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Dianthus is a flowering plant belonging to the class of Caryophyllaceae. The plant takes its name from two Greek words - dios and anthos - that is, divine and flower, respectively. With over 300 species, these plants are indigenous to Asia and Europe. Thanks to its beauty and pretty scent, Dianthus is always the first choice when it comes to any garden flower assortment.
Best Time for Growing Dianthus
There is no such best time for growing Dianthus. Primarily perennial herbs, these flowering plants do have annual and biennial varieties. There are some species of these plants that are low sub shrubs with woody basal stems. Therefore, you can choose the weather for growing this gorgeous plant based on your choice of carnations ? Dianthus caryophyllus is grown in normal conditions, when it is neither too hot nor too cold; Sweet William is a biennial and lasts for six months; and D. gratianopolitanus blooms once a year.
With five smooth or toothed petals and linear leaves with frilly edges, these flowers come in all colors, including blue green, grey green, yellow, pale or dark pink, purple, white, red, cranberry, and orange. These beautiful plants are sometimes known as Cottage Pinks and belong to the same species as carnations. These gorgeous flowers range in height and width and can be are a few to several inches wide and a few to several feet tall.
Dianthus Growing Tips
Plant Dianthus seeds at least one-eighth inches deep in well-drained soil.
Ensure that the soil is kept moist until the seeds sprout and begin growing. Dianthus grows well in both beds and pots. Use loam or sand in pots for better drainage because the plant grows well in well-drained soil. You can grow any variety of Dianthus from seeds sown in spring or early summer. Use softwood tip cuttings taken in the spring or early summer to plant in the garden by fall.
Tip layering can also help in the propagation of new Dianthus plants. All you need to do is simply pin a growing tip to the ground and the roots will develop from there. Severe the new Dianthus from the mother and you will get a new plant.
Dianthus grows best in well-drained, slightly alkaline soil, at least with 6.5 pH. You can use dolomitic lime to increase the pH. The soil should be kept dampened and drained without saturation. Planting these flowers in too wet soil or soil having too much of fertilizer quantity, will result in poor growth.
The plant requires full exposure to sun for proper growth. The plant location should be such that it gets at least six to seven hours of sunlight every day.
It should not be grown too deep in the ground so as to prevent crown rot
The plant does not require much water. Overwatering might turn their foliage yellow. Watering weekly will suffice if the weather is not too dry.
It grows well if the soil is fed with compost, granular fertilizer, well-decayed humus-forming material, and well-decayed farm manure in Autumn / Fall. Feed the plant lightly with a liquid fertilizer every six to eight weeks for continued blooming.
Dianthus plants are known to reseed themselves. Don't be in haste to eliminate spent plants from the ground. It is best to trim the plants once the blooming halts. This will encourage blooming of the flowers later. Deadheading these flowers as they grow promotes their proper growth.
Avoid mulching these plants. Mulching renders Dianthus susceptible to stem rot.
Dianthus require good air circulation around the stems to promote good growth. It should not be planted too closely to other plants to prevent lingering moisture and promote air circulation. The plant species should be planted at least 12 to 18 inches from each other.
The plant crown must be level with the soil surface. No part of the stem should be buried.
Caring for Dianthus is not a daunting task, unlike other varieties of flowers. Dianthus plants are versatile and can be used in entry way beds, containers, cut flower gardens, and heirloom gardens. You can use each division of your Dianthus plant for replanting.