Telstar Scarlet - Knowledgebase Question

Name: Anna Woolley
Springhill, LA
Avatar for diverwoolley
Question by diverwoolley
December 29, 1999
I was given 180 seedlings of telstar scarlet. I haven't a clue to what this plant is and how to care for them. A picture would be helpful also.

Answer from NGA
December 29, 1999
Telstar scarlet is Dianthus, sometimes called Sweet William. Dianthus should be planted where they will receive at least 4-5 hours of full sun each day. They thrive in fertile, fast draining, slightly alkaline (pH 6.75) soil. Avoid over-watering because it may tend to turn the foliage yellow. Usually a weekly watering of established plants will suffice unless the weather is extremely dry. Dianthus will often reseed themselves, so don't be too hasty in removing spent plants from the ground. Perennial varieties may be propagated by tip cuttings, layering or division. Spent flowers should be removed promptly to promote continued blooming.
Plant Dianthus species 12 to 18 inches apart and at the same depth at which they were previously growing. The crown, or top of the root structure, must be level with the surface of the soil. (Never bury any part of the stems.) Unlike most other plants, Dianthus plants should not be mulched. They require good air circulation around the stems at all times and must be kept as free from foliage moisture as possible. For continued blooming feed lightly every 6 to 8 weeks with an all-purpose (10-10-10) liquid fertilizer.

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