Growing Dianthus (Garden Pink)

Latin Name Pronunciation: dye-an'thus    

Most varieties require full sun (partial shade in warm inland areas of the West). D. deltoides varieties tolerate partial shade. All require well-drained soil with a pH close to neutral. Add a handful of lime when planting if your soil is excessively acid. Keep mulch well away from crown. Shear back flower stems after the first wave of bloom to encourage repeat bloom (rebloom is not dependable in the South). Most varieties are evergreen; do not cut back in fall. Prune away winterkill stems in spring.

Growing Dianthus Indoors

For Dianthus plants to bloom properly indoors, they need lots of sunshine (from a south- or southwest-facing window). Water when the top 1" of soil is dry to the touch. Remove faded flowers to encourage the development of new buds. Plants are otherwise undemanding.

When the danger of frost has passed in spring, bring your plant outdoors and place it in partial shade for several days before planting it in full sun. Your Dianthus may not flower outdoors the first year, but you can look forward to its carnation-like blooms in subsequent years.

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