Creeping phlox isn’t much to write home about until it blooms. That is when the plant really shines. These spring bloomers come in pink, white, lavender, and even red. It has a ground hugging habit and stems become woody as this perennial ages. Propagation of this plant is through division, stem cuttings, or rooted stems. Creeping phlox cuttings root after a few months, readily providing new plants almost effortlessly. Timing is everything when taking creeping phlox cuttings. Learn how to take cuttings from creeping phlox and when to do it for maximum success.
When to Take Cuttings from Creeping Phlox
If you are a lover of this plant, it’s easy to propagate creeping phlox from cuttings. This is a nearly foolproof way to make more plants and add different colors to your collection for free. Creeping phlox sends out runners, rooting stems that are also a quick way to propagate the plant.
Creeping phlox cuttings should be taken in either summer or fall, but seem to root best if planted in autumn. Some gardeners swear by taking them early in the season when they are actively growing, but the plants persist well into the cold season and rooted nodes will still sufficiently establish by the time full winter arrives.
Cuttings of creeping phlox may be rooted stems which will more quickly establish or terminal end cuttings. The latter will need more time to send out roots but will do so provided they are cut near a growth node.
How to Grow Creeping Phlox from Cuttings
Either remove a 6 inch (15 cm.) section of a rooted stem or take the same amount from a lateral shoot near the tip. Make your cut ½ inch (1 cm.) below a leaf. Use sharp, clean cutting tools to prevent disease from spreading and injury to the plant.
Each cutting must have at least one leaf and be free of flowers. Cuttings of creeping phlox do not require a pre-treatment of rooting hormone before planting, but it may speed up the process. If you choose to do so, dip the cut end into the hormone and shake the excess off. You are now ready to plant.
In order to successfully propagate creeping phlox from cuttings, you need to observe the appropriate planting and care instructions. Choose a fast draining growing medium such as a combination of peat, coarse sand, and perlite.
Pull the leaves off the bottom 1/3 of the cutting. Plant the cut end 4 inches (10 cm.) into the soil after you treat with the hormone, if you wish. Keep the planting medium moderately moist and place the container in bright but indirect light.
You may also choose to place a plastic bag over the container to conserve moisture. Remove it once a day to prevent fungal build up in soil. In four to six weeks the plant should be rooted and ready for transplant.