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Amazon dianthus tolerates summers
Summer’s heat has descended suddenly, so you may not be considering planting dianthus, a group of flowering plants that typically thrive during the cooler months of the year.
They are called by many names, but the common name pink really is a good description. Colors include pink and red, and there are also attractive white and lavender selections.
Dianthus are such outstanding plants that Bouquet Purple was selected as a Mississippi Medallion winner. The stems grow up to 2 feet tall, displaying bright purple flowers in a casual, loose style. But until recently, we had to wait until the fall and winter to enjoy these plants.
Plant breeders have been busy, and now we have Amazon dianthus, which tolerates the summer temperatures and looks great in the landscape.
Amazon dianthus will grow to over 2 feet tall in the garden. They are perfect for cutting, and the blooms have a long vase life.
The colors Neon Purple and Neon Cherry shine like beacons in the landscape. Rose Magic flowers start out white and transition to pink and then rose, with all three colors appearing in each flower head.
The round flower heads are composed of many small, single flowers. I enjoy taking a close look at these flowers. The individual petals have a serrated edge and a subtle fragrance. The vibrant colors are produced continuously from spring to fall. These may be one of the most perfect plants you can grow outside that will flower again after being cut.
Dianthus is also a butterfly magnet throughout the flowering season.
The plants are prolific, producing many flowering stems. These strong stems are produced around the base of the plant and do not require staking.
Deadhead your Amazon dianthus after the first flowering. The easiest way is to simply hold a bunch in one hand and use your pruners or scissors to reduce by half. The plants will put out new growth, and their reblooming characteristics will give you a quick encore.
Having good drainage is the key to success with Amazon dianthus in the landscape. If you have poor drainage in heavy clay soil, here is a way to improve it. Apply a thick layer of good quality compost and work it well into the soil. Add enough organic matter to create a mounded planting bed. This will help improve drainage. Apply a slow-release fertilizer every six weeks to keep the nutrition at an optimum level.
Amazon dianthus also makes a great container plant. To control the height in containers, cut back about one half at planting. The resulting lateral growth will be more manageable and appropriate for the container. Cutting back like this also encourages a dazzling, flowering display on the porch or patio for you to enjoy.