Dianthus Plant Planting and Care
Dianthus Plants Drought Tolerant Groundcovers – How to Plant Dianthus Plants in the Garden
Dianthus is a hardy plant that offers rich, fragrant flowers during the spring to early summer and continues to spot flower during the growing season. These flowers are known as pinks or clove pinks and they belong to the carnation family. They are used in the gardens as border plants or as potted display plants. They are small and grow up to a height of 6 to 16 inches. These highly fragrant flowers are normally seen in different shades of red and white to pink colours with contrasting grass like blue green foliage. They are biennials, annuals or short term perennials depending on the varieties. Dianthus can be used as cut flowers but are known to have shorter stems than their larger cousins the carnations. They are well suited to grow as garden edges, semi double varieties exhibit a pretty show of flowers when planted in cottage gardens. Dianthus has to be watered when its soil is dry. Fertiliser can be used once in 6 to 8 weeks.
Growing Dianthus from Seeds
You can use the fresh seed gathered from the plant or the seeds you get from a local nursery store to grow Dianthus from seeds. As the seeds are very thin and light around the edges, they need to be handled very carefully during sowing. Fresh seeds need to be placed in light proof and air sealed container till the seed is ready to plant.
- The planting medium for the Dianthus seeds should comprise of one part of sand, three parts of potting soil, two parts organic composts and one part of peat moss.
- Mix all these potting soil materials together and slightly moist the potting mix.
- Spread the seed on the soil and cover them lightly with some of the potting mix.
- Spray water on the soil using a sprayer and place the seed tray in a place where there is sunlight.
- Remember to keep the soil moist till the seeds germinate. It will take 8 to 10 days for the seeds to germinate.
Once the seedlings are about 3 to 4 inches tall, they need to be shifted to a permanent, to a sunny location outdoors.
Growing Dianthus from cuttings
You should choose a non-flowering shoot of the plant to grow Dianthus from cuttings.
- The shoot has to be trimmed neatly and just leave about four to five sets of leaves on the top of the cutting.
- Place the hormone rooting powder, dipped cuttings in a compost filled pot at least 1.5 inches of distance between each cutting.
- Water them well and ensure that the compost is moist at all times. You will see roots to show up on the cuttings after about 4 weeks
Now, the cutting can be removed from the pot and placed in individual pots to grow on as plants.
How to divide Dianthus?
As the Dianthus plant grows, it will develop clumps in the soil. To divide Dianthus, you need to dig up the entire clump and pull the clumps apart using your hands so that you separate the plant segments. You can also separate large clumps by using a gardening fork at the centre of the clump and prying the plant into two halves. The cut clumps need to be replanted in a pot filled with an organic compost mix and also needs to be watered well to encourage its growth. The right time to divide Dianthus plants is during the spring time.