This brilliant native of the Eastern States is becoming a general favorite in our gardens, its handsome panicles of charmingly beautiful flowers being excellent, when cut, for the decoration of our rooms and halls. It also gives color and brightness to our flower-borders, and, where a good collection of the early or Summer-flowering perennial varieties together with the tall-growing Autumn late-flowering varieties are cultivated, a long season of continuous bloom may be had by the different kinds succeeding each other in flowering.
The dwarf species, such as Phlox subulata, are very useful for covering rock-work and for forming front lines in mixed borders.
The annual Phlox Drummondii is one of our most beautiful Summer-blooming plants. This species and its many varieties are suitable for filling flower-beds or for forming a ground-covering among taller-stemmed subjects. They (Phlox Drummondii) are raised from seeds sown in February in a warm hotbed, a little bottom-heat being of great assistance to their free germination in pots or boxes in light sandy soil. Seeds should be covered to the depth of an eighth of an inch. As soon as the seedlings are large enough to be handled, they should be pricked off into boxes and grown on in frames until large enough to be planted in the open air. Before being planted, they should be hardened off by being placed in the open air for a week or ten days.
The perennial species are propagated by cuttings of the young shoots which start from the old stools in Spring. Take off the shoots when they make a growth of four inches and place them in light sandy soil in a cold frame, shading them for a few days during hot sunshine. As soon as they are rooted, take them out and plant them in the open border in rows eight inches apart and three inches apart in the row. These will make good plants for flowering the following season.
The most popular system of increasing the number of plants is by simply dividing the old stools into small pieces in early Spring and replanting. In planting the tall-growing species, set them out about two feet apart. In Summer a good top-dressing of old manure will be found very beneficial, besides conserving the moisture by preventing evaporation.