Phlox Find ‘Intensia Blueberry’

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Phlox Find

An intensely rich hot-pink phlox was spotted in a generous soul’s garden.  “This is the only one you can’t take,” he said.  I wasn’t surprised he wouldn’t give it away.  It was a good find. 

Good finds are not always something you can plan ahead on for gardening.  Good finds are usually discovered.  You spot them at the nursery, in someone else’s gardens, or at a garden show display – and you think, “I have to have that plant too!”  That is what makes them a good find.

Phlox ‘Intensia® Blueberry’ is one of those types of good finds I spotted in a grower’s catalog when preparing my plant list order for 2011.  A new introduction, it bears masses of gorgeous, rich purplish blue flowers.  And it has a more upright habit than the typical Intensia Series with a larger leaf size.  Height is 10-12″ tall and width is 8-12″.  ‘Intensia® Blueberry’ is touted as having the same exceptional summer performance and heat tolerance as other Intensia phlox.  Ah the catch?  ‘Intensia ® Blueberry’ is hardy to zones 10-11 (warmer zones than CT’s).  However, this phlox will be a great container garden addition during the summer season.

As Stephanie Cohen (known author of perennial books, such as “The Perennial Gardener’s Design Primer”) once stated during a perennial review at a conference, new is not always better.  This is true.  New finds have been tested by growers and such, but the ultimate test is in your own gardens.  So you may want to proceed with caution with new finds, but sometimes that process is worth it. 

Phlox paniculata ‘David’ is one of my stand-by favorites because it is a resistant form to powdery mildew (white mold affecting tissue, causing leaf distortion and defoliation).  Because of this resistant trait, I often recommend ‘David’ to beginning gardeners.  However, ‘David’ is a white bloomer.  To me, it can be a little boring unless you are into white in your garden or container gardens. 

One of the more flashy fun colors is displayed on the pin-wheel pattern of blooms on Phlox ‘Peppermint Twist’.  It has pink and white spoked patterns on the flower petals.  It looks a bit more festive, and also has been touted as having a strong tolerance to powdery mildew.  There’s Phlox paniculata ‘Nicky’ with deep purple flowers.  Phlox glaberrima ‘Triple Play’ with variegated foliage where the center of the leave is dark green and edges are whiter with sun.  Flowers are pink-lavender.  And Phlox paniculata ‘Starfire’ with bright red flowers – also a catchy potential candidate.

David Culp, a sales representative of a grower and a speaker of perennials, announced the following phlox as “Promising Perennials” during a presentation last month:  Phlox ‘Blue Elf’ (also mentioned in year 2010; a dwarf woodland phlox, shorter with more buds), Phlox stolonifera ‘Margie’ (a creeping phlox with laveder flowers and purple eye), Phlox divaricata ‘Charles Ricardo’ (A new color for woodland phlox, lavendar, creeps like a groundcover; also mentioned in 2010, from England, taller), Phlox divaracita ‘Manita’ (has evergreen foliage, white flowers, indigo iceyblue eye bloom), Phlox ‘Montrose Tricolor’ (green/gray foliage), and Phlox divaracita ‘Mary Ellen’ (blue with lavender eye).

To learn more about good finds, contact me, Cathy T!

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