Dianthus

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Dianthuses are hardy, herbaceous, perennial plants that produce bright, fragrant blooms. Dianthus is a genus of about 300 species of flowering plants. The name Dianthus is from the Greek words for God and flowers. Its genus can include Carnations, Picotees, and Sweet William.

Dianthus are easy to grow and prefer full sun, moderate climates, and rich, well-drained soil. Perennial Dianthus is often evergreen or semi-evergreen. The dark green foliage stays evergreen in the winter months except in northern climates.

The evergreen foliage and the long flowering season allow for interesting year-round displays of foliage in the winter and flowers in spring, summer, and fall. Dianthus are used in containers, mixed plantings, cut flower gardens, scented gardens, butterfly gardens, and borders.

Dianthus is deer resistant and multiplies readily. Along with well-drained soil, select a site with neutral to alkaline soil pH. Dianthus will not tolerate wet soils, especially in the winter. Remove spent blooms on tall varieties or cut back mounding plants after they flower to encourage rebloom.

Dianthus plants need good air circulation and they should not be heavily mulched. A very light mulch at the base of the plant is sufficient for weed control. Use a light application all-purpose fertilizer every 6 to 8 weeks to promote flowering. Dianthus may be divided every 3 to 4 years by digging the plant up and splitting the base into divisions and replanting. Water thoroughly upon replanting.