummond phlox is not inferior to such recognized beauties-annuals as petunias, salvia, aster in brightness of color and original flower shape. Just one bag of seeds will transform a flower bed beyond recognition!

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