Dianthus plants have colorful flowers that are known for their spicy scent. They start blooming in the spring and can even still be producing blooms into the fall months, depending on your growing zone. They are easy to overwinter and survive freezing temperatures with a few simple steps. You need to cut your plants back to the ground and protect them with a layer of mulch. This will protect the roots of your tender plants and help them produce more beautiful flowers once the temperatures begin to rise in the spring.
Protecting Dianthus in Winter
Protect your dianthus plants in the winter by covering them with a thick layer of organic mulch. This can be shredded leaves or bark mulch. If your plants do become covered by snow, this added layer of insulation will help protect them and keep them from freezing. You may also want to mark where your plants are so in the spring they are easy to find. Dianthus will spread out and can be used as a groundcover, making it easy to spot them once the temperatures warm up in the spring.
Cutting Back Dianthus For Winter
When your plants are finished blooming for the season in the fall, you can cut them back to ground level. Do not worry about damaging your plants; a good cutting will help them put all of their energy into developing a strong root system and surviving the winter.
Dianthus Winter Care in Pots
If your dianthus is planted in containers, they will need to be cut back for the winter. If they are the only type of plant in the container, you can leave them outdoors. Move your pots to where they are protected and consider covering them with a layer of shredded leaves or bark mulch that can be removed in the spring. If they have been planted with other types of flowering annuals and perennials, you may need to remove the annual plants and also prune or cut back the perennials in preparation for winter.
Watering Dianthus in Winter
Dianthus does not require a lot of water during the winter months, especially if they are covered with snow and ice. Make sure the plants stay moist and do not dry out. If they are planted in containers, monitor the soil for sufficient drainage. Dianthus go dormant in the winter and do not need to be watered as much as during active growing and blooming seasons like the spring, summer and fall.
Growing Dianthus Indoors
Dianthus does not make a good houseplant. It can be brought indoors for a few weeks, but will be much happier growing outside. The amount of sunlight that they require is just not possible indoors. They are also not a winter blooming plant for most growing zones.
Steps To Care For Dianthus in Winter
Dianthus is easy to care for in the winter as they really do not require much care. Simply cut your plants back to ground. Remove any dead stems or damaged parts of the plant. Cover with a thick layer of insulating mulch.
Step 1 – Cut back your dianthus plants with sharp garden shears or hand pruners.
Step 2 – Remove all dead or damaged stems and leaves from the area.
Step 3 - Cover your plants with a thick layer of shredded leaves or bark mulch.
Step 4 - Water lightly but do not drench the area.
Step 5 - Mark the location of your plants for identification in the spring.
Step 6 – If your plants are in containers, move them to where they will be protected from winter storms.