Fertilizing Dianthus

Dianthus plants are pretty “cottage style” flowers that come in a variety of colors and sizes and are easy to care for.  They attract birds to your garden and can also be grown in planters and window boxes. The scientific name is Dianthus, and a common nickname for the flowers is “pinks”.  This is due to the fact that they are often a pretty shade of pink but also their petals look like they have been clipped with pinking shears. 

They are in the same family as the carnation and have a sweet and spicy scent that is sure to please any flower lover.  The flowers are also edible, and can be used in baking and creating teas.  They attract beneficial pollinators to your yard and are deer resistant.  If you are looking for a small pretty groundcover or plant to compliment your other garden flowers, dianthus is one that should be considered.

You don’t really need to fertilize them if they are planted in the ground.  Dianthus are light feeders and often a good quality compost is all you need.  If you do wish to fertilize your plants, a light fertilizer in the spring is really all you need.  If your plants are planted in a container or hanging basket, then you may want to give them a slow-release fertilizer product that lasts for several months.


How to Fertilize Dianthus

Dianthus does not require a lot of fertilizer. A simple application of good compost around your plants or an all-purpose slow-release fertilizer is all you need. This can be applied in the springtime at the base of your plants or sprinkled in containers. The best fertilizer for dianthus is an evenly balanced one with a NPK ratio of 10-10-10 or 20-20-20.   Dianthus is easy to care for and does not require a lot of special fertilizers or feeding. Choose a fertilizer that has a slow-release formula and is water soluble for best results. 

Best Time To Fertilize Dianthus

The best time of year to fertilize your dianthus is the early springtime, depending on your growing zone and variety.  You may also apply fertilizer in the autumn, but it is usually not necessary.  Dianthus is a low maintenance plant.


Best Fertilizer For Dianthus

The best type of fertilizer for dianthus is a slow-release product. Look for products with an NPK ratio of 10-10-10 or 20-20-20. For container plants, slow-release and water-soluble products work best. Some potting mixes also have fertilizers added to them, so read product labels to prevent overfeeding your plants.

Dianthus Fertilizing Tips

  • Use a good general fertilizer in the springtime for in-ground plants
  • Do not over-fertilize dianthus
  • For container plants, apply a slow-release fertilizer once a month
  • If using a potting soil with fertilizer, you may not need to add more fertilizer
  • If your plants grow year round, you may want to fertilize again in autumn


-Always wear protective gloves and a face mask when handling chemical fertilizers.

-Closely follow all directions and storage guidelines that are on the fertilizer label.

-Keep all chemicals out of reach of pets and children.


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Author Janice Cox - Published 06-30-2022