Moss Pink

By: C. Colston Burrell
Moss pink is a flowering ground cover that will grow in almost any soil.

This native of North America is one of the most striking flowering plants of spring, forming a dense evergreen carpet entirely covered in blooms.

Description of moss pink: Moss pink is a ground-hugging plant up to 6 inches in height with evergreen, needlelike leaves on creeping woody stems. The star-shaped flowers are 3/4 inch across and come in shades of white, pink, deep pink, red, purple, or blue. They appear from midspring to early summer, depending on the local climate. Ease of care: Easy.


Growing moss pink: Grow in full sun to partial shade in a well-drained, even sandy, soil. Do not over-fertilize. After blooming has ceased, prune harshly (to 1 to 2 inches) to stimulate new growth.

Propagating moss pink: By division, layering, or cuttings.

Uses for moss pink: It's the perfect ground cover plant for the rock garden; it is spectacular in bloom and makes an attractive green carpet otherwise.

Moss pink related species: There are several other low-growing phloxes, most of which are best suited to semishady rock gardens. Trailing phlox (Phlox nivalis) is so similar to moss pink that, in culture, the two are usually sold as P. subulata. The two can be distinguished only by obscure differences in flower structure. Creeping phlox (Phlox stolonifera) has rounded leaves and blue to lavender flowers in dense clusters. It reaches a height of 6 to 12 inches. Wild sweet William (P. divaricata) grows up to 18 inches and also bears blue to lavender flowers.

Scientific name of moss pink: Phlox subulata


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