Growing Dianthus Successfully

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Dianthus 'Firewitch' from Emerald Coast Growers

Dianthus ‘Firewitch’ from Emerald Coast Growers

From whites to reds to vivid pinks, today’s dianthus tease the senses with scents, colors and textures. This perennial favorite offers great potential for expanding sales and seasons.

One of the broadest genera, with about 300 species to choose from, dianthus especially excels in the perennial department, offering up a bright selection that’s typically hardy in Zones 5 to 8.

Ideal for cottage borders and landscapes, in larger containers and pots, they’re even lovely as cut flowers. From petite 6-inch border pinks to larger 18-inch sturdier bloomers, dianthus offer versatility that let you target just about any market.

Transplanting

Plant one liner per trade gallon pot. Finish time for spring sales is approximately eight to 10 weeks. At liner planting, drench with a broad spectrum fungicide as a preventive measure.

Growing On

Provide growing temperatures at 60°F to 70°F daytime and 50°F to 60°F nighttime.

Use a well-draining, disease-free, fertile commercial media. Maintain pH in the range of 5.8 to 6.2.

Dianthus 'Passion' from Emerald Coast Growers

Dianthus ‘Passion’ from Emerald Coast Growers

Keep electrical conductivity (EC) at 0.8 to 1.2 with a target of 1.0 mS/cm using the 2:1 extraction method.

Dianthus prefer high light levels of at least 5,000 footcandles (fc). No supplemental lighting is required.

For optimum growth, pinch the first center bud. Generally, dianthus doesn’t need plant growth regulators.

Fertilize as needed with a liquid feed at 100 to 150 ppm nitrogen.

Grow plants on the dry side, allowing them to dry out between waterings.

Vernalization and cold treatments are beneficial but not necessary for successful dianthus production.

Pests And Diseases

Pests shouldn’t be a problem if standard sanitation practices are followed. Monitor for fusarium and rhizoctonia.

Preventive measures should include maintaining good air circulation and managing humidity levels. Consider a monthly preventive broad-spectrum fungicide rotation for added assurance.

Josiah Raymer is head grower and general manager for Emerald Coast Growers, a supplier of perennial starter plants, specialty plants and ornamental grass liners. You can eMail him at jraymer@ecgrowers.com.
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