Hi! I bought four garden phlox from Hewitt’s a couple of weeks ago. Two were the premium First Edition “Grape Lollipop”. Those had one or two stems that were completely dead, but as they were your last I bought them assuming I could clip them out and the plants would do fine. They didn’t. All of the remaining stems and the leavesaleaves on them turned brown- even those that had small groups of flower buds- and died in quick order. I cut them down to the ground and they were hard and woody and very dead.
The other two plants- pink with white eye, I’ve forgotten the brand- are browning up nicely as well.
All of phlox that were pre-existing in my garden are healthy, with no mildew or mites (which I’ve not seen on the ones I bought from Hewitt’s, either, so not that). Is this something viral? Should I dig them out and chuck them and consider it $70 poorly spent? I’ve not done so because I really want them to come back, but I’m afraid whatever they have will spread to an otherwise healthy garden. Help!