April Plant of the Month | DianthusDianthus Dianthus is a large genus that encompasses some 300 different species of flowering plant. Within the genus are annuals, biennials and perennials (some of which are short-lived) with common names including ‘Pink’; ‘Carnation’ and ‘Sweet William’. Dianthus are long-running favourites of the British garden. Plant perennial varieties at the front of a sunny border, or as attractive mounds within rock gardens and containers. They are also loved by pollinators, many having a sweet fragrance and make great cutting flowers.
Dianthus Varieties There are a huge number of attractive Dianthus varieties to choose from. We highlight a number of favourites, grown by our own Hillier Nurseries in Hampshire. Dianthus ‘Candy Floss’ Pink ‘Candy Floss’ Dianthus ‘Candy Floss’ is a highly perfumed variety with grey-green foliage and sugar-pink double flowers throughout summer. Flowering time: May to August Sun Requirements: Full sun to dappled shade Soil: Any moist, well-drained soil Hardiness: Frost hardy Size: Grows to 30cm height x 30cm spread
Dianthus ‘Cosmopolitan’ Pink ‘Cosmopolitan’ Dianthus ‘Cosmopolitan’ is a mound-forming, evergreen perennial with grey-green foliage. It produces graceful clouds of vivid magenta, fragrant flowers throughout summer. Flowering time: May to October Sun Requirements: Full sun to dappled shade Soil: Any moist, well-drained soil Hardiness: Frost hardy Size: Grows to 35cm height x 30cm spread
Dianthus ‘Memories’ Pink ‘Memories’ Dianthus ‘Memories’ is a compact, mound-forming, evergreen perennial. It produces pure white, double flowers with serrated edged petals and has a spicy, fruity fragrance. Flowering time: May to September Sun Requirements: Full sun to dappled shade Soil: Any moist, well-drained soil Hardiness: Frost hardy Size: Grows to 25cm height x 25cm spread
Growing Guide Dianthus should be grown in well-drained soil in a sunny spot, or with very light dappled shade. For best flowering, prepare the soil in advance incorporating a good multi-purpose compost or plenty of well-rotted manure.
Plant Care Deadheading Deadhead Dianthus regularly to prolong flowering. Remove the whole flowering stem and not just the finished flower.
Planting Ideas As Dianthus are compact, mound-forming plants they work fantastically well at the front of a sunny border where they create a row of colour – the perfect complement to taller, more architectural plants behind. Dianthus can also be planted simply in containers, for a pot bursting full of colour all summer long.
Dianthus Fact The name ‘Dianthus’ means ‘divine flower’ or ‘flower of Zeus’ in Greek - ‘divine’ (dios) ‘flower’ (anthos)."