Do older Tall Phlox plants Regress?

Asked June 11, 2020, 7:09 PM EDT

My Tall Phlox seem health enough, but the last few years they seem to have what I call "phlox wannabees" growing amongst them. The leaves are very similar, but the plant is taller and the roots are different. Is this a weed. They don't seem to flower, so I pull them up, but they appear again the next year. Is this normal?

Calvert County Maryland

1 Response

Hi - The similar-looking plant appears to be a type of aster. There are some types of weedy perennial asters that show up in flower beds by way of seeds. The common garden phlox has leaves that are opposite to each other along the stem, whereas the aster has alternate leaves. They do have a strong root system and tend to be easier to pull up when the plants are young/small and the soil is moist.