Dianthus


 

allwoodii / barbatus / caryophylus / chinensis


The species Dianthus includes;

Border Carnations
(allwoodii)
Sweet William
(barbatus)
Pinks
(chinensis & deltoides)
Carnations
(caryophylus)

Most forms of Dianthus are of hybrid origin, and are generally grown as either annuals / biennials or perennials in herbaceous borders or beds, where the soil is not too acid..

Many varieties make good cut flowers and are useful plants for containerised gardens. The dwarf species are ideal for rock gardens and dry walls, however the perpetual-flowering varieties are tender perennials and will require greenhouse cultivation.

Most species tend to be short -lived, necessitating the need for frequent propagation.

Their tolerance to salt spray makes them a useful subject in coastal areas.


Dianthus x allwoodii


The Border Carnation is a perennial, and is generally grown for its fragrant flowers that appear in early to late summer.

It is semi-deciduous, and the flowers range from white through pink to dark red.

They make good cut flowers and is a useful plant for containerised gardens.

Mrs Simkins

They perform best when grown in alkaline soil and in full sun.

Depending upon variety they grow from around 100mm -500mm (4"-18") high and can spread to around 500mm (18")

These carnations should be planted out in full sun 300-500mm (12”-18”) apart in a well-drained, light sandy soil.

The crown, or top of the root structure, must be level with the surface of the soil, never bury any part of the stem.


Dianthus barbatus

Common name: Sweet William

This species of Dianthus is native to the mountains of southern Europe.

The common name Sweet William, refers to William Marlborough, Duke of Cumberland.

After his victory at the battle of Culloden. and his brutal treatment of the Scots and Irish these two nations sometimes refer to the flower as Stinking Billy.


A few unamed seedlings to show some of their colour range and flower formation

It is short-lived perennial that is generally grown as a biennial in the UK.

The self coloured or bi-coloured carnation like flowers have a spicy, clove-like scent and appear from early spring to early autumn depending upon variety.

The flowers are produced in a dense clusters of up to 30 individual flowers at the top of each stem.

The individual flowers are around 20-25mm (¾-1") in diameter each having five serrated edged petals.

The colours range from white through pink to dark red, or combinations of these colours.


They are useful subjects in borders where depending upon variety grow from around 200mm -500mm (8"-18") high and can spread to around 400-500mm (14"-18")

They make good cut flowers and is a useful plant for containerised gardens, and will thrive in full sun or partial shade.

They are also good subjects for a wildlife garden due to its nectar attracting birds, bees and butterflies.

Propagation is by seed, cuttings or division. (seeds of cultivars will not breed true).


Dianthus commonly known as Garden Pinks


Most forms are of hybrid origin, and are generally grown as annuals / biennials or perennials, in herbaceous borders or beds.

Many varieties make good cut flowers and are useful plants for containerised gardens.

Similarly, some dwarf species are ideal for rock gardens and dry walls.


Most species tend to be short-lived, necessitating the need for frequent propagation.

The plants should be grown in soil that is not too acid.

They are tolerant of salt spray making them a useful subject in coastal areas.


This group generally has many fringed flowers that look as if they have been trimmed with pinking shears, hence their common name, not the colour as sometimes is thought.

The sweetly clove-scented flowers often bi-coloured flowers appear in late spring / early summer and last for a long time, particularly if they are regularly dead-headed.

deltoides
alpina

They are quite low growing e.g. 150-300mm (6"-12") high with a similar spread.

This attribute makes them suitable for containers or rock gardens.

Like other dianthus, they thrive in alkaline soil, in either full sun or partial shade.


Perennial varieties should be replaced frequently by taking cuttings from disease-free plants in spring or autumn.

The crown, or top of the root structure, must always be level with the surface of the soil, never bury any part of the stem.

The plants should not be mulched, their tender root tops and trailing stems require good air circulation at all times and must be kept as free from moisture as possible.


Dianthus alpinus
Dianthus chinensis
Modern Pink
Dianthus deltoides
Dianthus gratianopolitanus


Dianthus x caryophyllus


Florists Carnation can be treated as a border carnation but due to its floppy growing habit it generally requires support to display it at its best.

For this reason it is more commonly grown as a container plant under cover.

It is an evergreen perennial that produces self coloured or bi-coloured flowers in early to late summer.

The sometimes fragrant flowers range from white through pink to dark red, or combinations of these colours.

Cut flower arrangement

Depending upon variety they grow from around 200mm -500mm (8"-18") high and can spread to around 200-300mm (8"-12")

Because they are often grown under cover, they are susceptible to attacks from a number of the problems associated with indoor growing, e.g. Aphids, Spider mite and mildews.


This species is often used a 'Hobby Plant' and as such is often seen on the showbenches at flower shows.

Flower shows are the ideal place to see the many varieties that are available from various specialist nurseries. (Garden centres rarely have as large a range on display)

Here are some varieties that are often seen on the benches of flower shows:


Ann Franklin
Annie Claybourne
Benji
Betsy

Bob's Highlight
Cariba
Clara's Choice
Coralien

Crompton Classic
Crompton Princess
Elsie Ketchin
Heraliene

Herlena
Irene Ann
Jane Lee Welch
Jig

Joannes Highlight
Judy Anne
Komaachi
Kristina

Linfield Annie's Fancy
Lorca
Olimpia
Pink Francesca

Purias
Vianna
Volare


Cultivation


Week 7:


Sow allwoodii and caryophylis seeds thinly in pots/ trays of seed compost and maintain a temperature of 16°-20°C (61°-68°F).

After germination, which should take around four to five days, reduce the temperature to 10°-12°C (50°-54°F)


Week 12:


Prick out allwoodii and caryophylis when large enough to handle into trays / boxes of potting compost.


Week 13:


Harden off allwoodii and caryophylis in a cold frame till planting out time.


Week 14:


Sow chinensis seeds thinly on the compost surface, and cover with vermiculite, then germinate at a temperature of around 18°-21°C (64°-70°F).

chinensis seed may not come true to variety.

Germination should take about 7 days.


chinensis is best propagated every two or three years, either by division, layering or cuttings.

To divide them, now is the time to carefully loosen the roots with a hand fork, and lift and pull the plants apart to leave a good main stem on each portion.

Replant the divisions 300mm (12") apart.


Week 16-17:


Take piping cuttings from allwoodii and caryophylis if there are any available.


Week 19:


If the first true chinensis leaves have appeared, prick out the seedlings, into cell trays or 75mm pots of potting compost, otherwise hold off pricking out until the first true leaves appear.

Grow the seedlings on in a coldframe until planting out time.


Stopping chinensis established plants is necessary to build up good side-growths before flowers are produced, however this might delay flowering.

Stopping is done by breaking off the top of the main shoots just above a joint.

Older plants seldom require stopping, however any young pinks that run to flower without making good side-shoots should be stopped.


Week 19:


Prepare the bed for chinensis by digging the soil one spit deep, and working in a light dressing of well-rotted farmyard manure or compost.

Rake in bone-meal at no more than 100gms (4 oz) per sq. metre into the surface.

Too rich soil can encourage leaf growth at the expense of flowers.


Week 21:


Plant out allwoodii and caryophylis in a well drained sunny situation in soil that has been lightly manured.

Too rich soil can encourage leaf growth at the expense of flowers.

Pot up rooted allwoodii and caryophylis piping cuttings.


Week 24:


Plant out chinensis in a well drained sunny situation in soil that has been lightly manured.

Plant firmly and, to avoid stem rot, bury as little as possible of the stems.

If the plants tend to sway when first planted, secure them temporarily to 150mm (6") split canes and tie in with thin wire rings.


Week 25:


Support allwoodii and caryophylis plants by inserting three split canes and encircle each plant with string or raffia.

Alternatively use purpose made wire rings.


Week 26:


Sow barbatus seed in pots/trays of seed compost and germinate at circa; 12°-16°C (54°-61°F) in a sheltered spot or coldframe.

Germination should take around a week.


circa Week 26:


For quality allwoodii and caryophylis flowers disbud any side shoots, retaining only the crown bud on main stems.

Do not apply fertilisers to border carnations after flowering.

Feeding may encourage an inferior second crop of flower stems in autumn.


Week 26:


Take chinensis piping cuttings or alternatively layer suitable side shoots.


Week 27:


Layer allwoodii plants to increase stock.


Week 27:


If large enough to handle prick out barbatus varieties into cell trays or boxes of potting compost and grow on in a cold frame until planting out time.


Week 30:


Increase allwoodii by taking piping cuttings or layering.


Week 32:


barbatus seed can be collected if ripe and sown immediately or kept in a cool spot till the following year.


Week 32:


After flowering, remove the old chinensis flower stems, rake in a proprietary high-potash fertiliser at 100gms (4 oz) per sq. metre, then water the plants thoroughly.


Week 36:


Check allwoodii layers, and if rooted sever from the parent plants.

Three or four weeks later, lift the rooted the plantlets and place in flowering quarters.

Support the plantlets by tying into a split cane until they become established.


Week 36:


Check chinensis layers, and if rooted sever from the parent plants.

Three or four weeks later, lift the rooted the plantlets and place in their flowering quarters.

Support the plantlets by tying into a split cane until they become established.


Week 39:


Tidy up / prune established allwoodii and caryophylis plants before the onset of winter.


Week 40>:


Plant out barbatus from now until the end of November when space in the border becomes available.

They prefer moisture retentive slightly alkaline soil and sun or partial shade.


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