Position – Full sun
Soil – Moist, well-drained
Flowering Period – May to September (dependent on variety)
Hardiness – Fully hardy
Dianthus are annual or perennial plants, flowering from late spring to autumn. Many varieties have colourful blooms that are often spicy in fragrance with notched petals, where the foliage is lightly spread on thick, majestic stems. These plants look highly attractive in flower beds and borders within cottage and informal garden settings. Some varieties make wonderful cut flowers and container plants. Dianthus will grow to an approximate height and spread of 30-40cm (12-16").
The best time to plant Dianthus is during the early spring or autumn in moist, well-draining soil of loam, chalk or sand. Most Dianthus are intolerant to acidic soil and will thrive best in alkaline or neutral based PH levels. A generous layer of compost should supplement the planting hole for optimum growth and should be watered thoroughly to settle the soil in place. They are best positioned in a location of full sun.
Apply a thin layer of compost each spring along with a layer of mulch to retain moisture levels and suppress weeds around the base of the stem. It is vital to water Dianthus thoroughly during the summer or during periods of drought. Some varieties may require staking to maintain a healthy structure and shape. After the first frosts, you should cut back the stems to an inch above the soil as this will promote profuse growth in the following season.
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