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Historic Uses of Native Plants
7 PM, Thursday, February 6
Dianthus chinensis

There are numerous varieties of dianthus. Many types of dianthus have flowers with a fragrant, spicy scent and notched petals. Common dianthus include Sweet WIlliam, pinks, and carnations.
Most dianthus have pink, red, or white flowers with notched petals. Sweet Williams are biennial or short-lived perennials covered with bicolor flowers in late spring. Pinks are low growing dianthus suitable for rock gardens. Carnations are taller and good for bouquets, but tend to be less hardy than other dianthus.

Dianthus are considered a cool season plant here in Texas and usually are planted in the spring. They godormant during the hot summer torebloom again in the fall. This plant prefers morning sun and afternoon shade and should be planted in soil that has been amended with plenty of organic matter for good drainage.

Some varieties can grow as tall as 18" whhile most only grow to about 6" tall and make a lovely addition to the front of any flower garden border. They need regular irrigation, especially during the hottest, driest time of summer. Keep mulch away from the base of the plants since it will hold too much moisture against the plant causing disease. For best growth and blooms, fertilize every six to eight weeks with a balanced fertilizer. Remove spent blooms and lightly trim to encourage new growth.
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