Gardening Articles: Flowers :: Perennials

Wild Blue Phlox (page 3 of 3)

by Dorothy J. Pellett

Garden Companions for Wild Blue Phlox

Woodland garden planners prize P. divaricata. For a natural look, grow it on wooded slopes, in shady rock gardens, in front of shrubs in transition areas between garden and woodland, or among shaded ferns. Integrate its light violet-blue flowers with an assortment of spring bulbs such as gold daffodils (Narcissus), or early-bloomin perennials such as goldenstar or green-and-gold (Chrysogonum virginianum).

Or pair it with pastel tints of foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia). This northeastern native has runners that will root and form a ground cover; a quick-growing variety is T. 'Slick Rock', with smaller leaves and light pink flowers. Others do not form runners, but do supply abundant foliage. Because wild blue phlox loses some foliage in midsummer, other shade-loving plants can fill in the gaps in greenery. T. 'Pink Bouquet' yields a true bouquet of rich light pink blossoms with darker-hued buds. Companion plants with attractive foliage in all seasons go well with this phlox. One of my favorites is a cross between coral bells (Heuchera) and foamflower: Heucherella, 'Pink Frost', has pink and white blooms.

Quick Facts about Wild Blue Phlox

  • A perennial that thrives in partial shade
  • Northern woodland native; some strains hardy to -40°F.
  • preads easily by seed, but also by runners
  • Blooms in spring after early bulbs
  • Softly fragrant, but not heady, scent

Charlotte, Vermont-based Dorothy J. Pellett is the proprietor of Rock Crest Gardens and a garden writer.

Photo courtesy Ohio Department of Natural Resources

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