Dianthus, A Small Investment with Big Returns

With winter behind us, we welcome a new season with one of our favorite spring-blooming perennials, Dianthus! These re-blooming flowers give us that color we've been waiting for. Not only are they beautiful, they are also very easy to grow. The most difficult part of growing dianthus is choosing which types you want to plant. Depending on the variety, blooms begin in early spring and continue all the way until frost. Dianthus blooms may be single or double (think little carnations), and tend to be white, pink, red, rose, or lavender - available in nearly all shades except true blue. Dianthus plants range from tiny creeping groundcovers to 30-inch-tall cut flowers, which are a favorite with florists.

Dianthus are drought-tolerant plants ideal for sunny spots at the edge of a flower bed or a path. Plant them early in the season, so they can become well established before hot weather sets in. These petite flowers sparkle in borders, beds, window boxes and containers. They flourish in the cool temperatures in spring and fall and prefer a full-sun location and well-drained soil, preferably with neutral to alkaline soil ph. Dianthus is also deer resistant. If you’re looking to add a blooming spring addition to your garden, look no further than dianthus. Before you know it, you will find your garden filled with the vibrant colors and distinctive fragrance. Here are a few of our favorites:

Dianthus, Pink Pompom - delightful rose-pink double flowers provide a bright burst of color in early spring, appearing continuously until autumn. The tidy mounding habit is practically maintenance-free. Pompom is perfect in landscape borders, rock gardens, containers and as a long-lasting cut flower. May remain evergreen in warmer winter regions. Prefers partial to full sun.

Dianthus, Double Bubble – features fully double flowers and simple, pure pink color. A profuse bloomer, 'Double Bubble' will be completely covered in blooms in early summer and then again in early fall. Foliage tends to be steely blue-green and finely textured and takes center stage when the plant is not in bloom. Plant in mass or in borders and containers. Double Bubble is deer resistant, low maintenance, drought tolerant and fragrant. This dianthus truly has it all!

Dianthus, Early Bird Chili - begins its show just as the weather starts to warm and keeps on blooming through autumn. Blooms stand tall above grassy, blue-green foliage with sturdy stems. Bold, coral double-blossoms sparkle in borders, beds, patio pots and window boxes. Its fragrant blooms are also perfect for cut flower arrangements. Early Bird prefers full sun and well-drained soil.

Photos provided by Centerton Nursery, Monrovia and Plant Haven International, Inc.