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Flowers of the Gods

16 October 2014 No Comment

From the Greek words dios, meaning “god” and anthos, meaning “flower”, the Greek botanist, Theophrastus, cited the perfect mix in the name, Dianthus.
If it’s height you’re after and some cut flowers for the vase to bring some beauty indoors, dianthus barbatus, known as Sweet William, is for you.
Carnations, dianthus caryophyllus, are also part of this family.
If edging beds, making pretty borders or planting up containers, dianthus chinensis, commonly known as Pinks, would be a perfect fit.
For everything in between, there are the interspecific crosses, dianthus barbatus x chinensis which are more heat tolerant and frost resistant and dianthus x interspecific which offer unusual characteristics such as double or frilly flowers as well as strongly scented flowers.
Dianthus boasts both ‘low maintenance’ and ‘water-wise’ qualities.
When planting your seedlings, pick a sunny spot that has well-draining soil and add good dose of compost.
They prefer deep watering which should be done infrequently as this will help to keep the soil around the stems dry, for the most part, avoiding stem rot.
Avoid mulching around the stems too, for the same reason, and your dianthus will reward you with better overall growth.
Information supplied by the Bedding Plant Growers Association.

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