Container Grown Phlox Plants – How To Grow Creeping Phlox In Pots

By: Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer
Image by raksyBH

Can creeping phlox be planted in containers? It certainly can. In fact, keeping creeping phlox (Phlox subulata) in a container is a great way to rein in its vigorous spreading tendencies. This fast-growing plant will soon fill a container or hanging basket with purple, pink, or white flowers cascading over the rim.

Potted creeping phlox is beautiful and, once planted, requires minimal care. It may also be known as moss pink, moss phlox, or mountain phlox. Hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees love the nectar-rich blooms. Read on to learn how to grow creeping phlox in a container.

Growing Creeping Phlox in Pots

Start creeping phlox seeds indoors about six weeks before the last frost in your area. If you prefer, you can start with small plants from a local greenhouse or nursery.

Transplant into a container filled with good quality commercial potting mix after you’re sure any danger of frost has passed. Be sure the container has at least one drainage hole in the bottom. Allow at least 6 inches (15 cm.) between each plant so the creeping phlox has room to sprawl.  

Add a small amount of all-purpose fertilizer if the potting mix doesn’t have fertilizer pre-added.

Caring for Container Grown Phlox

Water potted creeping phlox well immediately after planting. Thereafter, water regularly but allow the soil to dry slightly between each watering. In a container, creeping phlox may rot in soggy soil.

Feed container grown phlox every other week using a general purpose, water-soluble fertilizer mixed to half strength.

Cut the plant back by one-third to one-half after blooming to create a neater plant and encourage a second flush of blooms. Cut long runners back to about half their length to create a bushier, denser growth.

Creeping phlox tends to be pest resistant, although it can sometimes be bothered by spider mites. The tiny pests are easy to control with insecticidal soap spray.

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