Dianthus deltoides 'Arctic Fire'
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
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?:
Need critter resistant plants?:
How fast should it grow?:
When should it bloom?:
Looking for seasonal interest?:
Evergreen (in some or all zones)
How's your soil?:
Sweet or Sour Soil?:
Neutral Soil (pH = 7.0)
Alkaline Soil (pH > 7.0)
What's your garden style?:
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.
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.