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10 Perennials for the Northeast


9
Garden Phlox
A cluster of Phlox paniculata livens up any garden.
A cluster of Phlox paniculata livens up any garden.
©iStockphoto.com/PapaBear

There are a lot of reasons that garden phlox (Phlox paniculata) is a great addition to any Northeastern flower garden. Much like many other plants listed here, garden phlox's strong stems are resistant to wind and the quick onset of winter. It's not picky about the soil it's planted in. And finally, it comes in an amazing number of variations -- dozens of combinations of plant size, bloom time and flower color [source: Dayton Nursery].

Although garden phlox comes in several varieties, they do share a few characteristics. As mentioned, all have a sturdy foundation of strong stems. On the top of these stems are clusters of flowers, typically five-petaled, coming out of a narrow tube. The plant's range of colors is staggering. You can find pure white to deep purple, bright bold red to light pink with white centers. There are even varieties that offer clusters of different colors from stem to stem.

Ideally, garden phlox should be planted in full sun in relatively moist, well-drained, sandy soil that's either neutral or slightly alkaline. Pruning through mid-summer will allow more stems to grow and delay blooming. Other than the usual problems with insects and other pests, the only issue that garden phlox is susceptible to is mildew. To prevent the onset of powdery mildew, simply spray the plant with sulfur every few weeks [source: Dayton Nursery].

Even in the trying conditions of the Northeast, planting the super low-maintenance garden phlox is one of the easiest ways to add color and character to a garden.

Head over to the next page for yet another successful perennial.