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Dazzling Dianthus

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Friday, March 6, 2015 - 6:00am

Dr. Gary Bachman: Dianthus provides a variety of color in the cool season landscape. Today, on Southern Gardening.

Announcer: Southern Gardening with Gary Bachman is produced by the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Dr. Gary Bachman: Dianthus is some of my favorite flowering annuals with their variety of pinks, whites and purples, either in landscape beds or container grown. For the very best flowering Dianthus should be planted at the same time you would pansies. The small round flower can be single or arranged in loose clusters.

I really enjoy taking a close look at these flowers. The individual petals have a fringed or serrated edge, and a dainty floral and delicate fragrance. A good frost resistant selection is the Ideal Select group. Bright green leaves contrast well with clusters of brightly colored lacy edge flowers. The Ideal Select mix offers flowers in many colors and patterns. I particularly like the Ideal Select red with its red and bold flowers.

Super Parfait Dianthus are indeed super and cold weather tolerant. This group is known for their compact size and large two to two and a half inch diameter blossoms. Super Parfait Raspberry has gorgeous pinkish white flowers with crimson streaked petals in a dark eye. The large Super Parfait Red Peppermint flowers are bright white with a red center eye. And since I'm talking about Dianthus, I have to recommend an old standby, Telstar Purple Picotee. Telstar will be 8 to 10 inches tall and wide, and will tolerate cooler temperatures.

Be creative and try some cool season combination plantings. Dianthus is a great combination plant with Giant Red Mustard. I'm horticulturist, Gary Bachman for Southern Gardening.

Announcer: Southern Gardening with Gary Bachman is produced by the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

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