Zones: 3–9; varieties vary
Light: Dianthus may take partial shade, but it blooms best with at least six hours of full sun, especially in the hottest zones.
Spring to early summer is when most flowers bloom, with some continuing to bloom all through the summer and fall. Everyone gains from routine dead-heading.
When to plant: To promote deep rooted and compact structure, perennial types are best planted in the cooler months of spring or fall.
Characteristics: Depending on the species and variation, flowers can be single, semi-double, or double with frilly petals and come in almost every color except blue. The plant’s strappy, grass-like foliage comes in green, blue-green, and silver-green hues.
How much sun is required by dianthus plants?
The genus Dianthus contains species that are both annual and perennial as well as biennial, in case you’re wondering whether dianthus are annual or perennial. Here are a few of the common names for the genus that you may have heard.
- Pinks come in enduring shapes. They are either fully or partially evergreen. The common name “pink” comes from the petals’ ruffled edges, which resembled pinking shears when they were cut.
- Short-lived perennial Sweet William is often grown as a biennial or annual.
- Dianthus caryophyllus carnations are a florist favorite because of their long stems and lengthy bloom period.
Height can range from 4 to 36 inches tall depending on the type. The width of the spreads varies depending on the variety and can be anywhere from 4 and 24 inches wide.
Color and characteristics:
Flowers have ruffled petals and can be solitary, semi-double, or double. With the exception of blue, they are available in almost all hues as well as patterned bicolors. The strappy, grass-like foliage comes in green, blue-green, and silver-green hues.
Some people may experience brief skin irritation from dianthus foliage, with symptoms often disappearing after a few minutes. If pets consume the plants, they could become somewhat harmful.
The greatest places to cultivate dianthus
Dianthus, also known as “pinks,” is a diverse genus of flowers most recognized for its fragrant, vividly pink blossoms. They are suitable for most flower gardens because they are adaptable and hardy. Here’s how to cultivate dianthus flowers in your garden and take care of them.
Dianthus is a plant that is native to Europe and Asia. Its variants range from creeping ground covers ideal for rock gardens to blooming stems that are at least 24 inches long and good for cutting. These flowers are also frequently referred to as “pinks” because of either their distinctively pink blooms or the fringed (i.e., “pinked”) edges of those blooms. In any event, the sunny border plants or containers on the deck or patio are cheered up by their vibrant, five-petalled flowers.
Dianthus are well-liked for a variety of reasons. If you deadhead the faded blooms, they will continue to bloom throughout the summer in addition to producing an abundance of starry flowers. Additionally, they have a beautiful clove-like scent. In addition, the flowers draw hummingbirds, butterflies, and other pollinators to the area.
When to Plant Dianthus
- Early in the spring, when a light frost is still possible, direct seed outdoors. Lightly cover the seeds; they require light to sprout.
- To promote deep roots, it is ideal to plant adult dianthus plants in the cooler months of spring or fall.
Choosing and Preparing a Planting Site
- Although it may tolerate little shade, dianthus should be planted in full sunlight.
- In order to prevent illnesses, well-drained soil and sufficient air circulation are essential. If necessary, improve the soil’s drainage. Study up on how to prepare the soil for planting.
How to Plant Dianthus
- Transplants should be placed so that the soil surface is level with the crown.
- Depending on the cultivar, leave 6 to 12 inches between plants.
- Water sparingly.
- Around the plants, spread a thin layer of dry organic mulch.
- Six to eight weeks before the last spring frost, start seeds indoors. Lightly press seeds into damp potting soil. Keep wet and lightly covered. Heat the bottom up if you can.
- When seedlings emerge from the dirt, put seed trays in a bright window.
- When seedlings have four sets of leaves and there is no chance of a frost, harden them off and transfer them.
How to Grow Dianthus
- Water sparingly and only when the soil seems dry.
- During the growing season, fertilize your plants a few times with a fertilizer that is balanced (equal parts nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium), or a phosphate-rich tomato fertilizer.
- For more blooms, deadhead wilted flowers and remove the stems as well.
- To promote a second crop of flowers later in the season, shear plants back after they have finished blooming in the late summer.
- If blossoms are not removed, a lot of types self-seed.
- Leave evergreen leaves for fall and winter appeal at the end of the season, or trim stems back to 1 to 2 inches above the earth.
- Every two to three years, in the early spring or after flowering, divide existing plants.
The best types for backyard gardens, according to the North American Dianthus Society, are as follows:
- Alpine pinks (Dianthus alpinus) and Cheddar pinks (D. gratianopolitanus) and their hybrids are hardy rock garden pinks. They have small, highly scented flowers on 2- to 6-inch-tall plants with grassy gray-green foliage. They are hardy in Zones 3 to 9.
- Cottage pinks (D. plumarius): hardy in Zones 3 to 9, with clove-scented, lilac-pink flowers and grass-like foliage that is 12 to 15 inches tall. Deadhead for fall rebloom.
- Hardy perennials in zones 7 to 10 with mildly scented flowers on 6- to 10-inch-tall stalks on 3- to 4-inch-high mounds are called China pinks (D. chinensis).
- Clusterheads, such as Sweet William (D. barbatus), are annual, biennial, or short-lived perennial plants that are hardy in Zones 3 to 9. They have clusters of single or double white, pink, red, or salmon flowers on 12- to 24-inch-tall stalks.
- Carnations (D. caryophyllus), often known as the florist’s flower, are hardy in zones 5 to 8 and feature multi-petalled blooms on 12- to 24-inch stalks with curly, blue-green leaves. Instead of frost-tender kinds that need a greenhouse, pick hardy perennial border carnations, also known as “wild carnations.”
Does the dianthus return each year?
Biennial and perennial dianthus can thrive in USDA plant hardiness zones 3 through 10 depending on the species and cultivar. Nearly all Dianthus species will reseed and sprout new plants the following spring, and biennials and perennials will return for at least two years.
Why is my dianthus fading away?
In general, dianthus is resilient and simple to grow in the correct circumstances. Start with wholesome seeds or nursery stock from a reliable supplier. Make sure the soil has sufficient drainage since too much moisture in the planting area might cause root rot and fungus diseases. Turn the soil to a depth of 12 inches before adding 2 to 4 inches of compost to the bed. Some plants need excellent drainage, while others can tolerate moist but not soggy soil. The requirements for your variety are on the seed packet.
Make sure the plants receive at least six hours of sunlight each day to keep them healthy. In typical circumstances, water the plant once a week at the base rather than from the top. In times of high heat or if the plants are in containers, water more frequently, but make sure there isn’t any standing water close to the plants.
Dianthus is subject to some insect pests in addition to disease. Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), a naturally occurring microbe that is offered under numerous brand names, can be used to treat cutworms and cabbage moths. Neem oil, a natural substance found in the oil of neem trees, is effective at fending off spider mites and aphids.
Are dianthus blooms contagious?
The classic cottage border is composed of sweet william. The plants have leaves that are held above clusters of red, pink, white, purplish, or bicolored blooms that are about 18 inches tall. As cut flowers, they last a very long time in vases and have a pleasant aroma. Although individual plants are erect and do not spread, if the blossoms are not cut and the seeds are allowed to develop, the plants will spread by self-seeding.
How can you ensure that dianthus blooms all summer long?
- For the plant to produce the most flowers throughout the year, it must receive full sun. The plant could not have as many flowers if it does not receive enough sunlight (if any at all).
- Deadheading annual dianthus is crucial if you want to stop it from setting seed and spreading. Deadheading is not recommended if you want to collect seeds to develop more plants or if you want the plant to spread spontaneously in your garden.
- Utilize rubbing alcohol to sterilize the scissors or shears. By doing this, the chance of illnesses moving from plant to plant will be reduced.
- You might decide to snip the blossoms off before they begin to appear depressed. It’s quite acceptable and will let you enjoy the cut flowers in an arrangement!
What could I grow close to dianthus?
Planting Ideas for Dianthus
- Salvia (may be either annual or perennial)
- Button for bachelors.
- sugar pea.
Why haven’t my dianthus bloomed?
Your dianthus’ failure to bloom is primarily caused by the possibility that they were planted in the incorrect area of your yard. These plants need complete sun for at least six hours each day. To keep your plants growing and healthy, you must also “deadhead” them, which is the process of removing the wasted blooms. This will refocus energy on creating new blossoms and maintain the health of your plants. You might also administer some slow-release general fertilizer to them. Your plant’s age could also play a role because many smaller or younger plants require a year or two to establish themselves.
Another reason you might not have any buds or flowers is pests. Scales, spider mites, and aphids all enjoy attacking young plants. Look for pests on your plants. Look on the stems and under the leaves. Use an effective insecticidal soap or antifungal spray on your dianthus.