If you want to know how to transplant phlox, you’ll be pleased to see that it only requires three steps. Besides propagation, the transplanting of phlox itself is straightforward. This skill is necessary to learn to maintain your plants and potentially add more phlox species in your garden or greenhouse.
Speaking of which, consider growing your phlox in the greenhouse if the climate outdoors is too unstable for the transplants. Still, there are many phlox varieties, so you’ll indeed find the more comfortable plant to grow in your location. By following the guide below, transplanting phlox will be a stress-free experience.
How To Move Phlox Successfully
Step #1. Site preparation
According to the University of Minnesota Extension, the best time to transplant phlox plants is right before new growth begins. This is typically in spring, and you can do this maintenance practice every two to four years. However, it would be best to prepare the transplanting site first to keep the phlox plants from drying after you dig the divisions out.
You can opt to grow the transplants in the greenhouse if the climate outdoors is too unstable or extreme. The emphasis is only necessary on using the same soil and mimicking the phlox parent plant’s previous growing conditions. A hole that is 8 inches in diameter and 8 inches deep would be best, but remember to work compost into the new site as well.
Step #2. Digging
After you prepare the site, you can dig out your mature phlox to get the divisions. Remember to do this on a cloudy day or early in the day because heat can dry and stress your plants. More so, your divisions will more likely thrive if you dig them out immediately after the blooming period.
Dig around the perimeter of the plant to make lifting the roots easier. You should be able to comfortably slid the shovel under the roots without damaging them. Lift the root ball from the soil and shake it gently to free it from the ground.
Use your hands to divide the root ball, but ensure that each section has three to five shoots with roots to guarantee establishment. Gently tease the roots apart to avoid damaging them. More so, don’t use divisions with unhealthy or rotten roots and discard them from the pile that you’ll plant.
Step #3. Planting
Once you have your divisions, you should plant them immediately at a distance of 18 inches from each other to ensure good air circulation. Spread the roots of the division into the hole and firm it in place by backfilling with soil. Check the crowns as well so that they are an inch below the ground.
You don’t want any air pockets around the roots, and the plant should stand upright. Water deeply to saturate the plant to help with establishment. Remember that plants need a lot of water after transplanting to strengthen their root system and avoid transplant shock.
Maintain the moisture of the soil throughout spring in summer. However, if you chose to transplant phlox late in summer or early in fall, remember to mulch them as well. This way, the freezing and thawing of the ground won’t damage your transplants.
Caring And Maintaining Phlox
To ensure that your transplants will thrive, you need to provide the ideal conditions for phlox. These plants are best in fertile and well-draining soil that is slightly alkaline. Phlox also requires at least 6 hours of sunlight daily to produce healthy flowers.
Improve the area every spring as well by adding compost and mulch around the plants. Not only will this amend the soil, but it will also control weeds and keep the area moist.
Water and fertilizer
Keeping the soil moist is crucial to help your transplants grow vigorously. Always protect them from drought and water thoroughly when the plant begins to wilt. The plants will also require more water during the growing season to develop healthy foliage.
How to fertilize phlox? You can feed the plants in spring when they are growing and before they go dormant at the end of summer. Gardeners also fertilize before the blooming period ends to help the plant rejuvenate itself.
You can achieve a bushier growth and extended flowering period by pruning phlox. Remove the spent flowers to prevent reseeding, and you can also pinch back the stems to half in early summer to encourage healthier growth. Lastly, it’s best to cut back the stems above the ground after the first frost to prevent fungal diseases.
Transplanting and division are not only useful for propagation but also for maintenance. If you know how to transplant phlox, you can ensure that these garden staples will stay healthy and thriving for years to come. You can transplant phlox in spring or late summer, but be mindful of the freezing and thawing ground with the latter.
You also want to prepare the site first, so the transplants don’t dry up. Dig around the phlox and lift it out of the ground. Each division should have at least three shoots and enough roots to establish itself.
Space the transplants at 18 inches apart for adequate air circulation and plant them so that their crowns are an inch below the ground. Keep them well-watered to prevent transplant shock and strengthen their root system.