Dianthus, also known as carnations or pinks, come in both perennial and annual varieties. They begin blooming in early summer and continue producing large blooms until the first frost in fall. The crinkle edged petals add to the the complicated yet beautiful appearance of the blooms. Dianthus requires deadheading in order to look its best. Deadheading is the process of removing the dead blooms from the flowers before they go to seed. This both improves the appearance of the plant and encourages further blooming, as once seeds are formed a plant has no reason to continue flower production.
Find a bloom that has already begun to wilt. Follow the stem back one-fourth inch from the flower head or to just above the first set of leaves under the flower.
Cut off the flower head using clean, sharp scissors. Compost or discard the flower.
Look for flowers that have wilted completely and are going to seed--these are harder to find as they blend with the regular stems. Cut them off the same way you did the flower.
Remove any dead or damaged stems or leaves while deadheading. Discard or compost if they show no signs of disease.
Continue to remove dead flowers from the Dianthus throughout the blooming season. Check the plants at least once a week and deadhead as needed.
Things You Will Need
- Let a few go to seed at the end of summer if you wish to save seeds or encourage self seeding in the garden.
- Only use clean scissors to deadhead so you don't spread disease to the plants. Rinse scissors in a solution of one part bleach to ten parts water after every use.
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