Summer Phlox Delivers Through Summer Heat

Summer Phlox in white and pink
Summer Phlox in white and pink.

Summer Phlox Blooms Through Summer Heat Waves

Last week we finished our fourth heat wave here in Philly and the Summer Phlox bloomed and bloomed thorough it all. It’s a gorgeous hot pink through high heat and humidity. Phlox paniculata gives a gorgeous punch of color right when my garden can look dry and stressed-out from the high heat and humidity.


The Natural Habitats

Summer Phlox is a plant indigenous to Philadelphia and eastern North America. We often find it in fertile bottomlands and meadows, from New York south to Georgia. It grows in compact neat clumps and doesn’t run and spread.

Lavender colored summer phlox
Summer Phlox (Phlox paniculata) in lavender.

A Variety of Colors

This is a popular cultivated plant. Summer Phlox is naturally a deep pink, but there are white, blue, salmon-orange, purple, red, and variegated cultivars, too. Some cultivars can get mildew. If mildew is a problem for you, you may want to seek out mildew-resistant varieties.


Summer Phlox 'Minnie Pearl'
Summer Phlox ‘Minnie Pearl’ variety.

Summer Phlox: Uses in the Garden

Phlox paniculata flowers from July through September. And it is a tall plant, often topping 3 to 5 feet tall. If I want the plant to be shorter, I trim it back to half its height in early to mid-June. This is a technique that can be used on perennials. Cutting the plant back to half its height in early to mid-June and staggering the height of stems will vary height during blooming. We can cut six inches or more off when the plant has tight buds. This will stagger bloom times if you don’t cut away all the buds at once.

Skipper on summer phlox
Skipper_butterfly (Hesperia comma) on Summer Phlox.

Summer Phlox in the Ecosystem

Insects visit the plant for its nectar. I have found tiny bees and flies roaming around the flower petals.

It’s a tough plant, blooming in dry, sun-drenched spots. It is such a joy in my garden during the dog days of summer.



Summer Phlox Quick Facts

Phlox Paniculata
Zones: 3 to 9
Natural range: southern New York to northern Georgia, west to Illinois, Missouri and Arkansas
Soil: moist, very fertile, suffers in drought
Sun: full sun to partial sun
Blooms: July to September
Height: 36 to 60 inches tall, cut back in early to mid-June to reduce plant height when it blooms
Growing: apparently grows easily from seed and will probably reproduce the species instead of the various colors of cultivated varieties. Dead heading prolongs bloom and prevents reseeding.


More Related Posts: Summer Blooming Native Plants

Summer Blooming Native Flowers Photo Gallery

Bee Balm (Monarda didyma)

Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)



  1. I am new to phlox. I didn’t know until recently it was a native. I am THRILLED with how 3 phlox I bought this summer have performed through the drought here in IN. I am going to buy a lot more next spring and enjoy them the whole season!

    • Hi, Heidi

      I agree. Phlox did so well here in Philly this summer even with long stretches of little rain, that I wanted to let others know.

      Natives plants truly are adapted to the local climate.

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