News & Events

The Phlox Trials…

New Varieties of Phlox with Allium ‘Millenium’ and Echinacea ‘Milkshake’

…New Selections for Cutting

It’s easy to be seduced by catalog images. I was when I saw some of the recent Phlox paniculata being bred in Holland.  The inflorescence were distinct from our more familiar forms: the florets were smaller, slightly curled and edged in contrasting colors.

Last year I planted Phlox paniculata ‘Sherbert Blend’. I wasn’t sure what to make of it at first. The panicles were small, and the florets appeared pale pink with a faint cream edge in the garden, although the images in the catalog promised me a warmer, pink shade. I shrugged the color discrepancy off, thinking this may be due to weather or soil conditions, or maybe the plants would show their true colors with maturity. I have since discovered that this Phlox’s color range changes with the time of day, and is true especially in early morning light.

This year I tried 2 other selections: Phlox paniculata ‘Jade’, with lovely white florets rimmed in celadon green, and Phlox paniculata ‘Aureole’ or ‘Neon Aureole’ which has tight clusters of bright fuchsia florets, edged in white and green. Our supplier’s catalog described plants as being only 16-20″ tall, but already I’m observing stems in the 24-30″ range. So far, mildew has not been a problem, and plants have set side shoots for rebloom quickly, once the first main stems have been cut. All emit a slight, old fashioned, sweet fragrance.

Grow these Phlox in full sun, in average garden soil and provide good air circulation. Blooming begins in July and carries on into August. Although these new Phlox make fine border plants, they have are more subtle than the big panicled forms with huge florets. I’m considering moving my plants into a new bed I’m creating just for cutting, since I know the floral display in the garden will be sacrificed for many more summer bouquets. Here are some closeup portraits of each Phlox used in the pictured bouquet:

Phlox paniculata ‘Sherbert Blend’

Phlox paniculata ‘Jade’

Phlox paniculata ‘Aureole’


  1. These are just weird enough to make me totally wanty. (I’d say I haven’t been a fan of phlox since “mildew resistant” ‘David’ failed the test in the North Garden but every year I fall in love all over again with weirdo ‘Natural Feelings’.) … I’d take ‘Jade’ over ‘David’ any day even if it did get a little moldy…

    • Kris,
      We have an old variety ‘Hesperia’ which no one ever bought, but has tight clusters of small lilac florets. Maybe it’s time has come too. None of our Phlox have mildew yet. And now I will go knock on wood.



  1. » Blog Archive » How we beat the heat - [...] some of the newer additions to the garden such as Phlox paniculata ‘Sherbet Blend’ (Kathy’s post on Garden Foreplay…

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