Phlox divaricata
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Phlox divaricata Wild Blue Phlox



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This is a Phlox for shade or partial shade and medium to drier soils.  Wild Blue Phlox is rhizomatous and will spread slowly but steadily. It is also commonly referred to as Blue Phlox, Woodland Phlox, or Louisiana Phlox. Some may call it Wild Sweet William, but that is the common name we give to Phlox maculata.  The flowers, atop sticky stems, are slightly fragrant and range in color from pale blue to lavender to violet. Deer seem to have little interest in Phlox, but rabbits especially like Wild Blue.

Dame's Rocket, an invasive, non-native plant in the mustard family is often confused as being a native Phlox. It blooms at relatively the same time as Phlox divaricata, P. pilosa, and P. maculata.  The easiest way to distinuish Dame's Rocket is the four flower petals while true native Phlox have five petals. Dame's Rocket also has alternate leaves and Phlox has opposite leaves. 

*Seed of this species is kept under refrigeration (33-38 F) in our warehouse. The days in transit to you in colder or warmer conditions won’t harm the seed, but it should be put back in refrigeration until you are ready to plant or apply pre-sowing treatment.

Live Plant Shipping Table

Spring Fall Age/Size
Dormant Bare Roots
April/May October 1 year

Phlox divaricata - Wild Blue Phlox

Map Key

This map shows the native and introduced (adventive) range of this species. Given appropriate habitat and climate, native plants can be grown outside their range.

4 Questions asked on Phlox divaricata






Q Lee • October 28 What kind of soil conditions do these prefer in terms of pH?
A Prairie Moon • October 29 Hi Lee, Wild Blue Phlox can tolerate many different soils, but thrives in rich, acidic soil (pH<6.8). It also has a high tolerance to calcareous soils.
Q Iris • April 30 Is this plant harmed when eaten by rabbits or does it come back? If there are rabbits present can I just plant a bunch of phlox so that some of them thrive and bloom while others are munched away?
A Prairie Moon • May 3 Hi Iris, If the damage isn’t too bad, a mature plant can withstand some herbivory by rabbits. However, a small or immature plant may not recover if eaten.
Q Yo • May 3 You indicate that you refrigerate the seeds. Are the seeds ready to be sown upon arrival?
A Prairie Moon • May 3 Hi Yo, Some seeds need to be refrigerated because they are hydrophilic, or “water-loving” seeds. That means that the seeds naturally attract water, and if you’re storing the seed like most seeds, at room temperature, hydrophilic seed will mold. Refrigeration helps prevent that mold.

The seeds you received are dormant. You will need to have patience while Mother Nature unlocks that dormancy mechanism naturally throughout the next winter, or you can unlock the dormancy mechanism yourself and “artificially stratify” the seed to mimic winter, and then plant. Wild Phlox needs 60 days of artificial stratification, so that would mean you could sow your seed early July – which honestly isn’t great timing for your seeds to sprout during the hottest and driest time of the summer. You might just want to plant outdoors now, and anticipate germination in spring 2022. For more on germination codes and instructions, check out this blog.

Q Melissa • July 19 I am new to buying bare root plants online. There is an image of a bare root phlox above; is that a good estimation for the size of a single purchased bare root plant?
A Prairie Moon • July 20 Hi Melissa, Yes, you might consider the photo to be a rough estimate of root size, but the intent of the photo is actually to guide planting depth (see ruler in photo). We do not guarantee a particular size (which will vary), only that it will be a 1-2 year old plant that will establish successfully when transplanted. As long as your root establishes, it should eventually mature to full size in its new home and begin to spread from rhizomes.
SEED:

Growing your own plants from seed is the most economical way to add natives to your home. Before you get started, one of the most important things to know about the seeds of wild plants is that many have built-in dormancy mechanisms that prevent the seed from germinating. In nature, this prevents a population of plants from germinating all at once, before killing frosts, or in times of drought. To propagate native plants, a gardener must break this dormancy before seed will grow.

Each species is different, so be sure to check the GERMINATION CODE listed on the website, in the catalog, or on your seed packet. Then, follow the GERMINATION INSTRUCTIONS prior to planting. Some species don't need any pre-treatment to germinate, but some species have dormancy mechanisms that must be broken before the seed will germinate. Some dormancy can be broken in a few minutes, but some species take months or even years.

Seed dormancy can be broken artificially by prolonged refrigeration of damp seed in the process of cold/moist STRATIFICATION. A less complicated approach is to let nature handle the stratifying through a dormant seeding, sowing seeds on the surface of a weed-free site in late fall or winter. Tucked safely beneath the snow, seeds will be conditioned by weathering to make germination possible in subsequent growing seasons.

To learn more, read our BLOG: How to Germinate Native Seeds

DORMANT BARE ROOT PLANTS:

We dig plants when they are dormant from our outdoor beds and ship them April-May and October. Some species go dormant in the summer and we can ship them July/August. We are among the few still employing this production method, which is labor intensive but plant-friendly. They arrive to you dormant, with little to no top-growth (bare-root), packed in peat moss. They should be planted as soon as possible. Unlike greenhouse-grown plants, bare-root plants can be planted during cold weather or anytime the soil is not frozen. A root photo is included with each species to illustrate the optimal depth and orientation. Planting instructions/care are also included with each order.

Download: Installing Your Bare-Root Plants

POTTED PLANTS:

3-packs and trays of 32, 38, or 50 plants leave our Midwest greenhouses based on species readiness (being well-rooted for transit) and order date; Spring shipping is typically early May through June, and Fall shipping is mid-August through September. Potted 3-packs and trays of 38 plugs are started from seed in the winter so are typically 3-4 months old when they ship. Trays of 32/50 plugs are usually overwintered so are 1 year old. Plant tray cells are approximately 2” wide x 5” deep in the trays of 38 and 50, and 2.5" wide x 3.5" deep in the 3-packs and trays of 32; ideal for deep-rooted natives. Full-color tags and planting & care instructions are included with each order.

Download: Planting and Care of Potted Plants

*PLEASE NOTE: we are a mail order nursery and have no retail facilities, but you may pick up your order if prior arrangements are made. Pick up orders are subject to **MN Sales Tax.

Shipping & Handling Charges:
SEED $100.00 and under: $5.00
Retail SEED orders over $100.00 ship free! Custom seed mixes or wholesale seed sales over $100, add 5% of the total seed cost
(for orders over $1,000 a package signature may be required)

BARE ROOT and POTTED PLANTS $50.00 and under: $7.50
over $50.00: 15% of the total plant cost
(for orders over $1,000 a package signature may be required)

TOOLS and BOOKS have the shipping fee included in the cost of the product (within the contiguous US).

**We are required to collect state sales tax in certain states. Your state's eligibility and % will be calculated at checkout. MN State Sales Tax of 7.375% is applied for orders picked up at our MN location. Shipping & handling charges are also subject to the sales tax.

Shipping Season:

SEED, TOOLS and BOOKS are sent year-round. Most orders ship within a day or two upon receipt.

BARE ROOT PLANTS are shipped during optimal transplanting time: Spring (April-May) and Fall (Oct). Some ephemeral species are also available for summer shipping. Since our plants are field-grown, Nature sets the schedule each year as to when our season will begin and end. We fill all orders, on a first-come, first-serve basis, to the best of our ability depending on weather conditions beyond our control.

POTTED PLANTS (Trays of 32/38/50 plugs and 3-packs) typically begin shipping early May and go into June; shipping time is heavily dependent on all the species in your order being well-rooted. If winter-spring greenhouse growing conditions are favorable and all species are well-rooted at once, then we ship by order date (first come, first serve).  We are a Midwest greenhouse, and due to the challenges of getting all the species in the Mix & Match and Pre-Designed Garden Kits transit-ready at the same time, we typically can't ship before early May.  Earlier shipment requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

*We are unable to ship PLANTS (bare root or potted) outside the contiguous US or to CALIFORNIA due to regulations.

Delivery:

We ship using USPS, UPS and Spee Dee. UPS and Spee Dee are often used for expediting plant orders; they will not deliver to Post Office Box numbers, so please also include your street address if ordering plants. We send tracking numbers to your email address so please include it when you order.

FOR MORE DETAILED SHIPPING INFORMATION, INCLUDING CANADA SHIPPING RATES (SEED ONLY), PLEASE SEE 'SHIPPING' AT THE FOOTER OF THIS WEBSITE.

iDetails

Seeds/Packet
25
Seeds/Ounce
12,500
Germination Code
C(60)
Life Cycle
Perennial
Sun Exposure
Partial, Shade
Soil Moisture
Medium-Wet, Medium, Medium-Dry
Height
12 inches
Bloom Time
April, May, June
Bloom Color
Blue
Advantages
Pollinator Favorite: butterflies, bees and birds Highly recommended for home landscaping
USDA Zones
3-8
Plant Spacing
10-12"
Catalog Number
PHL04F