Dianthus, Cheddar Pinks 'Firewitch'

Dianthus gratianopolitanus

Family: Caryophyllaceae (kar-ree-oh-fil-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Dianthus (dy-AN-thus) (Info)
Species: gratianopolitanus (grat-ee-an-oh-pol-it-AH-nus) (Info)
Cultivar: Firewitch
Additional cultivar information:(aka Feuerhexe, Fire Witch)
View this plant in a garden


Alpines and Rock Gardens



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun




Foliage Color:



6-12 in. (15-30 cm)


9-12 in. (22-30 cm)


USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone

Can be grown as an annual


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Pollen may cause allergic reaction

Bloom Color:



Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Flowers are fragrant

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From herbaceous stem cuttings

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Gurley, Alabama

Hazel Green, Alabama

Sun City, Arizona

Elk Grove, California

Denver, Colorado

Hugo, Colorado

New Haven, Connecticut

Cape Coral, Florida

Chiefland, Florida

Lake Worth, Florida

Miami Beach, Florida

Panama City, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida

Atlanta, Georgia

Braselton, Georgia

Cordele, Georgia

Dacula, Georgia

Gainesville, Georgia

Homer, Georgia

Winterville, Georgia

Boise, Idaho

Kuna, Idaho

Des Plaines, Illinois

Lombard, Illinois

Rockford, Illinois

Saint Charles, Illinois

Flora, Indiana

Terre Haute, Indiana

Olathe, Kansas

Hebron, Kentucky

Mount Sterling, Kentucky

Salvisa, Kentucky

Smiths Grove, Kentucky

Coushatta, Louisiana

Raceland, Louisiana

Easton, Maryland

Frederick, Maryland

Bay City, Michigan

Dearborn Heights, Michigan

Madison Heights, Michigan

Owosso, Michigan

Stephenson, Michigan

Albertville, Minnesota

Andover, Minnesota

Hopkins, Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Florence, Mississippi

Mathiston, Mississippi

Florissant, Missouri

Holts Summit, Missouri

Lebanon, Missouri

Lees Summit, Missouri

Maryville, Missouri

Pacific, Missouri

Bridgewater, New Jersey

Albuquerque, New Mexico

High Rolls Mountain Park, New Mexico

Bronx, New York

Cortland, New York

Elba, New York

Gastonia, North Carolina

Holly Springs, North Carolina

Raleigh, North Carolina

Winston Salem, North Carolina

Dayton, Ohio

Duncan Falls, Ohio

Xenia, Ohio

Youngstown, Ohio

Hulbert, Oklahoma

Chiloquin, Oregon


Albion, Pennsylvania

Blakeslee, Pennsylvania

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Pocono Lake, Pennsylvania

Williamsport, Pennsylvania

Conway, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Knoxville, Tennessee

Rockwood, Tennessee

Sevierville, Tennessee

Arlington, Texas

Boerne, Texas

Frisco, Texas

Gilmer, Texas

Irving, Texas

Rowlett, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Spring, Texas

Herriman, Utah

Riverton, Utah

South Jordan, Utah

Essex Junction, Vermont

Cle Elum, Washington

Freeland, Washington

Appleton, Wisconsin

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Watertown, Wisconsin

Cody, Wyoming

Kinnear, Wyoming

Pavillion, Wyoming

Riverton, Wyoming

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 25, 2016, BarbaraZone6 from Bridgewater, NJ wrote:

I bought a quart pot of this when it was in bloom at least 15 years ago. I planted it in a 14" container, inexperienced gardener that was, with good potting soil, in full sun. Other than occasional watering and pulling out weeds, nothing was done. It flowered well every year and within a few years it had filled the pot. Every year it has dozens of flowers; when they're done, I cut them back. Used to do it stem by stem (!) but then I got wise and just sheared the lot. Got occasional reblooms. I've never changed the soil. Sometimes the mats of leaves overflow the pot and I cut them off. The past few years I have sprinkled some dried manure and some compost on top. The flowers increased and become more vibrant with more reblooms. The silver-blue mat of leaves is pretty all year ro... read more


On Apr 20, 2016, smcatl from Atlanta, GA wrote:

Dateline Atlanta, April 20, 2016.
Several people have commented that their 'Firewitch' Cheddar Pinks look ratty when they're not blooming. So did mine for two years after we planted three; one just petered out last summer. In its place, I added a Bath's Pink last August. (Yeah, really, August. In Atlanta. It was on sale at Santa Rose Gardens; their miraculous plants will survive anything.)

We had plenty of rain last winter, and I mulched them well for the first time last month. This spring all three plants of both varieties look wonderful. The foliage is a beautiful mat of glaucus green, and they are blooming magnificently. (See the picture I uploaded--the only one showing both varieties.) Bath's Pink started blooming at least two weeks earlier than Firewitch, whic... read more


On Jun 3, 2012, Debsroots from Northwest, MO (Zone 5a) wrote:

I have been growing this plant for at least 6 years and it is one of my favorite. The bright pink blooms against the silver grey foliage bring attention to this must have plant. It comes back reliably each year in my zone 4/5 gardens. I use it as an edger plant in my gardens, and if you cut off the spent bloom stocks, it will bloom off and on all summer.


On Apr 29, 2012, mrmojorisn from South Congaree, SC wrote:

I didn't see anyone posting their experience growing the 'firewitch' from columbia,SC on here. I JUST planted some today (4/28/12). So, cross your fingers, hopefully I will have some success here in my planter with 'firewitch' as well as Neon Star Dianthus, and some Asian Jasmine. I'm really trying to get my planter looking good.


On Apr 23, 2011, bungalow1056 from Winston-Salem, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:

This is the most reliable dianthus I've planted. The pink positively glows against the foliage. They smell fantastic- rich carnation, spice and clove. The bees love them. They spread moderately each year here in central NC. I'm going to spade and divide them out this fall- double delight!


On Jun 14, 2010, boomerr from Sun City, AZ wrote:

I have this plant Dianthus g. 'Firewitch' and I am in Az and it is doing well. I did bring it to Az from Oregon and planted from seeds I brought back. Now I am trying to figure out how to get the seeds from the flower. I did it once but if someone knows more about it would appreciate their knowledge.


On Jul 20, 2009, GEENP from Ridgeley, WV wrote:

I have 3 year old plants and they bloom in the spring and then not much after that even though I dead headed them. They are not any larger than when I first put them out. I am planning on digging up, adding compost and fertilizer this fall and see if they will grow larger and bloom more.


On Jun 7, 2008, lillymw from Richmond Hill, ON (Zone 5b) wrote:

I picked up one of these at Sheridan Nurseries in Toronto. My only regret is that I didn't buy more! This plant looks and smells wonderful! I have it situated in a spot that gets full sun for only part of the day but it is thriving and blooming strongly. Love it!


On Mar 26, 2008, Marilynbeth from Hebron, KY wrote:

Have had it for many years and I love it more every year. It's a very beautiful plant overall! I love the sweet and colorful flowers. I love the smell of the flowers! I can't walk past it without picking a flower and smelling it! I'm in 'heaven' with it's scent! I love the shade of the leaves. The combination of the leaves and flowers is gorgeous! It's beautiful and striking even at a distance!

Wonderful plant!


On May 29, 2007, littlelulublue from Toronto,
Canada wrote:

Planted last year, is doing fabulous (Toronto, ON) Blooms continuously from late May/early June until late fall. Lovely silver foliage. Planted in part sun/part shade


On Mar 21, 2007, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

I have grown 'Firewitch' dianthus for several years and love it. It looks great year round and is evergreen in my zone. The electric pink blooms are also sweetly scented. Very carefree but must have proper drainage or it will rot.

Short 10-12" - Plant 12" apart. Zone 3-9. Long flowering German Hybrid with ice blue foliage forms a tidy groundcover that stays evergreen. Brilliant pink single flowers have frilled petals with a pleasing clove scent.


Perennial of the Year 2006.

Blooms: Spring to Summer

Flower Color: Pink

Sun-Shade: Full Sun

Accent Color: Pink

Soil Condition: Normal, Sandy

Plant Height: Short

Zones: z3,z4,z5,z6,... read more


On Apr 13, 2006, CarolynBF from Florissant, MO (Zone 5b) wrote:

This is the 2006 Perennial Plant of the Year. Therefore, even though I just brought mine home today, I'm giving it a positive rating.
The flower color is a vivid and beautiful magenta, and the foliage is soft and grassy. The man at the nursery said the clump will spread and can be divided. Can't wait to get this established in my yard.


On Jun 4, 2005, TokyoRose702 from Frisco, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Wonderful as all other comments listed above...the key to rebloom is not just deadheading - use a Bloom Booster! Mine are still blooming strong! Not like the first spring flush but definate color impact - Yea!


On May 8, 2005, BUFFY690 from Prosperity, SC (Zone 7b) wrote:

I had wanted this for a while and never seemed to find it. I now hav about 10 and cannot wait to mass them near my gardens sitting area.


On May 7, 2005, Paulwhwest from Irving (Dallas area), TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Great plant! It blooms very profusely in the spring covering itself with flowers, and it has a sweet fragrance.


On Oct 13, 2004, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Flower is a stunning shade of deep pink and is nearly fringed on the edges. Blooms from summer to fall if deadheaded. Prefers full sun but can tolerate some afternoon shade.


On Sep 2, 2004, kris66 from Souderton, PA wrote:

I planted this plant two years ago in zone 6. It's beautiful in the spring/early summer and smells great too. But it tends to look ratty for the rest of the season. I haven't been able to get it to rebloom after shearing off the seed heads.


On Aug 21, 2003, mason_bradford from Conway, SC wrote:

This is a very well-suited planted plant for the garden that i picked up at Home Depot. It has the scent of cloves to it and will rebloom. Should be kept at about 8 to 10 inches to keep compact, but do not expect a big rebloom. I take garden shears and dead-head it in one whack; it doesn't care. Excellent plant, highly reccomended.