Even the latest varieties of phloxes bloom in the fall, which means it's time to start preparing for wintering. In addition to fertilizing and watering, first of all it is planting new plants, for adult bushes - pruning, if necessary - transplanting and as a final stage - shelter for the winter.
Let us examine in more detail what is the autumn care for perennial phloxes, which remain in the open ground until spring.
Planting and transplanting phlox in autumn
All September in the flower garden they spend autumn planting, transplanting and rejuvenating phlox.
For seedlings, seeds of perennial phlox are sown at the end of winter - early spring, and in open ground - at the end of autumn (by this time, the plants must already have growth buds). Properly conducted autumn planting allows you to get beautiful, fully flowering plants for the next season.
Perennials are located in a sunny area with well-moistened loose soil, maintaining a distance of 40–60 cm between future bushes and deepening rhizomes to a depth of 17–20 cm (the upper part of the rhizome should be 5 cm below ground level).
The plot for planting is prepared in 1-2 weeks for the soil to settle. Soil dug up to a depth of at least 30 cm, cleaned of weeds and debris. At the end of digging mineral fertilizers and lime are added (1 glass for every 1 sq. M). The planting hole must be made wide enough - the roots should be freely placed in it. Immediately before planting, the soil is well spilled with water and, in addition, handfuls of ashes and humus are poured into each well.
Before planting, it is useful to treat the seedlings with any stimulator of rooting.
Another way of reproduction phlox in the fall - delenkami. Since these perennials can live in one place for more than 15 years, every 4-5 years it is desirable to divide the bushes with the aim of their rejuvenation.
A bush of phlox, selected for dividing, is dug around the circumference and carefully removed from the ground. Then, the common rhizome with a sharp shovel or knife is divided into delenki - it is better for autumn planting that they are large enough (they root faster and more easily tolerate wintering), 3-5 rather thick stalks each with fully formed large renewal buds at the base. The shoots are cut, leaving 10-15 cm in length, and planted deloki phlox in the prepared wells as described above. Some growers also recommend shortening the roots, leaving no more than 15 cm.
From above, fresh plantings need to be mulched without fail (peat, leaf humus, etc.) with a thickness of at least 10 cm. Mulching, among other things, contributes to better rooting of delenok - and in fact during autumn division phlox must necessarily have time to root before cold weather. With the onset of spring, as soon as the snow melts, mulch must be removed, so as not to interfere with the warming of the soil in direct sunlight.
Autumn watering and fertilizing phlox
Watering of faded phlox in autumn is carried out as needed, depending on the weather outside. Remember that for the winter the plant should go well-fed, including moisture.
As for the phlox fertilizer in the fall, the nitrogen-containing feedings should be stopped in the middle of summer — otherwise the plant will begin to build up the green mass that is not needed during the cold, which can simply freeze.
In the middle of September, potassium-phosphorus fertilizing of phloxes should be carried out - this will help them gain strength for the winter and strengthen their immunity. To do this, dissolve 20 g of potassium monophosphate in a bucket of water and spill the bushes at the rate of 10 l per 2-3 adult plants.
For the purpose of fertilizer and disinfection, also powder the ground around the bushes with a thin layer of wood ash. You can put ash in the soil, but not deep enough so as not to damage the roots of phlox.
Pest and Phlox Disease Control in the Fall
Before winter, it is desirable to treat phlox from pests and diseases.
How to handle phloxes in the fall? If your plants are susceptible to fungal diseases, in October, after flowering, you need to carry out their preventive spraying with fungicides.
You should also carefully examine the plants for already existing diseases, cut off all damaged parts and burn them to prevent the spread of infection.
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Autumn Phlox Pruning
From the end of September and until the onset of the present cold weather, it is possible to carry out autumn pruning of phloxes - provided that the plants have completely bloomed. This procedure helps to protect perennials from diseases and pests, gives the flower a neat look, and also allows the snow to tightly cover the cut bushes and protect them from freezing. By spring, the plant will accumulate more nutrients in the rhizomes and release new strong shoots. In addition, in the spring of young shoots of phlox do not have to break through the dried last year's stems.
How to cut phlox in the fall? This can be done in two ways: almost flush with the ground or leaving 6-10 cm above the soil level. The first option will allow to protect plants well from pests and pathogenic bacteria. The second - will delay the snow and thereby warm the plant, besides, it will save the renewal buds, of which young shoots will appear in spring.
If the winters in your region are wet and prolonged, it is recommended to use the first, short, method of pruning - this way you are guaranteed not to let the remaining above-ground part rot.
When trimming the stems, leave the stumps 5 cm high, and burn the cut pieces to eliminate pests, fungi and bacteria. For work use the sharp disinfected secateurs. Do not tear off and do not break off the stems with your hands, in order not to damage the regenerated vegetative buds.
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Shelter phlox for the winter
Part of the phlox root system is located close to the soil surface, and if the flowers are not covered for the winter, they will freeze.
Therefore, in late autumn, both young and old cut-off phlox bushes are covered with a layer of compost, lowland peat or humus, 8-12 cm thick, to protect the underground buds from freezing and feed them by spring. Such protection is especially important for cuttings rooted and planted this year.
In winters with little snow, when the soil is already frozen, florax bushes are poured over one bucket of loose garden soil, and lapnik or reeds are laid on top of the resulting mound. Under such a cover, the mulch will gradually rot and give off heat to the plants, and the bushes will survive any temperature drops. Moreover, such a shelter will hold snow in beds during strong winds.
- The best materials for winter shelter plants15 covering materials that will save your plants from freezing, vypryvaniya, freezers and sunburn.
Competent care, correctly executed autumn pruning and the subsequent mulching of the land near the phlox bush will give your plants the opportunity to spend the winter with comfort, so that next season they can decorate the garden with lush flowering and delicate aroma.