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Phlox stolonifera 'Home Fires' (creeping phlox)

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Technical sheet - Phlox creeping

Phlox stolonifera 'Home Fires'

creeping phlox

Mat-forming habit with masses of large, deep pink flowers with deep green, narrow leaved foliage. A beautifully vibrant groundcover that will bring excitement to the shady or woodland garden. Floriferous and highly fragrant. A top performer for early spring retail sales.

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6-10 Inches


2 Feet


12-18 Inches

Bloom Color


USDA Hardiness Zone 5-8

creeping phlox Interesting Notes

Creeping Phlox (or as I was once misquoted in a local newspaper "Creepy Phlox") is as it sounds, a ground-covering evergreen woodlander with paddle-shaped leaves that form 1-2 inch mats in moist, acid soils. The flower spikes shoot up above these mats on thin 8-inch stems for a wonderful effect. There are a number of cultivars on the market with different bloom colors and spread rates. The most vigorous, like 'Sherwood Purple' can quickly cover an area, but because of its low growth it is not a problem for companions. - William Cullina, The New England Wild Flower Society Guide to Growing and Propagating Wildflowers

The most commonly grown blue-flowered Phlox stolonifera is Blue Ridge, named for the mountains where the plant was discovered. There also is a Pink Ridge, but it is harder to find. And there is a white one named Bruce's White, the Bruce in this case being Bruce Chin, who was enamored of wildflowers. The rose-pink one, named Home Fires, was a discovery of the botanist and fern expert, Edgar T. Wherry.

The best part about Phlox stolonifera is that it prefers shade. It spreads easily to the places where it wants to grow. It is an ideal groundcover because it makes few demands. One important note, however. During the springtime cleanup, be careful not to rake up this plant, as its hold in the ground is shallow. When the soil is workable, sections of the plant can be transplanted to bare patches, provided the transplants are watered in dry periods. - From "Phlox and Peanuts: Can't Stop With One" by Joan Lee Faust for The New York Times

The genus name Phlox is derived from the Greek word for flame.

Phlox stolonifera 'Home Fires' Growing and Maintenance Tips

P. stolonifera thrives in moist, well-drained soils in full to partial shade. Spreads rapidly by stolons. Very drought tolerant once established. Give good air circulation to reduce growth of powdery mildew. Benefits from occasional fertilization. May be propagated by root cuttings or division any time. A stunning groundcover and border plant, and a valuable early nectar source for pollinators.

Good Substitutions

woodland phlox Phlox divaricata 'Blue Moon'
wild blue phlox Phlox divaricata 'May Breeze'
Thickleaf phlox Phlox carolina ssp. carolina 'Kim'
creeping phlox Phlox stolonifera 'Sherwood Purple'

Key Characteristics & Attributes

Full Shade
Full Shade
Part Sun
Part Sun
Drought Tolerant
Drought Tolerant

Additional Information

Soil Moisture Needs
Green Infrastructure
Plug Type
Horticultural Plug
Native to North America
Season of Interest (Flowering)
Late Spring / Early Summer
Propagation Type