|Plant Description|| ||Most of my Dianthus will be available for spring & summer planting, as
young plants. From September each year I try to have over a
dozen varieties, or more. |
This year, 2011,12, I have had a
very bad growing season, with all the wet & no cover for the plants,
and a bad attack in winter & spring of the pest, Aphid. If your plants are
struggling too, go have a close look at them, & spray.
I do not grow the large Carnation type, they are specialist lines
for the cut flower trade, but I'm gradually building up a good range
of all sorts of the smaller Dianthus for the garden. Mostly they are
double or semi double flowered, a few really nice singles, & I
am starting to extend into the wee alpines.
Most of the Dianthus grown here are heavily perfumed. Many
flower only in spring, or summer, a few are 'perpetual' and flower all season.
Many will flower twice a year. Many are old fashioned, or 'Heritage'
varieties, & I'm always looking to increase the range.
I'd be interested in hearing if you have some variety of
interest, & I'm always happy to swap plants. It doesn't have
to be a named variety, just a really nice one.
As a note
on the history of these plants, way back in the 1800's there
was a big surge in the UK of producing different plants. Literally
were grown, but of course so very few now remain. There was
one aspect everyone wanted in their flowers, for the flowers
to split down the side. It seems incredible now that this was
desireable, but that's the reason so many of our modern day
Dianthus do that... it was bred into them all those decades ago.
So don't growl when your flowers split down the side, it's
part of their history.
For growing conditions, provide free
draining soil, adding some grit if it's heavy & tending to wet,
& give a light dusting each winter of lime. Dianthus don't like
sour or acid soils. To prevent stem or collar rot, ALWAYS plant
at the same level they are in the containers & do not mulch
right under the plant.Watch for sucking insects, all year, but especially towards spring.
Give them air flow; Full sun, & if they are happy they will perform brilliantly.