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Setting up a wildlife garden

Plants for butterflies

Plants for bees

Plants for hummingbirds

Plants for birds





Phlox paniculata

Zone: 3 to 8

Soil: sand to clay

Light: Part sun to light shade

Bloom colour: White, pink blue

Bloom period: July to September

Height: 3 to 4 feet

Moisture: Dry to medium

Attracts: Hummingbirds, butterflies and moths

Notes:Phlox paniculata is the most common species found in nurseries along with phlox subulata. The former, while common in gardens is not native to Ontario. Phlox divaricata is common in Ontario and a large part of central and Eastern United States. The long corolla in Phlox paniculata excludes most insects because their tongues are too short and so this species has a limited wildlife value. Some bees can rob the flowers of its nectar by cutting a small slit in the base of the corolla close to the nectary. The flower shape is typical of plants pollinated by hummingbirds and insects with long tongues. Both monarch butterflies and sphinx moths drink from this plant.

Phlox paniculata
Phlox 'David'
Phlox paniculata 'David'



The plant can tolerate full sun, but it grows and looks better where there is a decent amount of shade. It can tolerate clay, but probably does better in a sandy soil. These plants are susceptible to powdery mildew. David is a cultivar that is quite mildew resistant. To attract hummingbirds, you will have more success with a pink or purple cultivar.
  Choose a cultivar that is very close to the species. The fancier ones may not be such a good nectar source. Species native to Ontario include Phlox divaricata, Phlox maculata, Phlox pilosa and Phlox subulata.