I just bought a couple of flats of Dianthus at HD. They are in the Annual section, but my other Dianthus have been acting as perenials for me (they were bought at HD and Lowes). I know that there are several through Wayside, ect. that can actually be grown up north and through zone 9. And I know that there are annual and perrenial Geraniums. But are these plants actually perrenials in our zone or have I just been lucky?
Editted to note that the one pictured here was planted at the beginning of last season and is still robust. This picture is from about October'06 and the plant is now about another 1/3 larger.
Stu, I too have some Dianthus that were marked as being annual, last summer. Some died and some came back. They may be marking them as annual because they are not quite sure the plant will be able to live through the heat in Florida.
You will be surprised at times as to what can sustain the heat.
I can...can you?
I bought the dwarf ones at HD and they not only came back but multiplied beautifully, and are only about 4'' high. I then bought 18''high, so far they are doing well--even in this heat, no rain here. I brought some home from Corkys R U that are about 6'' hi. Hope they all do as well. Billie
I bought two of the "Florida Friendly" tallish dianthus at HD when I moved here in the summer of 2004. They have never completely stopped blooming, and still look good. I shear them down every once in a while. Jeremy gave me some of the short ones in 2005, and some of them are still thriving, too. So far, dianthus have been excellent perrenials for my yard -- low water, and comfy in the sand. However, they haven't spread for me, so I've been forced to take a bunch more from Jeremy and some others even jumped into my cart last time I was at HD.
The ones that I got are dwarf types, but what I like about them is that they mound well and, so far, haven't had any central bare spots develope due to old growth like some of the perenials can get. They also give the areas color between re-bloom time for the daylilies. I use them as front borders and try to stay with only a couple of colors with flower pattern variation so that they have a continouous color scheme across the bed.
Tough plants. Here are some that are now in their 3rd year. They have been through 5 or 6 freezes, 100 plus temps, 60 mph winds, and not much in the way of care other than sporadic watering.. If I had been dividing them up, there probably would have been at least one more container chock full of new ones by now, maybe even a couple of containers. I just picked up another 18 in assorted colors. They are becoming one of my favorite plants
This is a small bed I did for my Mom's house. It was just dirt & weeds. I put Diantus towards the front thinking they were annuals and could be changed out with the snapdragons as I put periennials in the back 3 rows. So far they are all doing great. It the dianthis make it through the summer, I may add more next fall. I've collect qute a few seeds to I will be trying to start some more soon.
I found some on Lowes' clearance for 10 cents each today! Once I deadheaded them and removed a few brown leaves, they looked great. Soil was moist, roots looked good- well- a bit rootbound but I'm not worried. I love bargains!
Hi, Michele and all. Glad to know my "orphaned" Lowe's bargain dianthus are still doing well for you. I've had so many hundreds of them that I've been able to experiment with planting them in many different areas of my yard. They seem to thrive best and return from year to year (some of mine bloomed right through the winter this year!) when they are in filtered light or partial shade.
In regard to the "annual" labeling on the plants, remember that the growers are selling for a widespread audience and in most areas, the dianthus would be annuals. We just happen to be lucky in Florida that some annuals will return from year to year or live throughout the seasons as if they are perennials. I've had this happen also with Torenia (Wishbone Flower), some snapdragons, Impatiens, and some others.
The dianthus we are discussing here are probably Dianthus chinensis. If you want a really gorgeous, dependable, constant bloomer for all seasons, try some of what I've heard called "pincushion carnations" -- the low growing, spreading blue-green foliage type with a true multi-petaled mini-carnation flower (I can't find a photo or botanical name of this plant in the plant files, but will try to get a photo of my plant). It is much more attractive than the D. chinensis and has become one of my favorite garden plants. It can take more sun than the D. chinensis and keeps spreading to form a dense mat of attractive foliage and year-round flowers.
Thanks, Jeremy -- I'll keep my eyes out for that one! I'm really fond of the dianthus, as they have been such sturdy little buggers, even blooming past the few freezes we had here this winter. The last haul I took from your bountiful half-acre have started blooming now, too.
BTW -- the Motherlode snapdragons are blooming, too. Some day I'll get off my duff and take some pics.
The snapdragons that I've installed in friends and paid job clients' gardens have been fantastic! They kept growing taller, continuing to bloom for weeks and weeks, and filling out nicely. I only had time to plant a few snapdragons in my own garden, but am especially enjoying one white one that is by my front sidewalk. About 800 (or more!) snapdragons remain, but I think the ladies from the Mandarin Garden Club in Jacksonville may wipe out most of that supply when they come this Friday with 2 vehicles to haul away any available plants for their upcoming plant sale in two weeks.
Most of my dianthus in pots, alas, bit the dust as a result of either/and the freezes or the prolonged drought.
It was great to read all the comments. I had put a couple dianthus in part sun in early fall and they are still going strong. I am a teacher who tends to ignore my garden from fall until spring. So the neglected, yet healthy dianthus plants and the reading this thread spurred me on. I think I must have gotten about 20 around Apr 13 and they are in the ground, looking so cute! I hope they do as well as the fall ones. I think they will-- I pay a lot more attention to my plants in spring & summer!