All About DianthusThere are hundreds of varieties of Dianthus, although only a few may be available in your local garden centers. Many people think of them as a low growing groundcover, but some species reach a height of 2 feet or more, and make a fragrant and colorful cut flower. Plants can be annual, biennial or perennial with Zing roses, pinks and Sweet William a few of the most popular. Because there are so many types, it is best to check the tag or seed package to find one that will suit your needs.
Growing DianthusDianthus are easy to grow, and don't require a lot of special care. However, they do need sun for at least 5 hours of the day, so choose a sunny location with soil that drains well. If you wish to grow them from seed, it is necessary to start them indoors several weeks before the last frost of the spring in order to have flowers the same year. Otherwise, they can be sown directly into the garden after the last frost for flowers the following year. Cover them lightly with soil and water well. Most garden centers have established plants that can be purchased in the spring and will produce blooms in the summer. Set them into the ground at the same depth as their dirt enclosure, and space additional plants about 12 inches apart. Deadheading (removing the spent flowers) will encourage continuous blossoming.
Many Dianthus will self-seed if you don't remove all of the spent flowers. You can also dig up the plants, separate into smaller clumps, and replant in order to fill in a larger area.