Monday, March 18, 2013

Desert Potted Garden Tidbit — Shoulder Season Flowers

Posted By on Mon, Mar 18, 2013 at 10:03 AM

Dianthus Close-up
  • Marylee, Potted Desert Gardener
  • Dianthus Close-up
Last week I talked about using shoulder season flowers for your post-freeze winter pots. Dianthus is a great full-sun flowering plant as it is truly a perennial and can handle our extreme seasons in the desert. It will flower best in the cooler seasons but will be green in the summer heat with a few flowers coming out.

Colors range from white through the pinks and reds with some variegated options available. Dianthus has also been grown into several different height options from a low grower of six to eight inches to very tall plants up to 20 inches!

Dianthus respond very well to dead-heading meaning that if you remove spent flowers and stems them they will rebud quickly. They also like a regular application of a water-soluble fertilizer, every two weeks.

Winter Dianthus (Red) with Lobelia and Alyssum
  • Marylee, Potted Desert Gardener
  • Winter Dianthus (Red) with Lobelia and Alyssum

Other facts about Dianthus:
-Carnations are in the Dianthus family.
-Commonly called Pinks in age-old gardens due to the serrated flower edge as if cut with pinking shears.
-Also know as Sweet William.
-Multiplies readily
-Good for cut flowers
-Critter resistant

Have a question? Email Marylee

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