Phlox drummondii 'Sugar Stars' is a fabulous new annual variety, that blooms with a confection of purple-blue and white clustered blooms, each with star-shaped white central markings
Slightly taller than some varieties, the plants grow to a height of around 50cm (20in) tall, and spread to around 30cm (12in) wide. The plants are uniform and have outstanding weather tolerance and will flower from mid July right through the summer until October and maintain a tidy habit throughout the season. The flowers have a lovely fragrance and are splendid for cutting, lasting a week to ten days in the vase. The sheer variety of purple-starry blooms make each stem a standout specimen.
For spectacular display, romantic excess and a sweet fragrance, they are without peer.
Phlox is one of the most useful of annuals. They are admirable for sowing in drifts and filling out summer beds. They are eminently suited to container growing, for edging borders or for planting in a rockery. Plant out 20 plants per square metre for a carpet of pure flowers.
Phlox are extremely rewarding garden subjects and lack real competition in the late summer garden, they cope well in dry spells. Leave the colour in your borders or cut regularly through summer for vase displays.
You'll notice your phlox has another outstanding trait … visiting bees and butterflies relish its sweet nectar.
- Phlox drummondii 'Sugar Stars' has been awarded the prestigious Fleuroselect Industry Award, due to its unusual colouring in shades of blue and white.
Sowing: Sow from early spring to early summer, February to May
Seeds can be stated early indoors in late winter to early summer or can be sown directly outdoors where they are to flower. Seeds can be also sown in autumn, they make fine spring flowering pot plants for the cool greenhouse. 65 days sowing to flowering.
Choose a sunny, well-drained site, and amend it with compost or well-rotted manure. Direct sow 6mm (¼in) deep in spring, as soon as the ground can be worked. Pinch seedlings when they are 8cm (3in) tall to promote branching, and thin to 20cm (8in) apart. Maintain soil moisture all season, and fertilize monthly with a water-soluble fertilizer, following label directions.
Sow in spring about 5 to 7 weeks before the last frost date (around May). Sow 1.5mm (1/16in) deep in into pots or trays containing John Innes or similar free draining seed compost. Make sure that the compost is moist but not wet and cover or seal in a polythene bag, exclude light until after germination which usually takes 10 to 21 days at 13 to 15°C (55- 60°F).
Transplant when large enough to handle into 8cm (3in) pots to grow on. Pinch out the growing points when 8cm (3in) high to ensure a bushy habit.
Annual phlox seedlings should be hardened off before transplanting to the garden. Put them outdoors in a sheltered spot for a few hours each day, gradually increasing their time outdoors over the course of a week. Plant out 20cm (8in) apart into rich well drained soil and full sun.
Deadhead blooms to encourage flowering. Shear plants back if they become leggy. It may look ragged in hot weather. Keep it well watered and it will probably revive in autumn's cooler temperatures. Remove plants after frost
Cut flower stems can be harvested, when first flowers per stem are just open. Remove the bottom leaves. Vase life: 10 to 14 days.
Cottage/Informal Gardens, Borders, Containers, Cut Flower.
Phlox is a genus of 67 species of annual or perennial flowering plants, most species are native to temperate North America but a few species are also from north-eastern Asia. Some species flower in early spring while others flower in summer into autumn. They are found growing in diverse habitats from alpine locations to open woodlands and prairies. Flowers range in colour from pale blue to bright red to white. Some species such as Phlox glaberrima (Smooth Phlox) grow to 1.5 m tall, while others, such as Phlox stolonifera (Creeping Phlox), form low mats only a few centimetres in height.
Several species of phlox are commonly cultivated in gardens. Most cultivated phlox, with the notable exception of Phlox drummondii (Drummond phlox), are perennial.
The plant is often confused with look-alike native hesperis matronalis, Dames Rocket, but they can be easily identified by their flowers, phlox have five petals, Dames Rocket has only four.
Linnaeus, the father of taxonomy, took the name phlox from the Latin for a flame-coloured flower, which is from the Greek φλόξ, (or flóga) meaning 'flame'.
Phlox drummondii, commonly called Drummond's Phlox is named for the the English plant explorer Thomas Drummond. He discovered the plant in Texas, USA in 1835, Naturally occurring in rose-red, this US native phlox is today established along sandy roadsides all the way from Canada into central Florida.
Phlox is pronounced flocks, the plural for phlox is phlox or phloxes.
Fleuroselect is the international organisation for the ornamental plants industry. Its main activities include the testing, protecting and promoting of new flower varieties. Membership includes breeders, producers and distributors of ornamental varieties. Fleuroselect is run by the members, for the members. A small secretariat operates from the organisational headquarters currently based in Noordwijk, The Netherlands.
In order to support and stimulate the development of new ornamental varieties, Fleuroselect conducts trials of new varieties entered by members on approximately 20 private trial grounds spread across Europe. Both indoor and outdoor trials can be conducted. Through the trials, the newness, the practical use, the quality and the exclusivity of the entries are determined. Genuinely new varieties receive recognition either as Fleuroselect Novelties or Gold Medal winners. The Fleuroselect Gold Medal is awarded to innovative varieties that clearly surpass the limits in breeding and beauty. This symbolises excellence in breeding.
Many awarded varieties are widely supported and distributed by Fleuroselect members. The organisation also promotes the winners by way of press releases and displays at trade fairs and in gardens all over the world. Professional growers and hobby gardeners all over the world recognise the Fleuroselect awards as certificates of exceptional merit.
- Additional Information
Packet Size 500mg Average Seed Count 225 seeds Family Polemoniaceae Genus Phlox Species drummondii Cultivar Sugar Stars Synonym Phlox drummondii subsp. drummondii Common Name Drummond's Phlox, Annual Phlox. Other Common Names Summer Phlox, Fall or Annual Phlox. Hardiness Half Hardy Annual Flowers Purple shades navy blue and white clustered blooms Natural Flower Time Mid July to October Height 50cm (20in) Spread 30cm (12in) Position Full sun Soil Well-drained/light, Moist with good drainage. Time to Sow Sow from early spring to early summer. (February to May) Germination 10 to 21 days at 13 to 15°C (55- 60°F).