I have just planted some reasonably sized phlox, approx 12″ tall. They have been stripped very quickly by slugs, leaves and flowers and all that is left are the stalks. Are they retrievable, will they come back next year or do I need to do something?
Treat the plants for slugs.
Water sparingly into the fall and there is certainly a chance the roots will survive.
Phlox is generally quite hardy.