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I have a lot of Dianthus but I haven't ever seen anything like that. The leaves aren't like Dianthus either. I tried looking it up in Plant Files but is isn't listed. I hope someone can help. Good luck
This is what I suspect. Your dianthus got problem with wetfeet, and perhaps not enough sun shine. Thus they stretch out and became lanky? Try treat them as xeriscape plants next time and see if they respond better? Some are biennual, means they declines after a season of bloom after the first year growth and the second year blooms.
Thanks guys! I am going to move it to a sunnier area. We did get too much rain this year already. I have been trying to grow a lot more xeric plants but the wet weather isn't helping me out with certain ones. I wish you all could smell them.
Agree with the wet feet concern. I have umpteen varieties of dianthus. Give plenty of room, all day sun, mulch, feed often til end of June, mulch year round (depends on your zone, so some will not agree).
I have had this problem, check the base of your plant, I suspect it is the growing habit. You will find a single stem longer than it should be, and the grass like leaves growing in a tuft on that elongated stem. All seems OK till it starts to bloom then the flower causes it to flop.
I usually do one of two things. You can pin the plant just at the base of the leaves to the soil. I use small old fashion hair pins, be careful not to crush the stem. (not an easy thing to do) THey will root and you will again have a stable plant. If they are not in bloom I just cut and repot till I get good roots then put them back in the garden. Do not dig the roots sometimes they come back after I cut it down, But not always so I root new ones.
It is interesting that you guys both have had the same issues. Do you think that perhaps Dianthus caryophyllus has been bred for cut flower production and thus not very garden worthy? I am going to try the pinning down technique too gardengus as well as moving it to an area with longer sun exposure. The stems do look like they would root and help support the blooms.
I have a D.caryophyllus that is kinda short, but still behaves that way. While more sun and better drainage would probably help, I think you're onto something- any of the florist carnations I've seen grown flopped like that. When I was in college we grew some in the greenhouse, and they required wire grids to grow through and hold them upright and keep the stems straight.
There was a co op this spring offering dwarf D.caryophyllus cultivars that looked sturdy. I'm curious how those have performed for participants.
I think dianthus like lime, too. My daughter and I have white double dianthus, origin and name unknown, and they tend to flop horribly. The wire grid sounds like a good idea--something like a peony hoop but smaller.