HOW TO GROW AND SAVE SEED OF DIANTHUS


Latin name Dianthus caryophyllus is a tender perennial typically grown as an annual. Dianthus thrives in cool, mild summers and produces heavenly scented blooms. Common name carnations or clove pinks.


 

HISTORY

It is said that the more than 2,000 years of cultivation of this flower have made it difficult to pinpoint its exact region of origin, but it is most likely native to the Mediterranean. These popular flowers have long-held significance in many cultures. The red carnation, for example, has been associated with Socialism and the Labor movement, and it is a symbol of International Workers Day.

USES

  • Edible flower petals
  • Beds, borders, butterfly garden, containers, cottage garden, cut flower garden
  • Deer resistant
  • Visited by butterflies and bees

 

 


 

  • Seeds germinate in 7-14 days.
  • Start indoors 6-8 weeks before last frost date or direct seed before last frost; a little frost helps germination.
  • Surface and lightly cover with a thin layer of soil.
  • Do not allow to become potbound as plants will suffer!

 

  • Space plants 6 inches apart.
  • Dianthus prefer cool weather, and warm temperatures will cause the plants to suffer. Try this flower in early spring and plant it in the coolest microclimate of your garden.
  • Plants prefer rich, well-drained soil and want full sun. However, hot summer gardeners can plant in partial shade to keep plants cooler.

PESTS/SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS

  • Dianthus can suffer from rots and blights if adequate air circulation is not provided and if foliage is allowed to stay wet. Space plants farther away and water at the base, avoiding foliage to keep disease at bay.
  • Aphids can be controlled with organic-approved insecticidal soaps.

 

  • Dianthus can be processed like most flowers—allow the flowerhead containing the seeds to completely mature and dry on the plant, then clip off the flowerhead and place in a container.
  • Working over the top of another clean, opened container, rub the flowerheads between the palms, breaking them apart.
  • The small, blackish seeds can be separated from the chaff by first screening and then winnowing.