Care of the Dianthus plants

The Dianthus genus contains about 300 species of flowering plants, which are a part of the Caryophyllaceous family. The varieties included in this category are annuals, biennials and also perennials. These also include various hybrid plants.

The Dianthus originates from certain areas in Europe and Asia and can also be referred to as sweet William, pink or carnations. If you are a gardening enthusiast that is looking for a special type of flower for your garden, Dianthus offers a lot of different varieties. They look especially pretty in flower arrangements as they have very colorful hues and a very powerful and sweet smell. Some Dianthus plants have tiny pink flowers with lacy edgings and spiky leaves that come in a blue-green color. The varieties come in different sizes, varying from 10 to 20 inches.

Some of the more popular varieties of Dianthus plants include Sweet William, China Pink, Alpine Pink, Cheddar Pink, Large Pink and Fringed Pink. Amongst the hybrid varieties you can find the Bouquet Purple, the Melody Pink, Sweet Pink and the Dynasty Purple.

When growing a Dianthus plant you need to keep in mind that it receives plenty of direct sunlight for at least 4-5 hours each day and do not place it next to other, fast-growing plants. Also, you need to choose a site that is not very humid, as this can impair the growth of the plant and increase the risk of disease.

The soil needs to be fertile, with slight alkaline content, a pH level of 6.75 and well-drained in order for the plant to grow properly. You can also add some rotted leaves, pine needles or compost to the soil in order to help retain the moisture and nutrients. The compost can be added in a 2 inch layer together with manure and mixed into the soil.

The Dianthus can be planted both as seeds and by transplanting. Tip cuttings, division or layering can be used to grow some of the perennial varieties of plant. The seeds can be planted during the spring or even in the early summer, placed a depth of about 1/8 inch. After planting, you need to cover the seeds over with soil and water the area.

The plants do not enjoy much humidity, despite being very resilient and you can only water them every once in a while during dry summers, preferably during the morning. You can add water whenever the soil starts to seem dry, making sure to test it often for moisture in the summer. You can do so by placing your finger inside the soil. Do not water if it seems moist, as this can lead to rotting of the roots or the yellowing of the leaves. In winter, watering is not necessary very often.

Manure can be used as fertilizer when planting the seeds. In order to enrich the soil, the fertilizer should have a balanced composition of nitrogen, phosphate and potassium and it needs to be added in another layer once the plants bloom. The well rotted manure will ensure that you have brighter and more beautiful blooms.

If the plant has grown 8-9 pairs of leaves you can break off the growing tip to ensure the side growth of new flowering stems. This process will surely result in prolific blossoming, while ignoring the pinching of shoots will result in less flowers. If you would like to focus the plant on growing bigger blooms as opposed to more blooms you can remove the extra ones from the Dianthus plant.

You can frequently pluck off the thin ones growing on the side stalks. With this procedure, only the bud growing on top of each stem will remain. In order to make sure that the plant produces seeds, you will need to keep some of the spent flowers on the stem while removing the rest.

Dianthus genus, flower arrangements, hybrid plants, lacy edgings, perennial varieties, pine needles, rotted leaves, rotted manure, slight alkaline content, spiky leaves