I'm always on the look out for ways to add pops of color in the garden without breaking the bank. For this, my go to plant is the Dianthus.
Dianthus comes in several different forms. The most popular is the little 6 or 8 packs sold as annuals. These come in all colors-both solid and two tone. The clumps grow width-wise each year, but maintain a low height of around 10-12 inches.
Each of these colors shown here in my garden are from one little pack. It amazes me how full of blooms these are! I'm guessing these plants are about 5 years old. Not quite an 'annual'. I live in a zone 5-6 area, but I have had them come back when I lived in zone 4 also.
Another form of Dianthus is 'Sweet William'. Again these come in different colors and will come back year after year. I started some from seed 6 years ago, and they keep coming back. I have a spot in the garden I let them reseed. 'Sweet William' get to be taller, reaching up to 2 feet.
One of the best things about the Dianthus is that the bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies love them! This black swallowtail is loving a fresh drink from the Sweet William.
Pinks are another form of Dianthus. I have these all over in my gardens. I love the low compact clumps of color and the dainty flowers.
One thing about Dianthus is they will typically re-bloom if deadheaded. I find that deadheading is necessary because, as beautiful as the blooms are, the spent flowers are messy looking to me. I like to trim them back for that reason alone. The plant blooming again, in my book, is a bonus.
If you are looking for a burst of color in a sunny location, or part shade, try some Dianthus in any form. For little money you will have colorful bee and butterfly friendly flowers that just might have a hummingbird or two visiting!
Original Post Date: 6-10-2020
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