If you’re interested to know how to propagate creeping phlox, you can choose from cuttings or division. Knowing how to propagate creeping phlox is undoubtedly a valuable skill because this plant is versatile, whether as a ground cover or as an addition to walls, rock gardens, and containers in your beautiful UK location. More so, creeping phlox can grow in hardiness zones 3 to 9, so you are not limited to the locations that you can propagate this plant.
However, it’s worth noting that propagating creeping phlox, or any plant in general, will always be more comfortable in the greenhouse. Starting plants indoors will ensure that the young plants establish themselves without the challenges from the harsh and fluctuating climate outdoors. Once the creeping phlox plants are vigorous enough to withstand the outdoor challenges, you can transplant them, and you should face no problems since this plant is animal and drought tolerant.
How To Propagate Creeping Phlox Beginner’s Guide
Option #1. Cuttings
Rooting creeping phlox from cuttings is an easy way to create more clones of your favourite creeping phlox plant. Remember that propagating from cuttings includes the use of root cuttings, softwood cuttings, and hardwood cuttings. And the great thing about creeping phlox is that you can use root cuttings and stem cuttings.
The recommended time to take root cuttings is early in the autumn or winter. On the other hand, late summer or autumn is ideal for gathering stem cuttings. The advantage of those growing creeping phlox in the polytunnel is that you can guarantee healthy parent plants to withstand the process.
With propagation methods from cuttings and division, the parent plant must be healthy. Therefore, take a healthy section around four inches long below a leaf. The plant and the cutting itself should have no symptoms of diseases and defects.
Preparation and rooting
More so, the stem should have at least one leaf but no flowers. Once you have the stem, you can prepare it as you would with other plant cutting. Dip the end in rooting hormone powder to encourage root development before planting it in a moist and well-draining medium.
You can create your mix using coarse sand, peat, and perlite and bury the cutting at a depth where the leaves are above the soil to prevent rot. Afterwards, maintain soil moisture and protect the cutting from extreme conditions. You can keep the cutting in the polytunnel or anywhere that it won’t be bothered.
Option #2. Division
The other method of propagating creeping phlox is by division. The division is an excellent technique that also works for maintenance, where you’ll also get new plants. Over time, your creeping phlox can spread too far, so you’ll eventually need to divide it, and the ideal time to do so is early in spring after it finished blooming.
The process itself is pretty simple compared to other plants with deeper roots. You’ll spread the phlox apart and cut through the roots. There is almost a dividing line that you can use as a guide when severing the roots from the main plant.
Loosen the roots and soil to make the lifting more comfortable, and depending on how big your division is, you can create more sections for replanting. Once you have the divisions, you can replant them on top of loosened soil. Cover the exposed roots and maintain moisture.
Some other considerations that you must remember are that you want to ensure that the divisions are free from any soil. Gentleness in handling the roots is crucial because it is easy to bend and break them. Also, the new holes for these sections should be more significant than their roots to anticipate growth.
Caring For Creeping Phlox
Propagating and starting creeping phlox in the polytunnel should create vigorous plants for transplanting outdoors later on. However, don’t forget to acclimatise these indoor plants to prevent transplant shock. Once they can handle the fluctuations out, select an area in your UK garden that receives full sun and has fertile and well-draining soil.
For feeding and watering, you can use a slow-release fertiliser to encourage blooming on your creeping phlox. Do so in late winter or early spring, and water weekly in the summer. Be careful not to overwater your plants since creeping phlox tolerates drought anyway.
Creeping phlox is one of the best plants that you can use as ground cover and more. Learning how to propagate creeping phlox can help you take full advantage of this plant and create more of them for your UK garden or commercial use. The two best ways to do so is by using cuttings and division.
The beauty of creeping phlox is that you can use either root cuttings or stem cuttings. For the latter, you can start collecting healthy stems from your parent plants in late summer or autumn. Much like when planting other cuttings, you can dip the creeping phlox section’s end in rooting hormone to encourage growth quicker.
On the other hand, a maintenance technique to keep creeping phlox’ growth manageable is by dividing it. Since this plant has shallow roots, you can follow the dividing line when severing roots. These divisions should be ready for planting, but make sure that you handle them with care since they bend and break easily.