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Dianthus deltoides 'Arctic Fire'

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Photo Courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.
 Common Name: Pinks-Maiden

Smaller, icy white blooms with a sharply contrasting, bright fuchsia ring around the medium pink eye zone light up their surroundings. Each of the 5 flower petals have serrated edges, looking as if they have been trimmed with pinking shears, hence the common name 'Pinks'. If deadheaded, this species will flower heaviest in early summer and again in fall. Maiden Pinks are named for their habit of partially closing their petals at dusk, like a shy maiden would.

These bright flowers are set against a background of dark green foliage which forms a prostrate spreading mat that makes a good groundcover. In the cooler seasons, the leaves tend to take on purplish-red tones, and then revert back to green in spring.

D. deltoides is one of the most aggressive Dianthus species, and if allowed to form seed, it will self-sow freely.

Origin: Not Native to North America

Characteristics:



Height:
  8 Inches
Spread:
  12-15 Inches
Flower Color:
  Pink shades
  White Shades
Foliage Color:
  Green shades
Hardiness Zone:
3,4,5,6,7,8,9
Find Your Zone
Sun or Shade?:
  Full sun (> 6 hrs. direct sun)
  Part shade (4-6 hrs. direct sun)
Wet or dry?:
  Low water needs
  Average water needs
Want to see wings?:
  Attracts butterflies
Need critter resistant plants?:
  Deer resistant
How fast should it grow?:
  Medium
When should it bloom?:
  Early summer
  Early fall
Looking for seasonal interest?:
  Evergreen (in some or all zones)
How's your soil?:
  Average Soil
Sweet or Sour Soil?:
  Neutral Soil (pH = 7.0)
  Alkaline Soil (pH > 7.0)
What's your garden style?:
  Container/Patio
  Rock Garden
  Eclectic

Attributes:

Border plants
Container
Cut flower or foliage
Dried flower or seed heads
Drought Tolerant
Evergreen
Ground cover
Salt Tolerant
Easy to grow

Homeowner Growing & Maintenance Tips:

Dianthus grow best in loose, well-drained, neutral to slightly alkaline soils. Lime can be added to the soil if it is naturally acidic to raise the pH. Dianthus can be grown in full sun or part shade, but the foliage will not be as lush and fewer flowers will be produced if it is grown in hot, dry areas. Regular watering during prolonged dry spells will be necessary. However, they are tolerant of short periods of dryness.

Do a thorough clean-up in the fall to prevent pest and disease problems, and add a layer of mulch to protect the evergreen foliage. As soon as the weather begins to warm up, remove all of this mulch to prevent crown rot.

Dianthus can be propagated by division every few years in early spring, just as the new growth begins to appear. This is recommended because Dianthus tends to be a short-lived perennial otherwise. It is also easily raised from seed, but named varieties will not come true like the plain species will.


Companions:

Common/Botanical Name
Zones  
Linum perenne 'Nanum Sapphire'
Common Name: Flax
4,5,6,7,8
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Sedum 'Rosy Glow'
Common Name: Stonecrop
3,4,5,6,7,8,9
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Sempervivum 'Braunii'
Common Name: Hen & Chicks
3,4,5,6,7,8
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Festuca glauca 'Elijah Blue'
Common Name: Grass-Ornamental
4,5,6,7,8
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Veronica spicata 'Red Fox'
Common Name: Speedwell
4,5,6,7,8
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Saponaria ocymoides
Common Name: Rock Soapwort
3,4,5,6,7
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Stachys byzantina 'Silver Carpet'
Common Name: Lamb's Ear
4,5,6,7,8
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Heuchera 'Encore' PP19578
Common Name: Coral Bells
4,5,6,7,8,9
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Geranium 'Dragon Heart'
Common Name: Geranium-Hardy
5,6,7,8
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Fun Facts:

What came first--the color or the flower? The color we call "pink" was actually named after "Pinks,"  the common name of Dianthus.

Did you know Dianthus flowers are edible?  The individual petals have a sweet taste just like their perfumed scent.

While every effort has been made to describe this plant accurately, please keep in mind that the height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates throughout the country. The description of this plant was written based on our experience growing it in Michigan (USDA hardiness zone 5) and on numerous outside resources.