Back to Back Issues Page
Growing Together, Issue # 88
May 27, 2014

Thrift An Excellent Ground Cover

Welcome to the May issue of landscape solutions for you, Growing Together newsletter. As always, Herbee and I would like to welcome our new members, as well as all of you returning so faithfully each month. For those of you that are fairly new, last month landscape solutions, introduced the one and only, Herbee Greenthumb. Herbee is a master plant grower that is here to help you, and your friends plant and maintain healthy and beautiful landscape and gardens. This month we would like to share with you some insights on a very popular plant that grows in zones four through eight here in the United States, Thrift.


This specie is also known to many as Phlox. Although Thrift is native to many regions, it is more prevalent along the sea in European countries. Can also be found in Newfoundland, and the Pacific Northwest.

If you have planted or seen Thrift or Phlox, you know the maturity is low. At full size, this plant grow anywhere from 4 to 11-12 inches wide. The height will vary from 4 to 16 inches. Of course this will depend on the variety. Sun is important for the development of a healthy plant. In warmer climates, it is best to plant Thrift in morning sun, and afternoon shade. This is evident with native species.

The highlight of Thrift or Phlox is its ability to act as a ground cover. Planted in mass planting low, creates a brilliant color for your outdoor space. When Herbee and I think of Thrift, a rock wall, slope, or rocks come to mind. The plant will naturally form over these features, and provide you with excellent color throughout the growing season. The soil should be moist, and many times you will find it does well in sandy, and somewhat alkaline soil. Here in zone seven in the southeast United States, we have acidic soil, but we can successfully grow Phlox or Thrift.Once this plant is established and matures, it can become drought tolerant.

You can multiply this specie by division in the spring or fall. Great way to save a little money. You can also do stem cuttings. A few varieties are Vindictive, which blooms pink flowers. Launcheana creates a deep and rich rose tone. A white flower variety is the Alba' exhibits.

If you don't live by the seashore, or have slopes around, plant Thrift in a container garden. Put the container in a ground bed, or make an attractive area on your patio, deck, porch, or balcony. A wonderful low growing plant to enhance the beauty of your outdoor investment.

Tip For The Month

Herbee Greenthumb

As many of you begin the warmer months of the year, Herbee and I just wanted to remind all of you of the importance of watering the roots of your plants, not just the surface of the ground. If you have just planted new specimens, we recommend you trickle water for the first couple of weeks. Put your hose around the plant, and slowly move the hose around. This ensure the entire root system gets wet. Especially important for new trees or shrubs going into the ground.

Thought For The Month

Great time of the year to re-establish yourself with gardens and nature. Some of you live in the southern hemisphere and your cooler weather is upon you. Enjoy a brisk morning walk, or evening stroll. For those of you in the northern hemisphere, take an extra few minutes to view the blooms outside. It doesn't matter whether you have container or ground gardens, or see a beautiful Dogwood, Cherry, or foliage tree blooming. Enjoy your own plants and all the beauty that nature has provided. Herbee and I hope you have a fantastic June, and we look forward to being with you next month. By the way, our grandson, Isaiah, will be a year old on June 7th. How this first year has flown by, and of course he is the most handsome little boy on earth. LOL!

Herbee and Kimberly

Back to Back Issues Page