What Preparation Is Needed for Creeping Phlox?
I have a hill in my front yard (about 3-4 ft. ) leading down to the road. So that we don't have to weedwhack it, I'd like to plant a ground cover, and really like the look of creeping phlox. To plant this (I'd probably buy small plants that have already been started, not seeds) I am wondering how to prepare the grassy hill. Do I need to till it all up? Or just the area where I place the plants? Will the plants just expand out over the grass and smother it? (ideal)
Thanks so much for your help!
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
If you want to go with the creeping phlox, till the area to get rid of the grass and space your plants about 6-12 inches apart. They will eventually spread into one another and cover the area. While they establish, I would suggest putting down some mulch to keep the weeds (and grass) out.
Lisa, here is a link to an article on creeping phlox: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/groundcover/creeping-phlox/creeping-phlox-planting.htm
I don't recommend phlox for the application you are wanting. It will not smother out grass, grass overtakes phlox and smothers it out. Personally, I think creeping phlox is used best in beds where it can be "tended to".
The plant I recommend for ground cover is Blue Pacific Juniper. It is aggressive without being invasive, will smother weeds and grass, has virtually no pests or disease problems, grows 10-12 inches tall, covers appx. 60 sq. ft. per plant, tolerates almost everything except dense shade and waterlogged soil, AND is evergreen. Best of all, it requires no maintenance.