Keep Weeds Out Of Your Garden For Good With This Colorful Plant

Nothing ruins your garden quite like the unexpected arrival of uncontrollable weeds. After spending countless hours designing the space, caring for plants and pollinators, and plucking out any common weeds you notice as you go, those unruly invaders always seem to find a way back in. There's no shortage of weed-killer solutions at the store and hacks that may or may not work, but if you've rattled through the suggestions and are searching for a more natural solution, there's one in the form of a vibrant flowering plant.

You've probably seen the bold pink and purple blooms of creeping phlox in gardens and fields or crawling over rocks and retaining walls. Don't let it fool you — this plant is more than just a pretty display. Its characteristics make it an ideal choice for battling weeds back and its sweeping swaths double as a lovely addition to your garden. Here's what to know about caring for creeping phlox and why it's such a fantastic solution for telling weeds they're not welcome.

Why creeping phlox is great for preventing weeds

Weed removal is tedious and despite valiant efforts and endlessly spraying or spreading solutions, you'll usually find them growing back with a vengeance. Ground coverings are a great alternative to the usual methods and a more natural way of having more control over what's living in your garden. There are a few reasons why creeping phlox is a perfect plant for this. The first is the way it grows. 

Landscaper Steve Boehme told Wilmington News Journal that it's a hardy ground covering. Therefore, it can stretch across the ground and surfaces and climb around walls. This essentially "chokes" weeds out, preventing them from popping up in the first place. 

Aesthetically, it's a much prettier option than homemade and store-bought weed-killing solutions. Its leaves remain evergreen year-round, and when the flowers bloom, their petals are bold and bright. This "blanket" or "carpet" of flowers is an instant way to add color to the soil or the structural features of your outdoor area.

How to care for creeping phlox

The creeping variety of the plant is native to the U.S. and comes in plenty of colors, including pink, purple, white, blue, and shades that are a blend of two. The way it grows isn't only beneficial for keeping out weeds, but its root system and pattern can help stabilize soil and spots in your garden that may be eroding or sloping, according to the University of Florida. Not to mention, it can spruce up a retaining wall, rock garden, or fountain area that's seen better days. 

Creeping phlox is relatively low-maintenance — a win for any avid or amateur gardener after the least harmful weed removal solution with more staying power. It does well in sunny conditions or areas that get a healthy helping of natural light. Rich soil with good drainage is recommended, but as Steven Boehme notes, it's a flexible plant that won't cause drama if the occasional mistake is made. Water phlox well, especially in warm summer months, and if its carpet gets a little too unwieldy, a quick round of pruning will easily fix this. Gardeners who have kids and pets around won't have to worry either as this flowering addition isn't toxic.