The Q&A Archives: Will Dianthus cut and come again?

Question: We're growing Dianthus for the first time this year and we've had a beautiful stand of pink and white flowers. Now the blooms are dying, though. If we cut them back, will they bloom again this year? Daisy Clark Dayton, OH

Answer: Dianthus will continue flowering sporadically throughout the season, but will product more flowers if you snip the blossoms off as soon as they begin to die, says William Boonstra, co owner of Bluestone Perennials in Madison, Ohio. Flowering later in the season, however, will never be as luxurious as the spring blossoms. For first year plants, we cut back the flowers and foliage dramatically four to five weeks after spring flowering to promote strong, vegetative plant growth. The next year, plants bloom profusely, Boonstra explains. When plants are more than two years old, cutting back the foliage doesn't make a difference. Dianthus is generally a tough plant and grows well in a variety of conditions. It likes full sun, well drained soil and little fertilization. We recommend not mulching for winter protection in our climate because mulch holds moisture close to the plant, creating a perfect environment for rot diseases, says Boonstra.

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