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Dianthus (dye-AN-thus)

Common Name:  Pinks, carnation, sweet william

Light:  - Full sun to part sun

Soil:  Average, sandy to loamy, well-drained

Moisture:  Average to dry, drought tolerant

Blooms:  Summer

Zones:  (4) 5 - 8

Dianthus 'Firewitch'

Dianthus 'Frosty Fire'

Dianthus Description and Cultural Information

Dianthus barbatus, sweet William. 6 - 12". This plant is a biennial or short lived perennial with deep-green, lance-shaped leaves and dense rounded flower heads in mixed bicolors of pink, red, and white. It is very easy to grow from seed and often moves about the garden as a result.

Dianthus deltoides, maiden pinks. 6 - 12". A cute, low growing, mat-forming plant with pink or rose colored flowers in spring and early summer. Much more perennial than sweet William. 'Brilliant' and 'Red Maiden' are god selections with rose to red flowers.

Dianthus gratianopolitanus, cheddar pinks. 9 - 12". The cheddar pinks have wonderful blue-green foliage and a profusion of rose-pink flowers in early summer. 'Mountain Mist' is a spreading variety with pink flowers. 'Firewitch' is a clumping type with deep rose flowers that bloom on and off all season. 'Tiny Rubies' and 'Baby Blanket' have deep pink double flowers. The star series including 'Fire Star' PP#14895, 'Eastern Star' PP#14437, 'Shooting Star' PP#16431, and 'Neon Star' PP#14549 are nice choices in that they are more tightly clumped and bloom on and off all summer long.

How to Grow:  Plant Dianthus in average to sandy, well-drained soil in full sun to part sun. They are quite drought tolerant and may rot in wet soil. Propagate by division or stem cuttings plus some varieties are easy to grow from seed. Some varities can become a bit leggy and will tolerate some light trimming in the spring to keep them tidy.

Landscape uses:  Plant the low growing Dianthus as an edging plant at the front of the border and in the rock garden. Good companions are artemisia, columbine, sedum, yarrow, balloon flower, Veronica, and baby's breath.

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