Dianthus (Red) - Plant
Dianthus are garden classics, appearing in many shapes and colours, most with blue/green or blue frosted quill-like foliage. Long blooming, perfect for small bouquets-most are fragrant.
A cottage garden is not complete without several Dianthus. All are heat tolerant and low maintenance beauties.
The dianthus plant is also called Sweet William (Dianthus barbatus) and has a fragrance with cinnamon or clove notes.
The plants are small and usually between 6 and 18 inches tall. Dianthus flowers are most often in pink, salmon, red and white hues. The foliage is slender and sparsely spread on thick stems.
Common name: Cheddar pinks, Clove pinks, Gilly flower pinks
Bloom time: Flower blooming time April to November
Height: Height: 20-27 cm; Spread: 20-25 cm
Difficulty level: easy to grow
Planting & Care
Plant pinks in full sun, partial shade or anywhere they will receive at least 6 hours of sun.
The plants need fertile, well-drained soil that is alkaline.
Wait until the danger of frost has passed when planting dianthus and place them at the same level they were growing in the pots, with 12 to 18 inches between the plants. Do not mulch around them.
Water them only at the base of the plant to keep the foliage dry and prevent mildew spotting.
Sunlight: Dianthus plants may grow in partial shade or full sun, and are drought tolerant when established.
Soil: Dianthus prefers well-draining, alkaline soils. However, they can withstand poor soils and may even be grown in a rock garden.
Stem rot can be a problem in dianthus plants if the soil doesn t drain well. If your soil is heavy clay, consider containers or raised beds for your plants. Dianthus plants like neutral to slightly alkaline soil pH.
If your soil pH is below 7.0, correct the acidity with an application of dolomitic limestone. Fireplace ashes can also increase the soil alkalinity.
Water: Water gently, just enough to moisten the soil. Keep the soil moist until seeds have germinated. Once the seeds have germinated, switch to a weekly watering schedule that is deeper.
Fertilizer: Dianthus plants are light feeders, and a shovelful of compost worked into the soil once a year is enough to nourish the plants. Work fertilizer into the soil and amend soil with a 5-10-5 fertilizer.
- Dianthus is generally not susceptible to serious diseases, but may become infected with aphids or other insects.
- Inspect once per month for aphids and other pests.
- Treat with insecticidal soaps or through biological controls, such as beneficial predatory insects.
- Feed dianthus every other month with all-purpose liquid fertilizer.
- Do not water during rainy or wet seasons as the roots will need to dry between watering.
- Plant out in May, 4-6 plants/sq.
- metrer in sunny, half shade spot.
- Bedding and pot plant.
- Excellent plant for the rock garden, border front or as an edger.