Creeping phlox is a popular ground cover that resembles grass most of the year. In late winter or early spring, however, phlox bursts into densely-packed blooms, announcing the arrival of warmer weather. The colors of creeping phlox's flowers depend on the individual plant, but range from purple to fuchsia to light pink. It grows well in all but the northernmost regions of the continental United States.
Creeping phlox will thrive in a variety of soil conditions, but it prefers moderately well-drained soil that has been lightly fertilized. Use a hoe or herbicide or pull weeds by hand to ensure that the ground is weed-free before planting creeping phlox. The University of Colorado Extension recommends a glyphosate herbicide to kill grass and perennial weeds, which can be particularly troublesome to remove once phlox is in place. If using glyphosate, wait ten to fourteen days after applying the herbicide before planting the phlox.
Plant phlox in an area that receives full sun and is protected from salt spray. Arrange plants at or near the soil surface, packing loose soil firmly around the plant's roots without burying its foliage. Water phlox thoroughly after planting and at least once every few days when the weather is hot or dry. To encourage phlox plants to grow more densely, prune or trim the top inch off the foliage once the flowering cycle has ended. Occasionally, pruning also results in a second, sparser flowering later in the season. More densely-packed phlox is best when phlox is used as a ground covering, especially if it will be walked upon.
Creeping phlox plants will resist many diseases, but they are particularly susceptible to rabbits, which love to nibble on phlox. Commercial rabbit repellant sprays can help chase away the nibbling pests so the phlox can thrive. Apply according to the directions on the package, and reapply after a heavy rain or as the package directs.