I have some dianthuses(sp?) whose blooms are finally dying and going to seed(they lasted a long time, I was impressed!). My question is, do I cut off just the flower head, or the stem all the way down as far as I can? I'd like to collect the seed. Also, will they continue setting flowers or are they done now? Thanks in advance!
Hi Kristie, could you let us know what kind of Dianthus you have, you do deadhead all of them, but I would need to know if these are the annial ones or the perennial type, so I can tell you if they will come back next year, if annials they wont, so you can get seed from them, then discard the whole plant, if the grey foliage ones that are perennial, (Carnations) then you just snip off the flower head AND the stem and leave all the foliage, they will flower again next year, from these types, you can increase from cuttings. hope this helps you a bit, WeeNel
Thanks WeeNel. They are perrenial. I've had them for awhile, but being ignorant(more like hard headed), I planted them in a shaded area thinking they'd still bloom. This year I finally moved them into the sun and they bloomed! I have already cut a few, stem and all, and I'm collecting the seed. Will they send up more flower shoots throughout the year? Some that I've cut I've noticed it looks like they are sending up so more...I was just wondering if I could expect to see more throughout the summer. I really like these flowers...they smelled like lilacs, but weren't over powering, and the flowers lasted for quite awhile! Thanks for any help, WeeNel!
Hi Kis, as you deadhead your perennial Dianthus, look at the stems on the spent flowers, as they sometimes have tiny little flower buds already forming on the same stems, so if they do, you just have to nip off the dead flower and not the whole stem, if no bud, then cut the stem, you should get lots more flowers over the rest of the summer, and you will know when the season is finnished due to the lack of new buds, dont cut any foliage in winter as that is needed to keep the plant healthy over the winter, I love the ones that smell like cloves, as we used to grow them when I was a little girl, they were a deep maroon colour and also pink stiped and also white, I cant grow them here as my soil is too acid and they hate that, they seem to like a touch of limey soil, my dad used to add lime around the roots in the autumn, never forgot the smell though. good luck, hope they bloom for years to come. WeeNel.
Thanks, guys! I hope they will bloom a lot this year, I really love them! They're also special because they are the first things I ever planted at my new house, or ever for that matter. I planted them around a tree where it was shaded, not even thinking they wouldn't bloom. I forgot about them, didn't think they came up until a couple years later these "weeds" I thought were growing around the tree had one single bloom. So, I moved them from around the tree to another shaded spot(stupid) and they grew for a few more years, producing one puny bloom. Then, I really started getting into this gardening thing, so I finally figured out to move them to full sun this year. I'm surprised the little guys lasted so long under my ignorance! Thanks so much for your guys' help!
Hi Kis, so glad that you are enjoying the gardening, it is facinating and at time hard work and thow in frustrating, expensive and full of surprises, but once you get the bug, that's it, so good for you, even though I have been gardening forever it seems, believe me, I am still learning new things, and everyone has different wys of doing things, but you get there in the end, just stick with it and enjoy, good luck and happy gardening. WeeNel.
Thanks WeeNel, you're always so helpful. I really have gotten into gardening...sometimes I think, "Gee, I have too much stuff going to keep track of" and next I'm sitting around looking to find something to do. Either way, it is a lot of fun, and very addicting! Happy gardening to you, too!
When you say "the pretty parts are gone", are the flowers just plain gone, or are they ugly/dying/etc? If they're literally gone then it's likely a rabbit or something came along and munched them. But if the flowers are dying prematurely then it would help if you post a picture, without that it's going to be hard to guess what's going on. If that's the case, you might also think about starting a new thread for your question--this thread is old and it's about deadheading, not about diseases so some people who might be able to help you may not even look in here.
jennskarda, I also live in Michigan (SE rather than SW, but similar climate), and I have had great success with dianthus. At this point in the year in this area, they will start to look pretty sad, but they're just going to seed. They're not sick. Pinch off the seed pods (save them if you want to for planting later) and leave the plants alone, and pretty soon they will begin to flower again. Leave the plants as they are (now or in the fall) and they will come back next spring even better than before, assuming they're in good soil. In fact, you might find, as I have, that they need to be thinned because there are so many flowers in each plant! It takes hours for me to deadhead them all. I originally bought one flat of single flowers that I was told were annuals, but that was a huge bit of misinformation. I have also found that they can tolerate quite a bit of shade, and in fact seem to like being crowded. I'm not an expert gardener (yet), but I've had a lot of experience with those. You can see some photos on my site here: http://www.thesoilsifter.com
Hopefully you guys have this thread on auto notification since I'm digging up this thread a year later.. :)
I've got 6 perinnial Dianthus plants I planted last year that have returned this year and are gorgeous. I found this thread looking for info on deadheading them. I know it is explained above in this thread, but I guess I just have a couple additional questions.
In the reply from WeeNel I quoted below it says if there's a new flower bud formed on the same stem, then just nip the dead flower. If no bud, cut the stem.. I do see some new buds coming from the exact place the original flower came from (so basically 2 flowers from the same point), and those are easy to see. So far, I've deadheaded all the old flowers but havent't cut the stems. Once I pop the dead flower bud off is that stem just "done" unless there's a new bud visible?? If so, and I cut the stem back, how far down should I cut it? To the first leaf node back from the flower? Or to the ground? If I cut the stems back to the ground, It's basically going to make a pretty scrawny looking plant. There are a few new stems coming up, but not enough to look like much of a plant. And at this point, about half of the original flowers are dead, and if those stems get cut back after those flowers die, I'm gonna be left with a pretty crummy looking plant with a few scraggly stems coming up..
Thanks for any advice, I just want to keep these things blooming as long as I can!
WeeNel wrote:Hi Kis, as you deadhead your perennial Dianthus, look at the stems on the spent flowers, as they sometimes have tiny little flower buds already forming on the same stems, so if they do, you just have to nip off the dead flower and not the whole stem, if no bud, then cut the stem, you should get lots more flowers over the rest of the summer, and you will know when the season is finnished due to the lack of new buds, dont cut any foliage in winter as that is needed to keep the plant healthy over the winter, I love the ones that smell like cloves, as we used to grow them when I was a little girl, they were a deep maroon colour and also pink stiped and also white, I cant grow them here as my soil is too acid and they hate that, they seem to like a touch of limey soil, my dad used to add lime around the roots in the autumn, never forgot the smell though. good luck, hope they bloom for years to come. WeeNel.
I too have had the same questions, and some additional ones:
I love my Neon Stars and Cheddar Pinks! However, I have never known just how to dead head them each season. Does it make a difference if you deadhead with your fingers or scissors?
I feel like I experiment every year with deadheading, but I seem to get a shorter and shorter season each year. I had not realized I could due cuttings and transplant them each year. Do I need to wait until they are done flowering before I can transplant?
Undermind and sf01
I have tons of dianthus of all types in my yard. The dianthus that has blue-grey-green foliage is D. gratianopolitanus. They don't need much of a haircut other than the part that looks like a stem for each flower rising above the carpet-like mat of grassy looking foliage.
For the "other" really common and cheap type of dianthus (which I think is D. chinensis ?), you can use scissors and literally shear off 1/2 to 1/3 of the plant in order to deadhead it. The dianthus will really appreciate it. This is the dianthus some call cheddar pinks--they have darker greener foliage and get about 12" tall in a bunch. They are my favorites.
D. barbatus is the same as Sweet William and it sets seed all over the place and if I recognize the seedlings, it doesn't get yanked with the weeds. D. barbatus is taller--probably 20" height and the stems make clusters of blooms on the ends. It needs a REAL HARD haircut after it blooms--cut half of it straight across. The foliage on mine is a very spring green compared to the D. chinensis (for the most part). And lots taller.
After about the third year, my dianthus chinensis gets to the point that it needs dividing or else it dies. That is when the clump is about 12" across and starts showing signs of being overcrowded like brown leaves in segments of the plant. You would have to dig it up and section it and separate and replant. Sometimes it is just easier to discard the whole plant and buy new fresh starts.
You can use your hand or use garden shears or you can just use office scissors. Whatever works best for you. Dianthus is a wonderfully tough plant.
You have answered several of my questions. My largest plant which is easily 12" wide and probably needs to be divided. Glad to know I can use scissors, as it would otherwise take me quite some time to deadhead all of it, and I have never taken more than the tops off, so now I know to cut way down on the stem. I hope this will give me more blooms this summer.
I am now going to research which species I really have because those I was calling Cheddar Pinks, or Neon Stars both have grayish foliage. Before I prune, I will be sure which species I actually have. Both have bright pink flowers and blue grey foliage, so perhaps I need to clarify.
I don't think you can divide your D grationopolitanus as it only has one stem. It can grow quite large up to 3 feet across, personally I use fingers or pruners and clip all the way down to the origonal leaves, helps to hide the flower stem and the plant looks much neater. Usually bath pinks or cheddar pinks bloom late spring- e. summer. Light or mid pink and smell strongly of cloves...yummmmmm. Have only had a few...ever reseed. Pix 1 & 2. (2 different plants) . Also there is a D. g. Firewitch, same type of flowers and foliage but only gets 4-6" wide.
Dianthus X Loveliness, 14-18" tall X 8-12" wide, blooms late spring -frost if deadheaded. And the fragrance is spectacular!!!! They come in a variety of colors, deep puple, light purple, white, dark pink, light pnik, white with a pink eye zone. Mine were started from seed as I have not seen them sold at the nurseries yet. My seed was obtained from Thompson and Morgan Seeds, some 15 years ago, (t&mseeds.com). Am thinking Burpee also has the seed now. These need to be started indoors under lights in winter. Pix 3.
Dianthus deltoides Zing, late spring bloom. No fragrance, forms a mat and reseeds. Tiny little flowers..1/8-1/4" .
Does that help any? I've also grown many other varieties.
Good luck and Happy gardening...Kathy.
pix 5 east side of the border early spring this year, 20 feet X 100 feet.
I LOVE your picture 3!!! Does this reseed itself year after year? Gorgeous!!!
My Firewitch is at least 18" across. It has apparently dropped seed because it has tiny offspring all around the place where it is living, within a 10 foot radius. Also, over the years my Firewitch has developed WHITE and LIGHT PINK flowers within the original bunch. Some are part hot pink and part white. The offspring are doing the same. When I divide Firewitch or Bath's pink, I rip off a section of the mat and place it elsewhere in the yard. Most take off and do well.
I hate our bermuda grass and work continually to keep it back away from my beds. I was thinking today, that I could redo a small isolated section of (what is left of ) our grassy areas and make it solid D. gratianopolitanus!!!!