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By Contributor ; Updated September 21, 2017

(Dianthus chinensis)

Unlike other members of the carnation family, this short, tufty plant is only slightly scented. It has gray-green leaves and single and double flowers in mixed colors, including red, and red and white bicolors. It grows 8-12 inches high and is suitable for massed planting, edging and flowerboxes or pots. It does best in cool zones but is also suitable for warm areas. It needs full sun and well-drained soil.

Prepare the soil by working in some lime. Best results are achieved from a spring sowing. Cover the seeds with no more than 1/4 inch of soil. When seedlings are 1-2 inches high, space them at six-inch intervals. Don't overwater as it causes the foliage to yellow. Unless the weather is very dry a weekly watering should be enough. It is possible to get a second season out of these flowers, but it is usually a poor showing.

  • Type
  • Propagation
  • Light
    full sun, full sun
  • Flower Color
    pinks, rose, white
  • Bloom Time
    late winter to early spring
  • Height
    8-12 inches
  • Width
    6 inches
  • Soil Requirements
    most any soil, good drainage, alkaline pH
  • Zones
    all, best in cool climates
  • Uses
    cutting bed, border, flowerboxes and pots

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