WHEN TO SET OUTSIDE
Set in the ground in spring when there is still the possibility for a light frost. It can also be planted in early autumn.
PLACEMENT & CULTIVATION
Pink's ruffled blooms are fragrant with the spicy scent of cloves and bring us back to a time when fragrance, above all else, was treasured. Best crowding border edges and well-drained rock gardens, where it attracts butterflies and bees. If mulching to suppress weeds, use a layer of fine gravel. Deadhead regularly or shear after bloom in summer. Prune any winter-killed stems as growth resumes in spring and divide every two-three years to renew vigor—in early spring for zones 3-6 or fall in zones 7-9.
Water regularly during first growing season, about 1" per week, watering mornings only. Once established water during especially prolonged dry periods. Avoid overwatering and saturated soils.
Tolerates most soil pH levels, but neutral to alkaline is preferred. If soil is acidic, apply a handful of lime when planting.
Apply a low-nitrogen granular, organic fertilizer or 2" of compost in springtime.
Diseases & Pests:
Leaf spots can mar the leaves of Dianthus. Space well apart for good air circulation. Avoid heavy wet soils that will promote crown rots.
When to Cut for Bouquets:
Harvest when two flowers are open on the spray.