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April Plant of the Month | Dianthus

Dianthus

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).

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