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Perfect Pink Santa Fe Phlox

Phlox nana 'Perfect Pink': 2024 & 2013 Plant Of The Year

By David Salman, Founder of High Country Gardens

The flowering Phlox are some of our finest native perennial wildflowers. Most well-known are Creeping Phlox (Phlox subulata) from the Eastern US, and the much adored and sweetly scented Garden Phlox (Phlox paniculata).  

Less well known are our native Phlox from the Western US. Living in cold, high-elevation Santa Fe, NM I have come to appreciate the local wildflowers, both for their beauty and their toughness. And one of most favorites is the locally abundant Phlox nana, also known as Santa Fe Phlox.  

I transplanted a particularly gorgeous specimen into my yard about 25 years ago where it has thrived and spread.  Stunning but extremely frustrating - my staff and I could never propagate it with any consistency. We’d get a few plants here and there, but never in salable quantities. Well, finally something changed, and we were able to root thousands of cuttings successfully. Suddenly we had a huge crop growing for spring 2013. Phlox nana ‘Perfect Pink’ was ready.

Why You'll Want To Grow 'Perfect Pink'

This plant has every attribute you could ask for. It grows in many soil types from sand to clay. It blooms with sheets of huge deep pink, white-eyed flowers in late spring (and again in summer with the coming of the summer rains). And it lives seeming forever when happy.

Phlox are great habitat-friendly plants. There are great for attracting butterflies and moths as their pollinators. Their nectar-rich flowers are a magnet for Monarchs, Painted Ladies, Swallowtails, and many other butterfly species.

‘Perfect Pink’ grows best in areas that get between 12 and 24 inches of rain/snow each year.

Praise For 'Perfect Pink'

Phlox nana is THE phlox, the ultimate phlox—everyone should have it in their xeriscape or rock garden. It has started blooming for me in late April some years, and is more or less covered with flowers, month in, month out, until October. What other plant can boast this kind of flower power? And the flowers are refulgent, pure pink.

My mentor, botanist Paul Maslin, doted on this phlox and wrote about it almost half a century ago. He said 'I know no xeriscape perennial that blooms as beautifully, for as long, or grows as lustily as this Western gem!'

Kudos to High Country Gardens for cracking the code of how to grow this plant!”

Panayoti Kelaidis, Director of Outreach Denver Botanic Gardens

Learn More

The Legacy of David Salman | High Country Gardens founder David Salman was a pioneer of waterwise gardening, a passionate plant explorer, and a charismatic storyteller. His commitment to cultivating a palette of beautiful waterwise plants transformed gardening in the American West. 

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