‘Jeana’ Phlox is one of the top pollinator attracting plants in my garden in the dog days of summer. Attracting dozens of butterflies and other assorted bees, my patch starts in the late morning with a few butterflies and by the end of the heat of the day, the plants look like they are fluttering and alive, there are so many butterflies! Even ignoring the nearby Zinnias, ‘Jeana’ is by far the favorite butterfly nectar source in late July into September for a solid 7-8 weeks.
Possessing outstanding mildew resistance and lavender-pink flower clusters, this native phlox is a super star in my garden and always draws a lot of interest from visitors. Pollinators cluster around the heads constantly, providing a show for weeks in the mid-summer, and giving me lots of photography opportunities. Ranking at the top in ecological and horticultural trials, this plant should be in many more gardens.
Just listen to this rave review from Mt Cuba Center in Delaware who has trial gardens testing for usefulness, beauty, and pollinator visits;
“Phlox paniculata ‘Jeana’ is, without a doubt, the best-performing phlox from the trial. This cultivar was discovered growing along the Harpeth River near Nashville, Tennessee and named after its discoverer, Jeana Prewitt. Although there were many plants of Phlox paniculata in the area, ‘Jeana’ in particular stood out for its exceptionally mildew-free foliage. This trait carries through to the garden and is one of the main reasons ‘Jeana’ performed so well in the trial. This 5′ tall beauty also produces an impressive floral display from mid-July through early September. Interestingly, the individual flowers, or pips, are much smaller than any other garden phlox. However, that does not deter the butterflies that feed on its nectar. In fact, we found ‘Jeana’ attracted more butterflies than any other garden phlox in the entire trial. With a top rank in both horticultural and ecological evaluations, Phlox paniculata ‘Jeana’ is hard to beat.”
A taller flower topping out at 4′ to 5′, I love grouping these plants for a big show of flowers plus pollinators. Sometimes staking or some kind of support is necessary, like helpful supporting plants surrounding your clump. One of the only phlox paniculatas that I know tolerating deer browsing, it is a useful landscape plant for the perennial border. The lavender pink shade goes well with many other colors and the plant behaves and doesn’t spread aggressively. And as the review on My Cuba states, the individual florets are smaller than a normal Phlox but clustered thickly to give a fuller look than other phloxes.
As a cut flower, I find that ‘Jeana’ lasts longer in the vase than other phloxes and goes well with other flowers.