Monday, June 30, 2008

Diantus Chinensis "Rainbow Pinks"

China pinks, can be an annual or biennial or short-lived perennial (hardy to Zone 7), though all the best varieties or series on the market today will flower as an annual - first year from seed. Originally from China, plants tend to be dwarf, 6 to 10 inches tall, but may reach 18 inches. They produce single (occasionally double), small, scentless flowers intermittently all summer. These carefree plants need little maintenance; deadheading is not required for them to continue to bloom.

How to grow:
Most Dianthus grow easily from seed. Plan to sow seeds 6 to 8 weeks before you want to plant them outdoors. Because Dianthus withstands some cold, you can set them out in the garden at or just before the average last frost date in your area. Sow the seeds in the germination mix. The seeds will germinate around 2 weeks. Keep the medium evenly moist, but not soggy. Water the bottom of the plant and let its root soak water. Feed fertilizer once every 2 weeks for better bloom. Prefer full sun and drought tolerant, It is a excellent bedding variety in the summer garden.

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