How to Grow and Care for Dianthus Flower

How to Grow and Care for Dianthus Flower

Dianthus flowers are also known as “the pinks” The name Dianthus means “the divine flower.” The flowers belong to a family that also includes carnations and characterized by the spicy fragrance of the notes of cinnamon or clove. The plant is mostly used as a small potted plant for house decorations. The plant’s height is small, and usually between 6 to 18 inches (15-46 cm), and are most often in pink, salmon, red and white shades. The growth is slender and is simply spread on thick stems and thin branches bearing flowers. The leaves are opposite and mostly linear, with a bright green shade. Modern varieties of the Dianthus typically bloom from May to October and may be found as a hardy annual, biennial or perennial. The most common Dianthus is Carnation.


The Dianthus Chinensis or Chinese pinks are the variety of the flower that is most commonly found. Other than this, its perennial varieties include the Cheddar (D. Gratianopolitanus), Cottage (D. Plumarius), and Grass pinks (D. Armeria), all of which come in a rainbow of colors. Dianthus has plenty of names such as Sweet William (Dianthus barbatus), Carnation (D. Caryophyllus), and pink (D. Plumerius). The D. Barbatus is the name for the common Sweet William and is a biennial plant. There are both single and double flowers, and the variety continues to regrow around itself on its own. Some Dianthus plant species are also edible.

What The Plant Needs

How to Grow and Care for Dianthus Flower

The plant blooms fresh under a bright and full sun or partial shade, as long as it receives 6 hours of sun during the day. Alkaline soil, which is fertile and well-manured, is needed to grow the plant to its best capability. It is best to wait for the frost/winter to pass before planting a new Dianthus to have the best results. While seeding the plant, take a pot full of fertile soil and place the smaller plant into it. Keep the pots at least 12-18 inches away from each other and place the pots in a place that receives good sunlight.

How To Care For The Plant

How to Grow and Care for Dianthus Flower

The Dianthus is not a high maintenance plant species and does well without much attention. Always water the plant at its base. Water them when dry, which depends upon the amount of sunlight the plant receives and remember to add some fertilizer or manure every six to eight weeks. Using slow-release fertilizer also works.

Also, occasionally remove weed from the plant or any other unnecessary plants from the sides of the pot. Since its perennial varieties are short-lived, it is important to keep propagating them by tip cuttings and layering.

Does Dianthus grow back every year?

The Dianthus can be biennial or perennial, depending on the type of variety. The flower typically blooms to its fullest in June. Though the plants are short-lived, they are capable of reseeding themselves. Typically, they stay fresh, blooming for about 3 years before the decline of the health of the complete plant. It is best to cut parts of it and regrow them to keep them blooming.

Can I take cuttings from a Dianthus?

Yes. The Dianthus cuttings are very simple to cut and re-root. Simply take a few cuttings of the plant and place them together in well-manured soil. Now add a little water and place it at a point where there is a lot of sunlight or partial shade. The cuttings will begin rooting within a month, and it will take approximately 3-4 months to grow to its fullest and have proper bloomed flowers.

Will Dianthus survive in the winter?

Most Dianthus breeds cannot survive sub-zero temperatures in the winter. Although the plant can be saved from dying in the winter by putting it indoors where it can grab onto sunlight, it is the best bloom in the summer. If you prepare the flowers to survive in the winter properly, it will survive the winter with ease. Some methods of preparation include storing them in containers during the winter to preserve the plant for the summer.