Dianthus Care Aromatic Perennials with Simple Growth

Dianthus Care Aromatic Perennials with Simple Growth

Dianthus Care, The best thing about dianthus is that your neighborhood nursery probably has a ton of it. While the differences between each variety are minimal, you still have options. The kind of adaptable plant you choose depends on how you’ll use it in your landscape. 

Although not native to North America, these plants are lovely and offer pollen to bees and other insects that visit your pepper and dianthus flowers. There is probably one of the over 300 species you can choose from that you will like.

In this article, we’ll talk about dianthus maintenance. We’ll discuss dianthus care, a few of the more than 300 varieties, and potential problems that dianthus gardeners might encounter. Once you’ve finished reading, you’ll be prepared to spice up your garden with a dash of dianthus.

Dianthus Care

Dianthus Care

Good Dianthus Growing Products on Amazon: 

Quick Care Manual

Regular Name Sweet William, Carnation, Pinks, and Dianthus
Biological Name  

Dianthus ianthus species FamilyCaryop

Size and spread range from 10 to 36 inches tall and 1 to 2 feet wide. 
Lightwhole sun
soil rich with good drainage
water one inch every week.
Diseases and pests Numerous diseases, aphids, spider mites, cutworms, cabbage moths, sowbugs, and spider mites

Information on Dianthus Plants

Dianthus (Dianthus spp.) (although some species are annuals or biennials) is a genus of flowering herbaceous perennials. Some start to develop shrub-like growth patterns and woody stems. Theophrastus, a Greek philosopher, gave them their name in the early third century BC. A few species of the plant are native to Africa, but the majority are from Europe and Asia.

All Dianthus species have opposite, simple, green leaves. Depending on the variety, plants can grow to a height of 10 inches to 36 inches and a width of 1 to 2 feet. The five-petalled, occasionally double flowers come in a variety of hues and scents. The typical varieties bloom from early spring to late fall and have frilled pink to fuschia petals. All self-seed or reappear every year. Even during the harshest winters, their extensive roots stay in the soil.

While they are developing on the plant, dianthus flowers are resilient. They are frequently used in floral designs. They work well with annual vegetables, perennial plants, and cottage gardens. Additionally, they have a history of use in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean medicine to treat gastrointestinal issues as well as diseases of the mouth, gums, and teeth.

You can now find a few dianthus species at your neighborhood nursery. To help you decide whether to grow perennial dianthus, let’s talk about some of the most popular species.

varieties of dianthus

Caryophyllus dianthus, “Carnation,” “Clove Pink,” “Clove Pinks,” and “Red Dianthus.” Monrovia, Spain’s national flower, and one of its species serve as Ohio’s state flowers. Pinkish-purple is the actual color of carnation plants.

Carnations are grown in a variety of colors, including true pink, reds, yellows, whites, and even green. Although no true carnation can naturally produce a blue flower, some crossbreeds do. The carnation plant’s dianthus flower is ruffled and ranges in color from light pink to almost lavender. They bloom from spring to summer and do well in the USDA’s cooler zones.

Barbatus Dianthus Sweet William and Green Trick Dianthus are examples of common plants in gardens. They produce red flowers with a white base in the wild. The color and pattern of Sweet Williams vary among different cultivars.

Deltoides dianthus Zing Rose, Dianthus Kahori, and Maiden Pink The eye-catching pink flowers of the Kahori dianthus are adored. Other maiden pinks range in color from a light shade to the dazzling Zing Rose cultivar that is depicted above.

Armeria dianthus, “Sand Pink,” “Deptford Pink,” “Grass Pink,” and “Mountain Pink” Petals with specks, serrations, and frills shape a tiny star. Other mountain pinks come in a variety of hues. These are used in some parts of the world to restore wild meadows, but they also look gorgeous in a garden setting.

Dianthus plumeria, “Cottage Pinks,” “Common Pink,” “Garden Pink,” and “Wild Pink” Both wild and domesticated garden pinks have sharp edges and vivid blooms. “Common pink” is not at all common in cultivars with single- and variegated colors. These have the dianthus family’s most beautiful and sweet-smelling scent.

Gratianopolitan Dianthus, Grandiflorus, “Cheddar Pink,” “Dianthus Firewitch,” a comparable form to Dianthus plumeria, The town in the UK where they were first grown is where Cheddar pinks get their name. Cheddar pinks have lovely blue-green foliage that cools the environment and fragrant, lovely flowers. People adore the Firewitch cultivar for its eye-catching shade.

Mountain dianthus, “Joan’s Blood,” and “Alpine Pink” Joan’s Blood, a cultivar of the alpine pinks species, is highly regarded. Alpine pinks are smaller dianthus pinks that have compact growth and smaller flowers but aren’t quite dwarf species.

Cooler climate growers will appreciate China’s Dianthus, “China Pink.” The late spring to early summer blooming period for this dianthus perennial The flowers have a dark pink center and are deep pink and white.

Dianthus plantation

To plant dianthus, pick a large container with soil that drains well or a location that receives direct sunlight. Dianthus make wonderful cottage-style plants and are also successful in rock gardens and cutting gardens.

Dig a hole that is the same depth as the nursery pot and slightly wider if you are working with transplants. Plant your perennial dianthus or sweet william with the crown level with the soil. After that, bury them in fresh soil and water them.

Find a spot with full sun and well-drained soil, and wait until the last spring frost has passed before planting dianthus seeds there.

Alternately, sow seeds in the fall, 12 weeks before the first frost. Before lightly covering them with fine soil, evenly distribute the seeds over the soil’s surface. Add water to them. They’ll start to sprout in about a week. Thin the seedlings to 8 to 12 inches apart once they have two to three leaves.

maintaining Dianthus

You must give your dianthus the proper care after planting them in planters or with other cottage-style plants. Let’s talk about the fundamental requirements for both mass plantings and perennial mounds.

Heat and the Sun

Most species thrive best in full sunlight. As long as they receive at least six hours of light each day, they can tolerate light shade.

Flowers may lose some of their vibrancy in too much shade. Zones 3 to 9 are suitable for the Dianthus genus’ hardiness. Some of these flowering plants continue to produce in hot weather, but the majority of them go dormant in temperatures above 85 degrees.

Dianthus plants don’t like extremely cold winters, and occasionally a light frost will cause them to wither away. However, a thick layer of organic mulch keeps the roots alive even during hard freezes and regularly freezing winters while also aiding in weed suppression.

Cover your dianthus with leaves or a shade cloth during early autumn and early spring freezes to protect young plants from harsh weather.

Humidity and water

To keep the foliage dry, water your dianthus at the base. This stops the lovely blue-green foliage from developing mildew. Eliminate any areas of standing water around them because dianthus does not like wet feet.

Use soaker hoses, drip irrigation, or a watering can to water your plants in the early morning or at dusk. Every week, give your dianthus at least 1 inch of water. I’ve discovered that my established, mulched plants can survive with less water. When there has been plenty of rain, there is no need to add more water.

Soil: An important consideration when planting dianthus is where to place the plants. Dianthus needs well-drained soil to grow. They favor rich soils or those that have had a lot of compost incorporated.

Prior to planting, 2 to 4 inches of compost should be worked through the top foot of your garden beds. Regular reapplications should be made around the top of the plant in early spring before new growth starts. Sandy soil is ideal for Dianthus plants as long as it contains enough nutrients. They prefer acidic soil with a pH of 5.5 to 5.8 over alkaline soil.


Mix a slow-release fertilizer before planting.

a natural fertilizer If you want to encourage flowering, incorporate compost into the soil as well. A lot of color is encouraged by fertilizer with higher potassium levels. The majority of carnation and pink varieties do well with 5-10-10 slow-release granular fertilizer.

Reapply a balanced liquid fertilizer every 4-6 weeks to promote further flowering. Standard liquid fertilizers promote deep rooting, while phosphorus and potassium fertilizers with higher concentrations promote more blooming and a longer bloom e more bloomin

You might be curious about deadheading dianthus. Just above the topmost row of leaves, pinch off any spent flowers. This prevents the plant from producing seeds, as well as possibly triggering a fresh growth spurt and lengthening the bloom period of your plants.

Use a pair of clean garden shears or pinking shears to prune the plant down once the first flush of flowering has finished (typically in early summer). Remove as much of the plant’s height as possible. This signals to your Dianthus plants that they should bush out more and prompts the development of fresh flower buds.

Trim any lanky or overgrown stems throughout the summer to maintain the attractive shape. To stop them from spreading and setting seed, keep removing spent flowers. If you want more dianthus flowers the following year, leave them alone.

Dianthus naturally dies in the fall. Depending on the variety, cut back your dianthus plants to 1 to 2 inches tall and remove any dead or evergreen foliage. They will survive the winter and emerge in the spring with a new flush of dark green foliage.

Planting new dianthus

To avoid transplant shock, water your plant well the night before repotting. Work a few inches of compost into the soil in your new pot or location to prepare the soil. If desired, fertilize the soil with slow-release granules before carefully removing your dianthus from its previous container.

It should not be planted any deeper than it was at the time of planting because doing so could stunt growth. Place it in the pot and carefully add soil all the way around the plant’s base. Wait for new blue-green leaves to appear and dianthus flowers to bloom before watering it.

Reproduction of Dianthus

Stem cuttings are an effective way to ensure that a new plant inherits the same traits as the one that produced it. Take cuttings after watering the day before, in June or July. On a cloudy day, propagate to lessen the shock to the parent plant.

First, add some horticultural sand and vermiculite to some small pots in a 50/50 mixture. The leaf nodes on your cutting ought to be numerous and well-developed. Slice a quarter-inch below a leaf node, then dip the cut end, along with the leaf node, in rooting hormone powder.

Create a hole in your starter medium with a pencil or stick, set the cutting into it, and then gently spread more planting medium around it to support it and keep it upright. Keep the soil moist and in a sunny location until the roots appear and fresh, green foliage grows. To keep the cutting moist, use a dome.

Dianthus becomes mat-forming as it ages and slowly spreads outward. To expand the dianthus plant, divide these every few years in the early or late spring. To lessen transplant shock, give the plant plenty of water the day before.

Then carefully dig up the dianthus and cut it into three to six-inch segments with your fingers. To help them adapt to their new location, replant these in the prepared soil and water them once more. Perennial dianthus is the plant you’ll have the most success with with this method. Hardy perennials will typically have the simplest time taking root and flourishing.

Troubleshooting: After discussing dianthus care, let’s move on to potential problems. Although there are many pests and diseases to be aware of, you might not even have to deal with them.

Increasing Issues

Young seedlings that die suddenly and mysteriously are one of the most frequent growing issues. Lack of moisture is frequently to blame for this. For some dianthus plants to grow properly, higher humidity is necessary.

This can be fixed by regularly monitoring the plant’s health and misting it with a spray bottle. Hold the spray bottle at a distance that will prevent the tender seedling from bending under the force of the spray, causing the mist to settle like a fog.

Pinks are these plants’ quickest self-seeders. Once the tiny flowers have faded, aggressively deadhead your pink perennial to stop the seed-producing process. If dianthus perennials are allowed to grow unchecked, their seeds will disperse all over your yard, creating volunteers.

If your bloom time is brief, make sure you didn’t select a short-lived perennial or a pink plant instead of a mat-forming variety with a brief bloom period. Short-lived perennial dianthus varieties such as Sweet William or Old Fashioned Pinks, as opposed to Garden Pinks, work well in cut flower arrangements.

Pests: any insect that cuts is a problem.

Cutworms are particularly noteworthy, but the broccoli virus is a sporadic issue. Use either Bacillus thuringiensis or both of these BT sprays to eliminate any invaders. To deter cutting insects, I advise lightly misting the plants with a liquid application.

The presence of extremely fine webs with brown or white spots on your plants indicates a moderate spider infestation. Neem oil is your friend in this situation, again applied through a light misting.

Hemp oil will deter the mites and get rid of them. Neem should not be sprayed when it is hotter than 90 degrees or when pollinators are most active.

Aphids rob your plant of its life. Neem oil should be applied after a strong water stream to stop further infestations. A regular light misting every few days to once a week, just to keep the aphids and spider mites away, may be necessary if there are persistent problems.

Sow bugs are similar to tomato hornworms—not quite the same, though. They are a related species, and when they are numerous, they will occasionally eat plants. In order to avoid these, clean up the area around your dianthus during the growing season and cut off any bottom leaves that touch the ground.


fungus wiltand

Versicolor fungi that are spread through soil. Unfortunately, in order to stop the infection from spreading, plants that have been affected by these wilts must be removed and destroyed. Await the death of the soil-borne fungus before adding more plants there. Plant fragrant flowers instead that can withstand those wilts.

Pseudomonas-induced bacterial wilt is also irreparable. After removing plants affected by wilts, sterilize your tools by thoroughly cleaning them with either bleach or rubbing alcohol. Additionally, these plants ought to be removed.

Root decay, stem rot, and crown rot result in droopy flower petals, wilted foliage, and diminished spicy scents from some of these plants. They eventually cause plant death by causing browning leaves. Avoid overwatering and only apply moisture to the soil’s surface. Rot should be avoided at all costs.

can be used to combat Alternaria leaf spot as well as Septoria leaf spot.

the fungicide copper Eliminate any leaves with leaf spot disease symptoms. If you notice leaf spots, only water early in the morning so that the foliage can dry before dusk.

Your flowers are experiencing this if they turn a papery brown and form gray masses.

Botricaria cinerea flower decay This is most likely in cloudy, muggy, or rainy conditions. To stop the spread, apply a copper fungicide and deadhead spent flowers for a while. Leaves with tan to brown streaking should be pruned.

FAQ Dianthus Care: Do you remove dead dianthus blooms? 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 grow more plants or if you want the plant to spread naturally in your garden. Utilize rubbing alcohol to sterilize the scissors or shears.

Should dianthus be reduced in size? In the fall, when the plants start to naturally die back, prune the dianthus. Trim each plant to within 1 to 2 inches of the soil, then discard the leaves.

How can I make my dianthus bloom once more?

The best places to grow dianthus Light: Dianthus can tolerate partial shade, but it blooms best with at least six hours of full sun, especially in the warmest zones. Spring to early summer is when most flowers bloom, with some continuing to bloom all through the summer and fall.

Do dianthuses return each year? Yes, the dianthus will reappear every year when grown in temperate climates with well-draining soil.

For the winter, do you trim the dianthus? Dianthus are easy to care for in the winter because they don’t really need much attention. Cut your plants straight to the ground. Get rid of any plant damage or dead stems. Add a thick layer of insulating mulch on top.

When the dianthus has finished flowering, what do you do with it? After flowering, prune back the plant to promote a second flush of blooms and fertilize with a liquid tomato feed. In the autumn, trim again. Dianthus are short-lived plants that become woody at the base and appear rather straggly after a few years.

How is dianthus prepared for winter? Evergreen perennials like Phlox (mountain pink), Ajuga, Dianthus, Candytuft, Coral Bells, and Liriope should be allowed to overwinter. Simply remove any shredded or brown leaves, make sure the plant is healthy, and then leave the area alone.

How long does Dianthus live? Although these plants have a short lifespan, they are frequently grown as annuals in Missouri and other chilly climates. Annuals have a single growing season. However, a lot of Dianthus species reproduce annually. As a result, they grow back every spring. 23 June 2020

Does dianthus only have one bloom? Dianthus flowers bloom profusely in the early spring and summer, but if you remove the faded flowers as they appear, many dianthus will rebloom all through the gardening season.

How can dianthus be made bushy? Cut the plant’s height in half with sharp shears to induce bushy growth and more flower buds. Trim or pinch back lanky, overgrown stems at any time during the summer growing season to keep the plant in shape. Make the cuts on the stem close to a leaf bud to promote branching.

Does the dianthus grow back? Pinks (Dianthus plumarius) grow quickly and can withstand deer. The colorful, fragrant blossoms make excellent cut flowers and come in a variety of hues. Start Dianthus (pinks) seeds indoors six to eight weeks before your last frost for the earliest blooms.

How well will dianthus grow in pots? Dianthus Pot Planting For a touch of romantic texture and color, dianthus grows well in containers and can be planted in the spring and summer. They prefer a spot with some shade, which provides them with three to six hours of sunlight daily. They struggle in areas with direct sunlight and high temperatures.

Are dianthus challenging to maintain? When healthy and grown in the right location, dianthus are not only simple to care for but also generally free of pests and diseases. But there are potential issues that could arise, just like with any plant. Crown rot can be brought on by heavy mulch or overwatering. Root rot or stem rot can be caused by inadequate drainage.

How often should dianthus be watered? approximately weekly When should I water dianthus? About once per week, carnations need to be watered. The plants are regarded as drought-tolerant because they can survive brief periods of dryness or drought. The plants can withstand high temperatures, a lot of rain, humidity, or dryness as long as the soil is well drained.