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Phlox ordinary (Phlox) is a perennial herb belonging to the Sinyukhov family (Polemoniaceae). In Russia, there is only one species of these wild plants - Siberian phlox. It grows in mountainous areas, spreading along gorges and mountain steeps. Its main habitat is North America. There are 85 species of phlox, of which about 40 species have been domesticated. The seeds of a wild plant came to Europe in the 18th century. At the same time, their mass domestication began. The only annual phlox species that we will talk about today is the Drummond phlox, which you see in the photo.
Starting from the middle of the 18th century, Drummond's phlox became popular not only in America, but also in European countries, this became possible thanks to the traveler from England Henry Drummond, who, while in the American state of Texas, discovered an unusual flower and sent its seeds to his English relatives who adore extraordinary plants. Experiments and experiments with flowers were further developed. As a result, several varieties of annual phlox were obtained, different in color and shape of flowers.
The word phlox is translated from Greek as "flame", if you combine these two words, you get - the flame of Drummond.
Many years have passed since the discovery of the wild form of the Drummond phlox. During this time, breeders engaged in the cultivation of plants have achieved significant results in the development of new varieties. About two dozen names of Drummond's annual phloxes are already decorating gardens and parks, flower beds and alleys. Amateur flower growers and garden landscape designers plant them in their own unique compositions.
The structure of such plants has indicators common to all varieties:
- Root - forms many branched appendages, strong, superficial.
- Stems are erect, sticky and branched, covered with small sparse hairs.
- The leaves are alternate, their shape is elongated-oval or lanceolate, have sharp ends, the upper leaves are adjacent to the stem.
- The brushes are wide and dense, the perianth has a 5-lobe limb, turning into a tapering tube.
- The flowers of Drummond phlox are bright, small in size, only up to 4 cm in diameter, have a monochrome color of different colors, or a combination of 2-3 shades.
- The fruit is a small oval capsule.
Drummond phlox bloom lasts a long time, starting in May, and until the onset of a serious cold snap in October. The varietal features of phlox may differ slightly in the shape of the leaves, the size, structure and color of the petals, the timing of the beginning and continuation of flowering.
Variety of phlox Drummond "Caramel": strongly branching bush, reaches a height of 40-60 cm, Flowers are painted in caramel, golden color, the middle of the flowers is raspberry-cherry, the petals are trapezoidal, the edges are rounded, smooth.
Variety of phlox Drummond "Chanel": height no more than 30 cm, double flowers, medium-sized (up to 3 cm), blooms densely, multi-layered petals, do not fade in the bright sun, the color is almost monochrome in pink tones.
Drummond Phlox Variety "Twinkling Star": one of the representatives of the star-shaped varieties, of which there are more than a dozen species in terms of the variety of petal colors, the shape of the flower clearly resembles a stylized sparkling star, the tricolor petals are divided into many pointed lobes, some of which are thin and elongated. The size of the flower is about 2-3 cm, but they attract attention with their abundance and unusual appearance.
Growing from seeds
All Drummond phloxes reproduce only by seeds, as this is an annual crop. They can be sown directly into the soil if there is no need to accelerate the onset of flowering. If desired, this process is significantly reduced, but first, seedlings are grown from seeds.
They begin to sow seeds in April, on which days the lunar calendar can tell you to do this, choose the days favorable for planting flowers:
- prepared soil for flowers is poured into sterile containers for seedlings, not reaching the upper edge by 2 cm;
- moisten the soil with warm water, adding (if desired) a little growth stimulant;
- phlox seeds are sown in a certain order or sprinkled randomly, this is not so important;
- you do not need to press in the seeds, just pour the same substrate on top with a layer of 1-1.5 cm thick;
- it is better to water through a strainer or from a watering can with small holes, so that the seeds do not budge and do not bunch together;
- after watering, you need to close the container with plastic wrap, preferably black, so that the balance of development of the root and apical parts of the sprout is not disturbed under the influence of light;
- daily, the film is removed for a few minutes to air the plantings; when the substrate dries, the soil must be moistened;
- after a week or a little more, when the cotyledon leaves appear, the film is removed completely, the container can now be installed closer to the light;
- when 2-3 main leaves grow, phlox sprouts dive and plant each plant in separate pots;
- after transplanting, some time must pass for the phlox seedlings to take root in a new place, if the seedling has successfully passed this stage, reward it by feeding it with nitrogen fertilizers to accelerate growth;
- in the future, the usual care of the seedlings is carried out: watering, removing wilted leaves, feeding;
- to form a more lush and compact plant, after regrowth of the 6th leaf, pinching the top is done;
- hardening of phlox seedlings is carried out a month before planting seedlings in the ground, taking them out into the open air for 1-2 hours a day, each time increasing the initial duration;
- ready-made phlox seedlings can be planted in the ground in May, when the weather is quite warm.
Sowing in the ground
Seedlings are planted in open flower beds or greenhouses in April or May, it depends on the climatic conditions of the region. If these are southern regions, and you are in no hurry to get flowers, then Drummond phlox seeds are sown directly into the ground at the same time. Phlox bloom will start a month later, but you will be freed from the process of growing seedlings. In this case, we recommend observing the following conditions:
- If you sowed the seeds in the simplest way - scattering them over the flowerbed, then when friendly shoots appear, thin out the plantings. Sprouts that are close to each other will further greatly interfere with the development and flowering of neighboring seedlings. Remove the weakest plants carefully, holding the strong sprout near the root.
- If you decide to grow tall Drummond phloxes (up to 60 cm) and their dwarf varieties (up to 20 cm) in one flower bed, do it in such a way that later the tall ones do not shade the stunted neighbors.
- Sowing tall phloxes should be done a month earlier so that they bloom at the same time as dwarf plants.
- In the open ground, according to the reviews of experienced florists, it is possible to sow Drummond phlox seeds before winter. They tolerate wintering well, seedlings are friendly and early in spring. In this case, a special tapestry seed mixture is very suitable. It contains phlox of the most iridescent colors. In the photo below you see a flower bed with such grown-up flowers.
We offer you to watch the video, which is posted at the end of the page, it shows how to sow Drummond phlox seeds correctly, here you will receive practical experience and some advice from an experienced florist.
Phloxes are not picky about care, they will not cause any special problems for gardeners, you should only follow the usual measures for caring for garden plantings:
- timely watering if the soil under the flowers is dry;
- weed control, constant removal of wilted inflorescences, so that the formation of new ovaries is not inhibited;
- loosening the soil for better air flow to the roots of the plant;
- top dressing combined with watering - twice a month;
- disease prevention, spraying plantings with chemicals from pests, if they are in large quantities.
Florists and amateur gardeners perform such work all the time, not considering it a burdensome problem.
Diseases and pests
Conscientious manufacturers of seed material, before packing the seeds into packages, treat them with antifungal agents. If you do not trust them, you can protect the seedlings on your own by treating the seeds before sowing in a solution of potassium permanganate, soaking them for 30 minutes. The solution should not be highly concentrated.
It will be more difficult to get rid of pests that are hiding in the ground by attacking phlox before or during flowering. These include:
- different types of filamentous microscopic worms: if plants affected by the worm are found, they should be immediately removed from the flower bed, and the earth should be treated with chemicals;
- slugs and caterpillars that eat the leaves and flowers of phlox: you need to remove visible pests by hand, sprinkle the flowerbed with wood ash, tobacco chips or lime.
Advice! Preventive work is best done a few days before planting seeds or phlox seedlings in the ground. For this, special tools are used that are freely available. Then follow the instructions on the packages.
Use in design
Drummond's bright and multi-colored phlox can be used in interior and exterior design. Citizens decorate their apartments, balconies and loggias with them. The owners of country houses and estates use them in landscape design when decorating the facades of houses, paths, alpine slides. Summer residents in their small plots also allocate space for them in flower beds. The villagers plant them in the front gardens.
Nowhere and never will this flower interfere, will not upset with its appearance, but will only delight others with its beauty, abundant flowering, rainbow colors and divine aroma.
If you have a free piece of land, even in the front garden under the balcony, we recommend planting phlox there, you will not regret it. The scent of these amazing flowers will wake you up in the morning, cheer you up and add pep.