Tag Archives: Phlox David

What the phlox do I do with my phlox’n phlox?

I’m this close (imagine my hands really close together) to trashing my Phlox paniculata ‘David’. Yeah the blooms are nice and all:

And if you get close enough to the screen you can pick up on that phenomenal fragrance:

And if you keep up with the deadheading, they rebloom like mad in a short period of time:

But the truth is, most of the time they look like this:

Or this:

I’ve read all there is to read about the root cause (pun intended) of the issues and to date, I haven’t been able to solve the “riddle”:

  • It isn’t powdery mildew as is so common with Garden Phlox and ‘David’ is one of the most resistant cultivars.
  • Each Fall, I cut them down to the ground and remove the infected leaves.
  • I have them all spaced properly to allow for proper air circulation. 
  • They are in full sun.
  • I never water overhead so the leaves remain dry and aren’t susceptible to disease.      

It appears that the yellowing, browning and eventual death of the leaves occurs when the temps are high (over 90) and humid and wet. That describes our recent conditions perfectly. But, we had virtually no rain last year and the same thing occurred. Riddle answer still outstanding.

This year I made sure to cover the “legs” of the phlox so the blooms could be enjoyed from afar with all the ugliness shielded. Well, they still look bad and I’m coming to the conclusion that they just don’t work for me. Some times you just have to cut your losses and move on. I’m about there now.

John