Creeping phlox is a hardy ground covering that features red, white, or lavender flowers in the early spring. During the rest of the year, it thrives at about six inches in height and will grow in nearly any soil or rocky conditions, making it an ideal addition to rock walls as well as an excellent replacement for grass in areas where mowing is tricky. Caring for creeping phlox properly will ensure it lives and grows for years to come.
Creeping phlox needs full sun. When planting creeping phlox, choose a location that gets a great deal of sun. Trim back tree branches, shrubs, and larger plants as necessary to ensure phlox receives as much sunlight as possible. Creeping phlox plants that do not get adequate sunlight will grow lanky and ragged and may not flower.
Although creeping phlox can tolerate some lack of water, it will not survive drought conditions. Water creeping phlox every few days when the weather is particularly hot and dry. Creeping phlox will also accept water from drip irrigation systems or underground systems, making it an ideal choice for xeriscaping, or landscaping in dry conditions, according to the University of Colorado Extension.
To encourage creeping phlox to grow more densely, prune at least an inch off the top of the plants in late spring or early summer, after they have finished blooming. Denser plants can better stand up to foot traffic or to harsh conditions such as rock gardens or hillsides. A pruned phlox plant may also bloom a second time later in the summer, although the blossoms will be less dense.
Creeping phlox can be fertilized with Miracle-Gro or a similar commercial plant and flower food once a year. Although fertilizing is not necessary for healthy phlox plants, it can help revive older, overgrown plants or plants in extremely poor soil conditions, according to the University of North Dakota Extension.