Phlox paniculata 'John Fanick'

Dr. William C. Welch, Professor & Landscape Horticulturist
Texas AgriLife Extension Service
Phlox paniculata 'John Fanick'
'John Fanick' Phlox

Phlox is an extensive and interesting genus of perennials and one annual that are exclusively North American. The perennial phlox are mostly forms of Phlox paniculata, which is commonly native from Pennsylvania and Illinois southward. They bloom in mid to late summer with immense terminal heads of white, pink, and purple flowers.

Phlox paniculata sometimes goes by the common names of "standing phlox" or "summer phlox". Since there are native forms quite common to northeast Texas, these hardy perennials have been popular in Texas and Southern gardens for many generations. They are easily grown but can be subject to powdery mildew. The most common color is a pink-purple form.

Greg Grant introduced 'John Fanick' in the early 1990's, which has become highly popular. Mr. Fanick was a well known nurseryman in San Antonio. It is a pale pink with a darker eye and particularly attractive when combined with the common pink-purple type. My experience has shown it to be the most vigorous of all the summer phlox, and it is also highly fragrant. Greg says that 'John Fanick' is one of the best butterfly-attracting plants available, especially swallowtails. It is a long-lasting and wonderful addition to summer bouquets.

Summer phlox benefit from fairly frequent division. Fall or winter is the ideal time to dig the clumps about every two years and reset the individual plants. They thrive in sunny, well-drained locations but will tolerate up to about half shade. Since the flowers come at a really hot time of year they last better with some afternoon shade. Bloom height is two to three feet.

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