Locating And Planting
Annual phlox like bright sun, so any location receiving full sun to partial shade is perfect for them. Because they can fall over in high wind, they appreciate some wind protection. They do best in a moist, well-drained soil high in organic matter. They dislike heavy clay. The soil should be neutral to slightly alkaline (pH 7.0 to 7.5). Although phlox can tolerate heat, flowering may decline somewhat in the hottest part of the summer.
Purchase seedlings if they are available at the garden center. Be sure to keep them moist until planting time. Because annual phlox seedlings do not like to be transplanted, choose an overcast day to plant. This will minimize the shock. Water seedlings generously and daily until they are established and new growth is visible. To grow annual phlox from seed, sow seeds outdoors in early spring as soon as you can work the soil and danger of late frost is past. Plant them 1/8 inch deep. They'll need at least 2 weeks to germinate. See Starting Plants From Seed and see Seed Starting Supplies and Equipment.